LANGUAGE AS AN ETHNIC VALUE (BASED ON RESEARCH IN THE REPUBLIC OF MARI EL)
Vitaly Shabykov1, Raisia Kudryavtseva2, Tatiana Belyaeva3*, Zoya Zorina4 Aleksey Arzamazov5
1Senior Scientific Researcher, Mari Research Institute of Language, Literature and History named after V. M. Vasilyev, RUSSIA, email@example.com
2Prof. Dr., Mari State University, RUSSIA, firstname.lastname@example.org
3Assoc. Prof., Mari State University, RUSSIA, email@example.com
4Prof. Dr., Mari State University, RUSSIA, firstname.lastname@example.org
5Head Scientific Researcher, Udmurt Institute of History, Language and Literature, RUSSIA, email@example.com
The purpose of the article is to generalize the results of sociological research from the beginning of the 2010s which were devoted to the study of the ethnic consciousness of Mari El Republic’s population.
The article defines the place of language in the system of ethnic values of respondents. The authors propose the concept of the native language as a factor of the ethnic identity of the Mari and reveal the semantics of the concept of «native language» in the perception of the respondents of the Mari nationality.
In the beginning of 2010, among all the peoples who lived in the Republic of Mari El, the language topped the list among the motives for rapprochement with people of their nationality. The importance of this factor among the Mari is obvious at any level of the ethno-linguistic competence of a person and in any reality of the native language (the language of the ethnic, maternal or by preference - any other, which is considered as native).
Research methods are statistical, classification, analysis and generalization.
The relevance of the study is determined by the authors' appeal to the problems of the multicultural region, which are inevitably focused on language, ethnic interests and ethno-cultural integration.
The research showed that the population of the Republic of Mari El recognizes language as an unconditional factor and a stable determinant of ethnic identity, regardless of nationality, language competence and speech behavior of a person.
We found out the following as part of the study:
-Language as an ethnic value is the most important for the Mari and Tatars, who together make up about half of the population of the Republic;
- The material well-being of respondents «dulls» their ethnic awareness and identity;
- Perception the language as an ethnic value belongs to the Mari, who consider the Mari language as their mother tongue;
- The largest number of Mari who recognize their native language as an ethnic value and the main motive for rapprochement with people of their nationality is represented among those who fully master the Mari language (reads, speaks and writes);
- The native language as an ethnic value is recognized by the older generation of respondents, as well as by the rural population of the republic;
- About half of the Mari understand their mother tongue as the language of their parents; the exception is the Mari with a weakened ethnic identity, namely, they call Russian as their native language (only a quarter of them call the language of parents as the mother tongue, for 42% of them it is associated with the language, which is spoken by the majority of the population).
The authors’ conclusions and generalizations may have practical importance for adjusting the national policy, the language «construction» and the principles of interethnic interaction in the polyethnic region.
Keywords: The Republic of Mari El, public consciousness, ethnic self-identification, ethnic value, language, the native language of the Mari.
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