Interculturality in the Modern Russian Linguistic Landscape
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Abstract: The purpose of this article is to give a quick overview of intercultural tendencies in certain Russian regions’ modern linguistic landscapes: where they can be found, why languages other than Russian are used, what the purpose of their use is, and who uses them. The material for this study includes several thousand photos taken between 2010 and 2018 in different regions of Russia, representing advertising material and signboards where different languages and cultures meet. Methodologically, the photos were classified and analyzed accor- ding to the types of code-switching and hybrid structures appearing in and on them. Some history is given on the cities studied, as well as the state of the languages that are part of their linguistic repertory. A few particular situations are scrutinized, involving national republics and other areas where linguistic minorities exist (major cities, provinces, villages). A strong tendency for the use of foreign culture was evident in the findings all over the country; the English language was preferred, but not perfect; an Asian influence was emerging everywhere. Wordplay characterized the creative employment of letters and words. Yet the cultures of the former Soviet Union, as well as the cultures of linguistic minorities (other languages besides Russian) were underrepresented, even in the national republics. The conclusion is that the modern language of the street is oriented towards the fusion of diverse cultures, but not necessarily those that represent the ethnic and cultural richness of Russia. Multiculturalism as reflected in public signage is more lively than multicultural policy because of emotionality and linkages with styles and scripts.
Key words: Russian linguistic landscape; multilingualism; multiculturalism; hybrid culture on signs; visual linguistic diversity.
Protassova, E. Yu. (2021). Interculturality in the Modern Russian Linguistic Landscape. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №2. P. 52-67. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-02-04.