Language vitality scales and their applicability to specific language situations
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Date of publication
26.07.2022
Public year
2022
DOI
10.31857/0373-658X.2022.4.7-47
Language vitality scales and their applicability to specific language situations
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While working on the description and documentation of a minority language, the researcher faces the practical task of defi ning its vitality status. This article is devoted to our experience of solving this problem. At the beginning, we give a brief overview of the concept of vitality and various scales that exist for the classifi cation of languages according to this parameter. Particular attention is paid to the ELCat scale, the use of which is shown on the example of Bezhta (the Bezhta proper dialect), Northern Selkup, Evenki and Khakas languages. We describe some controversial points in the ELCat methods and propose an adjustment for some of them in accordance with the specifi cs of the languages in question. For example, since the level of language vitality can be diff erent in diff erent communities, we estimate vitality level separately for each of them. In addition, a specifi cation of the values of the parameters “intergenerational transmission of language” and “the ratio of the number of speakers and ethnic group” is introduced. In the fi nal part of the article, we discuss general problems arising in determining the vitality level of languages associated with the sources of original data.

About authors
Olga Kazakevich
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Elena Budyanskaya
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Anastasia Evstigneeva
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Yuri Koryakov
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Daria Mordashova
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences; Lomonosov Moscow State University
Sofie Pokrovskaya
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Konstantin Polivanov
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Evgeniya Renkovskaya
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Zaira Khalilova
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Karina Sheifer
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
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