XLVIII Международная филологическая научная конференция

Linguistic and Ethno-cultural self-perception of Pontic Greeks in the North Caucasus

Denis Yurievich Zubalov
Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики»

Греческий институт
12:40 - 13:05

Ключевые слова, аннотация

Language shift, identity, Pontic Greeks.


The present paper examines the current sociolinguistic situation of Pontic Greeks living in the North Caucasus, and more precisely, in the Stavropol region, in Russia. More concretely, this paper investigates the status of the Russian language and the ethnic/national identity of the members of this community. A Pontic Greek community in Russia could be characterized as bilingual since two languages are frequently spoken among its members on a regular basis.
I am arguing that the Russian language enjoys a high status among Pontic Greeks since the vast majority of them consider this language as their mother tongue. With regard to ethnic self-perception of Pontic Greeks there is no a single and homogeneous view on this issue, and therefore, different ethnonyms such as ‘Greek’, ‘Pontian’, ‘Greek Pontian’, ‘Russian Pontian’, ‘local Greek’ are employed. In this light, the link between language (mother tongue) and ethnic identity of Pontic Greeks is not clear. In this respect, an attempt is made to shed some light on how ethnic identity of Pontic Greeks is perceived and reflected in their language preferences and whether the age factor has to play a role in this enterprise.
A mixed-method approach was employed in collecting the data. In total, 111 questionnaires were collected and 19 semi-structured interviews were conducted. Likewise, data from ethnographic observations were collected.