Kalbinis Kauno praeities ir dabarties savitumas

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Kalbinis Kauno praeities ir dabarties savitumas
Alternative Title:
Sociolinguistic portrait of Kaunas: past and present
Miestai ir kalbos / mokslinė redaktorė Meilutė Ramonienė Vilnius: Vilniaus universiteto leidykla, 2010. P. 231-249.
Daugiakalbystė; Kalbos miestuose; Tarmės miestuose; Sociolingvistika
Multilingualism; Languages in cities; Dialects in cities; Sociolinguistics
Summary / Abstract:

LTSavita Kauno istorija lėmė savitą šio miesto gyvenimą. Istoriniai virsmai ir perversmai suformavo Kauno tapatumo ypatybes, gyvenimo būdą, kalbinius įpročius ir papročius bei santykius. Dažnai girdimos stereotipinės mintys apie kauniečius, išankstinės nuostatos apie Kauną, kaip sociolingvistiškai neįdomų, homogenišką miestą, yra tikrovė, su kuria susiduriama kiekvieną dieną. Tačiau patyrinėjus Kauną išsamiau, galima susidaryti šiek tiek kitokį vaizdą. Kauno miesto raida turėtų būti ypač įdomi sociolingvistams, nes čia kelis šimtmečius įvairiose erdvėse - politinėje, kultūrinėje, ekonominėje - nuolatos vyko daugybė etninių ir kalbinių pokyčių. [Iš straipsnio, p. 231]

ENThe identity of Kaunas today, including the prevailing linguistic habits and language attitudes, has been formed by its particular historical development. Although today Kaunas is often stereotypically characterised as being linguistically homogeneous and therefore uninteresting for sociolinguistic research, a closer look at the history of the city produces a slightly different impression. The political, cultural and economic development of Kaunas in recent centuries has shaped its ethnic and linguistic profile. Kaunas has always been a multicultural city with a spirit of tolerance and understanding. Although the findings of the study show that 100 per cent of the population of Kaunas speak Lithuanian, which distinguishes it from the other two cities under investigation, this does not imply that Kaunas is monolingual. It rather suggests that the representatives of various ethnic and linguistic groups have integrated fully into the city community and its social life, at the same time preserving their own ethnic language and culture. Another group of findings shows that 93% of respondents are competent in Russian. Lithuanians use Russian to communicate with their neighbours or colleagues of other ethnic groups and learn Russian for economic or other reasons. Non-Lithuanians are often bilingual and have a certain degree of competence in a third language. Many Lithuanians are also multilingual, using three languages - Lithuanian, Russian or Polish (particularly more senior respondents) and English (particularly younger respondents). Russian as the only native language is spoken mostly by respondents in the age group 30-74, whose parents are non-Lithuanian and were born outside Lithuania, whereas representatives of the younger generation (15-29) and persons from mixed families speak two native languages.This points to a stronger Russian ethnic identity among the older generation who have inherited their ethnic language and culture from their non-Lithuanian parents and have failed to fully integrate into the society they live in. The younger generation, on the other hand, are highly competent in Lithuanian and consider it one of their native languages because they were born in Lithuania. Their ethnic Russian identity is often weaker and their Russian skills (especially reading and writing) are poorer than those of the older generation. The young have successfully integrated into the Lithuanian community. The integration of ethnic Russians into Lithuanian culture is also reflected in their attitudes towards Lithuanian and its usage. The respondents believe that Lithuanian is most appropriate in business, higher education, public notices, humour and personal communication. This clearly shows their strong affiliation with Lithuanian culture and support of the interests of the country. The study also suggests that only a small proportion of the Russian respondents emphasize the importance of Russian ethnic identity for their children because they want them to have better opportunities in the future. It is likely that these people have at some point experienced animosity or intolerance on ethnic grounds and therefore have learned to adjust themselves to the situation, e.g., avoiding the use of Russian in public. These respondents, particularly the younger ones, are examples of cultural and linguistic assimilation and loss of Russian ethnic identity. They use Lithuanian more often than Russian and identify themselves as partly Lithuanian. The study shows that both Lithuanians and non-Lithuanians in Kaunas consider English to be an important, useful and most prestigious language, necessary for business, science and international communication. The younger respondents indicate that they use English to communicate with Russian or Polish speakers.The older respondents consider Lithuanian to be more important than English. They use it not only in public situations, but also in private communication. Senior respondents place higher emphasis on the importance of learning Lithuanian than younger respondents do. The study also shows a clear-cut distinction between the generations in ethnic minority groups in Kaunas. Younger respondents are bilingual (competent in Lithuanian and Russian) while learning a third language (English) and they use media in different languages to access information. The study concludes that Kaunas is quite homogeneous as far as ethnicity is concerned. New immigrants (e.g., Chinese, Ukrainian, American) are not numerous. However, increasing international mobility may increase immigration, so it is important to constantly observe and analyse the linguistic situation in Kaunas, particularly the ways and languages with which the inhabitants of Kaunas communicate and learn from each other, regardless of their linguistic or ethnic background. [From the publication]

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2020-05-26 20:48:15
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