Регулирование языкового ландшафта в российских городах: многоязычие и неравенство
The article analyses language policy in Russia from the perspective of linguistic landscape, i. e. written use of language(s) in public space. Language policy is approached as a complex phenomenon including all measures directed to language practice regulation; its actors could be official authorities, business enterprises, non-commercial organizations, and citizens. Our research on language policy in Russian cities is conducted along two lines. On the one hand, we consider federal, regional and local legislation and normative documents relating to the use of the Russian language, languages of Russian national republics, and foreign languages. On the other hand, we examine data on the linguistic landscapes of Russian cities representing different cases of multilingual communication (megalopolises attracting tourists and migrants; cities in national republics of Russia; border cities). As a result, the main tendencies of linguistic landscape regulation on legislative level and on the level of everyday practices are revealed: on the one hand, despite retaining to rather strict monolingual
ideology, there is a certain growth in representation of linguistic diversity in linguistic landscapes of most observed Russian cities. This growth is evident both in the case of languages of national republics and in the case of foreign languages aimed at different categories of newcomers – tourists and labor migrants. In the process, legislation could be used by different groups of active citizens as an instrument for promoting a certain language. In some cases, mostly in the border areas, the monolingual bias of language policy still prevails and sometimes even become stronger. In general, underrepresentation of other languages than Russian reflects and helps to maintain existing inequality between their speakers and Russian-speaking majority. The paper argues for further cross-regional studies on language policy and linguistic landscape in Russia necessary for understanding global changes and challenges.