April 19, 2021 3:15 PM to 4:15 PMUptown Campus
What is going on in Russia in terms of linguistic rights and language activism? What languages are spoken in Russia? What is the official status of those languages, and how are the non-Russian or the so-called minority languages maintained? The topic of this conversation is the rapid decline of linguistic diversity and the suppression of linguistic rights in the Russian Federation. Linguistic discrimination and language genocide are highly under-represented issues in not only Russia’s history, but global history as well. There is a general consensus among the linguists that at least half of the world’s 6,000-7,000 languages will disappear by the end of the century. The death of these languages would be a severe blow to the world’s language diversity and would significantly impoverish the intellectual heritage of humanity. Russia is home to a good number of these languages that according to the UNESCO’s classification are “vulnerable” or “on the brink of extinction.” We will closely examine how Russia’s political climate is affecting the language issue. We will approach Russia’s situation from both an academic and a personal standpoint and share our concerns and our experiences with language discrimination in Russia and in the United States.