Ethnic Identity and Language Variations of the Russian Germans in the Kirov Region

Olga Vladimirovna Baykova, Olga Nikolayevna Obukhova, Yilia Valeryevna Berezina, Vladimir Alexandrovich Banin, Andrey Viktorovich Kazakov


Currently, the process of globalization, intense intercultural contacts, changes in social structure, and internationalization of higher education influence inter-ethnic relations, ethnic identity, as well as language changes. These processes can be observed among the Russian-Germans living in the territory of the Kirov region. Their investigation started in 1999 and is currently going on. The relevance of the study is due to the significance of the linguistic interaction at the present stage of the German language development in Russia, where for decades the German language has been developing and changing in linguistic enclaves environment. In this regard, this paper aims to explore ethnic and linguistic identity of German bilinguals living in the environment of a foreign language, different dialect, or different confession in isolation from the main ethnic array. The leading methods in the study were socio-differentiated analysis, as well as comparative and statistical methods used while correlating the dialect systems under review to other German dialectal systems, literary German language, as well as with the Russian language. In the study, we came to the conclusion that the priority layer in the structure of the ethnic identity of Russian Germans in the Kirov region includes the following distinctive features: common territory, language, religion, family life, folklore, crafts, norms of behavior, common historical destiny and common psychological makeup. The language of the German ethnic minority, who live in the territory of the Kirov region, is unique and peculiar. It is characterized, above all, by mixed dialects in a foreign language environment and by a variety of their existing forms of. The paper is of practical value to scholars dealing with the German island dialects.



Ethnic Germans, German dialects, the language of the Russian Germans, interdialectic interaction, interlingual interaction, distinctive identity markers.

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