FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTUREANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2021, no. 49
Vlada V. Baranova
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Abstract: The paper focuses on discussions of partial linguistic competence and on sources of language knowledge among both Kalmyk language activists and the community of native speakers. Recent revivalist initiatives lead to the emergence of “new speakers” of minority languages whose language command is widely discussed within the community. The native speakers of a minority language may create some barriers for new speakers and evaluate their way of speaking as an inauthentic, “wrong” code. The paper deals with different sources of competence in Kalmyk: projects for teaching and learning Kalmyk, attempts to popularize it and the ethnic culture, and online communities for mothers who make the conscious decision to adopt native language practices with their children. These new sources of non-traditional knowledge are compared with other modes of language acquisition. The paper aims to analyze attitudes to a language by “new speakers”. From this point of view, the Kalmyk-speaking community displays ambiguous attitudes: there are negative attitudes toward the accents of new speakers, as well as toward the linguistic competence of the younger generation in a family. That said, there exist strongly positive evaluations of different activist initiatives, including treating the instances of mixed language as a kind of humor. The data shows that there is no strong demarcation between language acquisition in the family and other ways of learning Kalmyk.
Keywords: revitalization, language shift, online activism, “new speakers”, accent, Kalmyk.
Acknowledgments: The publication was prepared within the framework of the Academic Fund Program at the HSE University in 2020–2021 (grant no. 20-01-073).
To cite: Baranova V., ‘“Kakaya rech mozhet idti ob aktsente, esli rech idet o sokhranenii yazyka?”: otnoshenie k nepolnoy yazykovoy kompetentsii’ [“How Can We Even Talk about Accents When It Comes to Preserving a Language?”: Attitudes towards Partial Linguistic Competence], Antropologicheskij forum, 2021, no. 49, pp. 11–29.
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