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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

The Cultural and Language Effects of the Influence of Russian on West Siberian Tatars

E D Lawson
Z Zavyalova
ANS/CSSN, United States

This investigation proposes to show how political, economic, and cultural forces can affect a minority indigenous people speaking a different language (in this case, West Siberian Tatar in Tomsk, Siberia and the surrounding area). Our hypothesis tests whether naming patterns in the villages (where the dominant first language is Tatar) compared with naming patterns of Tatars who have gone to the city (many of whom have Russian names) might give a measure of how far russification of Tatars has gone. Further, we hope to suggest how this people or any people can be accommodated in such situations. (Russification here refers to the adoption of the Russian language or other cultural characteristic either voluntarily or not.) A second pressure has been urbanization, that non-Russian speakers who moved to urban areas have been forced to use Russian in the business world. One major question is the extent the pressure to use Russian has affected the naming of the children whose parents’ original language was non-Russian. The data are to be analyzed in terms of time periods, religious background, first language spoken, where a second language is spoken, and the name’s language origin, meaning, and significance (West Siberian Tatar is a non-written language).

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