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The Russian Language Outside the Nation

Edited by Lara Ryazanova-Clarke

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The first book to examine Russian as a minority language in different countries

The collapse of the Soviet Union dramatically changed the global distribution of the Russian language. Apart from Russia, it is now spoken in fourteen successor states of the former Soviet Union, while the increased mobility of Russian speakers has expanded russophone communities across the world.

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Introduction: the Russian language, challenged by globalisation, Lara Ryazanova-Clarke
Part I: Russian and its legal status
The legal status of Russian and Russian speakers in the near abroad, Michael Newcity
The Russian language in Ukraine: complicit in genocide, or victim of state-building?, Bill Bowring
Part II: Linguistic perceptions and symbolic values
The Russian language in Belarus: language use, speaker identities and metalinguistic discourse, Curt Woolhiser
What is Russian in Ukraine? Popular beliefs regarding the social roles of the language, Volodymyr Kulyk
Part III: Russian speaking communities and identity negotiations
Post-Soviet Russian-speaking diaspora in Italy: results of an empirical sociolinguistic survey, Monica Perotto
Ethnolinguistic vitality and acculturation orientations of Russian-speakers in Estonia, Martin Ehala and Anastassia Zabrodskaja
Linguistic performance of ‘Russianness’ among Russian-Israeli parents: discourse analysis of child-raising practices in immigrant community, Claudia Zbenovich
Part IV: Language contact and globalisation of Russian
Similarities and differences between American-immigrant Russian of the 1970s and ‘80s and post-Soviet Russian in the Motherland, David Andrews
Predictors of pluricentricity: lexical divergences between Latvian Russian and Russian Russian, Alexandr Berdichevskis
Part V: Globalisation of Russian as soft power
Russian with an accent: globalisation and post-Soviet imaginary, Lara Ryazanova-Clarke

About the Author

Lara Ryazanova-Clarke is a Senior Lecturer in Russian and Academic Director of the Princess Dashkova Russian Centre at the University of Edinburgh. She works in several fields within Russian language studies: sociocultural linguistics, discourse analysis, metaphorical studies, language policy, and the nexus between language, ideology and identity.


Making an important contribution to emerging sociolinguistics of globalisation, this wide-ranging, comprehensive, and up-to-date collection explores political and demographic causes of unprecedented expansion of Russian in the globalised world. This volume offers intriguing insights into legal, social, economic, and sociolinguistic complexities of the ongoing transformation of the Russian linguasphere.

- Aneta Pavlenko, Temple University

Makes a major contribution to the sociolinguistics of Russian, the study of language diasporas, and the sociolinguistics of globalization. Lara Ryazanova-Clarke has assembled an impressive group of authors who apply diverse sociolinguistic approaches, including frameworks of linguistic vitality, conversational analysis, language policy, language in contact, and sociolinguistic analysis of language regimes, to present a comprehensive study of Russian as the language of the 'accidental diaspora'. An invaluable resource to anyone interested in the sociolinguistics of global Russian.

- Irina Dubinina, Brandeis University, Slavic and East European Journal

The volume presents many different aspects of Russian outside the nation. All the chapters present high quality research and the introduction connects them smoothly.

- Liubov Baladzhaeva, University of Haifa, Linguist List

Thus, this is a timely, welcome first volume on the current position of Russian outside Russia. The work opens with a thought-provoking introduction [and] should be of interest to those concerned with language, sociolinguistics, and post-Soviet studies. Of course, there is so much more that waits to be explored in this exciting field of Russian and globalization. Hopefully, many new volumes will be forthcoming.

- Isabelle Kreindler, University of Haifa, Slavic Review

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