Skip to main content

Categorization of the Chuvash Language in the Chuvash Republic and Beyond

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Minority Languages from Western Europe and Russia

Part of the book series: Language Policy ((LAPO,volume 21))

  • 242 Accesses

Abstract

The article deals with the categorization of Chuvash, a Turkic language, spoken by Chuvash people (their population number is 1435872) and spread in the areas along the Volga and the Urals. In present day Chuvash as well as Russian is a state language in the Chuvash Republic, its legal status being determined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation and that of the Chuvash Republic. Historically the area inhabited by Chuvash speakers goes beyond the administrative borders of the Republic, almost a half of Chuvash ethnic groups live in various regions in Russia either in compact or disperse groups as internal migrants. In a number of regions in accordance with the Law “On Languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation” (1991, modified in 1998, 2002, 2013 and 2014), Chuvash enjoys a status of a language of population in an area of compact residence (art. 3.4) and therefore it can be used in official spheres, as a language of instruction and education, a language of mass media, etc. In areas, where ethnic groups are disperse, their languages do not have a legal status, the only category that can be assigned to them is that of a “native language” (rodnoj âzyk) the category itself is confusing, though widely used in censuses and legal acts. The field research was conducted in a group of 100 Chuvash interviewees, members of Moscow region community. The paper demonstrates the problem of determination of the category of a native language: the recognition of an ethnic language as native does not attest of a language competence, rather of language loyalty, which frequently manifests itself in migrants setting.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. 1.

    There are at least 35 modern languages and dialects and more than six well-recorded ancient and medieval languages in the Turkic language family (Dybo 2006). Chuvash’s kindred languages in the Turkic language family are Tatar, Bashkir, Turk, Azerbaijani, Altaic, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Turkmen, Yakut amongst others (Fomin 2016b).

  2. 2.

    The law “On Languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation” states in Article 2 on the state guarantees of equality of languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation:

    • Paragraph 1. “Equality of languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation is a set of rights of peoples and individuals to the preservation and comprehensive development of a native language, freedom to choose and use a language of communication.”

    • Paragraph 2. The Russian Federation guarantees to all its peoples, regardless of their number, equal rights to preserve and fully develop their native language, freedom to choose and use a language of communication.

    Article 3 on Legal Status of Languages:

    • Paragraph 1: the state language of the Russian Federation throughout its territory is Russian.

    • Paragraph 2: in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation the republics may establish their own state languages.

    • Paragraph 5: The state recognizes the equal rights of all languages of the Russian Federation to be preserved and developed. All languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation are supported by the state (The law “On Languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation”).

  3. 3.

    Chapter 1 Article 8 of the Constitution of the Chuvash Republic states: “The state languages of the Chuvash Republic are Chuvash and Russian” (The Constitution of the Chuvash Repubic).

  4. 4.

    The law “On languages in the Chuvash Republic” (Chapter 1, article 2, paragraph 1) stipulates that “Chuvash and Russian shall be established the state languages in the Chuvash Republic. The status of Chuvash and Russian as state languages does not infringe on the rights of representatives of other peoples to use and develop their languages. The Chuvash Republic takes state care of the comprehensive development of Chuvash and Russian and provides for their active functioning in various spheres of state, socio-economic and cultural life” (The law “On languages in the Chuvash Republic”).

  5. 5.

    Article 26 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation refers to the right to use a native language, to freely choose a language of communication and to use it for upbringing, instruction and in creativity. In Article 68 (paragraph 3) the Russian Federation guarantees to all its peoples (ethnic groups) a right to maintain their native language and to provide conditions to study and develop it (The Constitution of the Russian Federation).

References

  • Agaev, A. G. (1968). Funkcii âzyka kak ètničeskogo priznaka [Functions of the language as an ethnic indicator]. In Âzyk i obŝestvo [Language and society] (pp. 124–138). Moskva: Nauka. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Alos-i-Font, H. (2015). Issledovanie âzykovoj situacii v Čuvašskoj Respublike [The survey of the language situation in the Chuvash Republic]. Cheboksary: CHGIGN. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Alpatov, V. М. (2000). 150 âzykov i politika. 1917–2000. Sociolingvističeskie problemy SSSR i postsovetskogo prostranstva [150 languages and politics. 1917–2000. Sociolinguistic problems in the USSR and post Soviet states]. Moskva: Kraft+, Institut vostokovedeniâ RAN, 2000. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Andreev I. A. (2001). Čuvašskij âzyk [The Chuvash language]. In Âzyki Rossijskoj Federacii i sosednih gosudarstv. Ènciklopediâ v 3-h tomah [Languages of the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries. Encyclopedia in 3 volumes]. Tom 2 (pp. 387–398). Moskva: Nauka. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Baskakov, A. N., & Nasyrova, O. D. (2000). Âzykovye situacii v tûrkoâzyčnyh respublikah Rossijskoj Federacii (kratkij sociolingvističeskij očerk) [Language situations in Turkic-speaking republics (a brief sociolinguistic outline)]. In Âzyki Rossijskoj Federacii i novogo zarubež′â: status i funkcii [Languages of the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries: Status and functions] (pp. 34–129). Moskva: Editorial URSS. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Belikov V. I. (1997). Nadežnost′ sovetskih ètnodemografičeskih dannyh [The reliability of Soviet ethnodemographic data]. In Malye âzyki Evrazii: sociolingvističeskij aspekt, sbornik statej [Minority languages of Eurasia: Sociolinguistic aspect, a collection of articles] (pp. 12–43). Moskva. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Belikov V. I., & Krysin L. P. (2016). Sociolingvistika: učebnik dlâ bakalavriata i magistratury [Sociolinguistics: Textbook for bachelor’s and master’s degree]. Moskva: Izdatel′stvo Ûrajt. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Dybo A. V. (Ed.). (2006) Hronologiâ tûrkskih âzykov i lingvističeskie kontakty rannih tûrkov [The chronology of Turkic languages and linguistic contacts of early Turks]. In Sravnitel′no-istoričeskaâ grammatika tûrkskih âzykov. Pratûrkskij âzyk-osnova. Kartina mira pratûrkskogo ètnosa po dannym âzyka [Comparative-historical grammar of Turkic languages. The Proto-Turkic basic language. The world picture of the Proto-Turkic ethos (by language data)] (pp. 766–817). Moskva: Nauka. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Fomin E. V. (2016a) Âzykovaâ situaciâ v Čuvašii [Language situation in Chuvashia]. In Âzyk i obŝestvo. Ènciklopediâ [Language and society. Encyclopedia] (pp. 824–833). Moskva: Izdatel′skij centr «Azbukovnik». (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Fomin E. V. (2016b). Čuvašskij âzyk [The Chuvash language]. In Âzyk i obŝestvo. Ènciklopediâ [Language and society. encyclopedia] (pp. 556–565). Moskva: Izdatel′skij centr «Azbukovnik». (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Garipov, R. (2014). La notion de ‘langue native’ et les mécanismes juridiques de son développement chez les petits peuples autochtones du Nord de la Russie. In Catégorisation des langues minoritaires en Russie et dans l’espace post-soviétique (pp. 145–169). Bordeaux: Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine.

    Google Scholar 

  • Konstituciâ Čuvašskoj Respubliki [The constitution of the Chuvash Republic]. http://constitution.garant.ru/region/cons_chuvash. Viewed on 17 Oct 2018. (In Russian).

  • Konstituciâ Rossijskoj Federacii [The constitution of the Russian Federation]. http://constitutionrf.ru/skachat-konstitutsiyu. Viewed on 15 Oct 2018. (In Russian).

  • Mihal′čenko, V. Û. (Ed.). (2006). Slovar′ sociolingvističeskih terminov [Dictionary of sociolinguistic terms]. Moskva: Institutâ zykoznaniâ RAN. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Moskvičeva, S. A. (2017). Terminologiâ v oblasti sociolingvističeskoj kategorizacii âzykov: poisk ideala ili točka zreniâ? [Terminology in socio-political categorization of languages: Search of ideal or a viewpoint?]. In RSUH/RGGU Bulletin. Academic Journal. Series: Psychology. Pedagogics. Education, 4(10), 40–58. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Nasyrova, O. D., 2000. Čuvašskij âzyk [The Chuvash language]. In Pis′mennye âzyki mira: Âzyki Rossijskoj Federacii. Sociolingvističeskaâ ènciklopediâ. [In written languages of the world: languages of the Russian Federation. Sociolinguistic encyclopedia]. Kniga 1.(pp. 555–574). Moskva: Academia. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Pimenov, V. V. (1977). Udmurty. Opyt komponentnogo analiza ètnosa [The Udmurts. A case study of the ethnic component analysis]. Leningrad: izdatel′stvo Nauka, Leningradskoe otdelenie. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Studencov O. R. (2011). Novoe v leksike čuvašskoj pravoslavnoj literatury (1871–1917): učebnoe posobie [Lexical borrowings in the Chuvash Orthodox literature (1871–1917): Textbook]. Cheboksary: M-vo obrazovaniâ i nauki Rossijskoj Federacii, Federal′noe gos. obrazovatel′noe učreždenie vysš. prof. obrazovaniâ "Čuvašskij gos. un-t im. I. N. Ul′ânova". (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Tiškov, V. A. (2004). Âzyk i perepis′ naseleniâ Rossii 2002 g. [Language and census in Russia in 2002]. Voprosy filologii, 2(17), 93–100. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Vahtin N. B. & Golovko E. V. (2004). Sociolingvistika i sociologiâ âzyka [Sociolinguistics and sociology of the language]. SPb.: IC “Gumanitarnaâ Akademiâ”, izdatel′stvo Evropejskogo Universiteta v Sankt-Peterburge. (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  • Vserossijskaâ perepis′ naseleniâ 2010 goda [The all-Russian census of 2010]. http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/perepis2010/croc/Documents/Vol4/pub-04-08.pdf. Viewed on 27 Nov 2018. (In Russian).

  • Zakon o âzykah narodov Rossijskoj Federacii [Law on languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation]. http://www.advokat-profes.ru/2010-12-06-13-43-33/316-2011-04-05-13-35-25.html. Viewed on 15 Feb 2018. (In Russian).

  • Zakon o âzykah v Čuvašskoj Respublike [Law on languages in the Chuvash Republic]. http://docs.cntd.ru/document/802015027. Viewed on 17 Oct 2018. (In Russian).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Kutsaeva, M. (2019). Categorization of the Chuvash Language in the Chuvash Republic and Beyond. In: Moskvitcheva, S., Viaut, A. (eds) Minority Languages from Western Europe and Russia. Language Policy, vol 21. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24340-1_11

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24340-1_11

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-24339-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-24340-1

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics