FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

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Antropologicheskij forum, 2019, no. 42

 

“YOU SHOULD HAVE COME IN THE LAST CENTURY”: LANGUAGE ATTITUDE AND CODE-SWITCHING AMONG THE EVENKI PEOPLE IN THE URBAN SPACE OF TURA SETTLEMENT

Nadezhda Mamontova
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
S Parks Rd, Oxford, UK
Moscow State University
27-4 Lomonosovskiy Ave., Moscow, Russia
nadezhda.mamontova()chch.ox.ac.uk

Abstract: The paper presents an analysis of language attitude, communicative situations and code-switching among the Evenki people in the urban settlement of Tura, the Evenki Municipal District of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. It is based on the author’s observations, interviews, and survey conducted in the period between 2007 and 2014. The research highlights the contradiction between the attitude of the Evenki speakers to their native language as vanishing and inappropriate in a city and its actual use in various communicative situations, both in interaction with the researcher and within the community. The author comes to the conclusion that code-switching from Russian to Evenki depends more on the context of communication and speakers’ attitudes rather than on language domains. Accordingly, the use of the Evenki language is not limited to any determined domains of language use, for example, associated with "traditional" culture, which is a dominant stereotype. The paper argues that—in the situation of a language shift and with a growing percentage of the urban population—more attention should be paid to the study of communicative practices in minority languages in urban settlements  and cities.

Keywords: Evenki, language attitude, language shift, code switching, language and space.

Acknowledgements: Written in the framework of the project “The resource curse in the circumpolar areas: Russian and international experience in the field of analysis and resolution of conflicts over non-renewable resources in the areas traditionally inhabited by Indigenous ethnic groups” (RSCF, grant no. 15-18-00112, PI prof. D. A. Funk).

To cite: Mamontova N., ‘“Priekhali by vy v proshlom veke”: otnoshenie k yazyku i kodovye pereklyucheniya sredi evenkov v urbanizirovannom prostranstve p.g.t. Tura’ [“You Should Have Come in the Last Century”: Language Attitude and Code-switching among the Evenki People in the Urban Space of Tura Settlement], Antropologicheskij forum, 2019, no. 42, pp. 109–134.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2019-15-42-109-134

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/042/mamontova.pdf