1. bookVolume 19 (2021): Issue 1 (November 2021)
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16 Apr 2015
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access type Open Access

The Influence of Family Language Policy and Social Networks on Language Attitudes and Language Use of Russian-Language Youth

Published Online: 15 Nov 2021
Page range: 94 - 124
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Summary

An individual’s linguistic attitudes and language repertoire are influenced by a variety of environmental factors. Linguistic research has shown that language use is highly influenced by language policies and social networks. This article seeks to analyze how certain language policies and social relationships affect one’s linguistic behavior. The aim of this study is to investigate the linguistic attitudes and language-use tendencies of Russian youth in Lithuanian cities. The participants of this study were Russians and Russian-speakers based in the three largest cities of Lithuania. Their ages ranged from 15 to 29 y.o. A total of 128 respondents participated in the survey. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to obtain the necessary data. The study revealed the main tendencies of language use of Russian youth, as well as the most distinct language attitudes in different cities. The results showed that the Russian community in Vilnius and Klaipeda is quite strong. The young generation tend to have stronger ties with other members of the group comparing to the Russian community in Kaunas. Russian remains the main language of communication in Russian families in Klaipėda and Vilnius. Meanwhile, in Kaunas, the Lithuanian language became the main language in both the public and private sectors. According to the collected data, school is one of the biggest influences in the formation of linguistic repertoire. A social network created in an educational institution might have even greater impact on a young person’s linguistic attitudes than family and its language policies. Other studies also showed that young individuals want to fit in, so they usually choose the language their peers use (Vilkienė, 2011; Geben, 2013 and others). Further linguistic research could examine larger groups, different ethnic minorities, observe the development of language use tendencies. Also, the information has to be updated periodically.

Keywords

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