Государственный язык, официальный язык и язык меньшинства: теоретико-правовые проблемы дефиниций и регулирования статуса в многонациональном государстве
The implementation of the language rights of citizens living in a multinational state, especially their right to choose a communication language in the public sphere and the right to preserve and develop it, is inextricably linked with the status of the language in the state as a whole or in any administrative-territorial unit, such as a region, province, district, rural settlement, etc. The absence of a legislatively recognized status of a non-state language, when it is widely used in a particular area, as well as the non-recognition as separate languages of certain sign systems used by ethnic minorities often serve as a catalyst for social contradictions. At the same time, giving a certain status to a language is a complex task, the solution of which, according to the author, requires an integrated approach that takes into account not only constitutional and legal norms and international standards, but also the linguistic, socio-political, economic and cultural realities prevailing in each specific situation.
The purpose of the research in the framework of this paper was to analyze the main approaches to determining the status of a language, as well as to develop our own concepts of endowing the language with a particular status. The author covers the main classifications of languages by status, both used in domestic and foreign doctrine, and contained in legal provisions. Their advantages and disadvantages are analyzed.
The research methodology included general scientific and special legal methods, among which preference was given to retrospective, statistical and comparative legal methods, as well as modeling, generalization, and legal forecasting methods. An important role in the study was taken by the analysis of the Russian and foreign legal framework, the work of legal scholars and linguists in order to establish the national specifics of regulating the status of languages of ethnic communities in different countries. A special place in the methodological base is occupied by the work of such lawyers as F. de Varennes, A.K. Soboleva, N.V. Shelyutto.
As a result of the study, conclusions were drawn up about the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the legal regulation of the status of languages, including the need to use data from other sciences to derive definitions of the state and official languages, minority languages, and mother tongues. Legal and theoretical problems, in addition to difficulties in deriving definitions, also include finding answers to questions on whether the guarantees for choosing a communication language apply to dialects and signal systems used for communication in a particular community (for example, sign language for deaf people), how many levels of state and official languages can exist in a federal state, how does the "main" state language correlate with the state languages of the constituent entities of the federation and the official languages of autonomies or other national-territorial units, how the legal regulation of the status of various languages is related to the history of the state, political situation and language policy conducted by the legislative and executive branch of power.