Языковая политика и языковые конфликты в современном мире. Международная конференция (Москва, 16‒19 сентября 2014): Доклады и сообщения. Институт языкознания РАН, Научно-исследовательский центр по национально-языковым отношениям
This collection includes articles of the participants of the International conference “Language policy and language conflicts in contemporary world”, organized by the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences from 16–19 September, 2014 in Moscow with financial support of the Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation. The Conference became one of important scientific events of the Research Center on ethnic and language relations of the Institute of linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The problems touched upon by the authors include a wide range of questions which are bound up with language and society interaction, functioning of ethnic languages in modern conditions, analyses of concrete language situations, language policy, language legislation and language conflicts in Russia and other countries.
Due to the ongoing process of rapid decrease in the number of spoken languages, one of the most urgent tasks of linguistics today is to document endangered languages. The data from insufficiently studied languages (which is often the case with endangered languages) allows linguists to enrich factual material of linguistics. This is particularly important for the development of linguistic typology. Among the issues associated with endangered languages, one of the most linguistically significant is the structural changes taking place within them. An obsolescing language is in a sense a laboratory where processes of linguistic change can be studied at the very moment of their operation. The paper examines data from the dialect of Staroshvedskoye (Gammalsvenskby), which is the only surviving Scandinavian dialect in the territory of the former Soviet Union. Its current state has not been described in linguistic literature. The main types of speakers of endangered languages, distinguished on the basis of language competence, are fluent speakers, semi-speakers and terminal speakers; all three of these types are present in Staroshvedskoye. With imperative forms serving as an example, the variety of the dialect spoken by the fluent speakers is compared with the variety spoken by the semi-speakers. It is demonstrated that the main characteristic features of the semi-speakers are a significant increase in the number of forms, high frequency of free variation and the prevalence of analytic and descriptive patterns over synthetic ones. An attempt to explain the latter phenomenon is made as well.