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Article

Factors affecting the knowledge of Chuvash language amongst school students in Russia

Sociolinguistic Studies. 2015. Vol. 9. No. 4. P. 345-372.
Alòs i Font H., Tovar-García E. D.

This paper empirically studies the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) and type of settlement on the knowledge of the Chuvash language in the Chuvash Republic, Russia. In addition to presenting our survey results of 2,848 school students from September, 2012 to October, 2013, this research uses logit regressions to test the effect of social class, family income, parental education, rural origin, ethnicity, parental language proficiency, population size and distance to the capital city (Shupashkar/Cheboksary) on Chuvash language knowledge. In contrast to most of the previous literature, we do not analyze the effect of migration on language; the surveyed children were usually born in Chuvashia, Russia. Our findings suggest that high SES (embodied principally in children’s lack of rural origin), has a negative impact on Chuvash. Children living and studying in bigger towns and cities, and near the capital, are less likely to have a good Chuvash knowledge. These results are robust to different indicators of the key explanatory variables and econometric methods.