From commodification to weaponization: The Russian language as ‘pride’ and ‘profit’ in Russia’s transnational discourses

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Abstract

The article expands the debate about the interaction and conflict of linguistic commodification with other values attached to a language. It interrogates Russian dominant discourse produced between 2010-2015, focusing on how it attributes the values of ‘pride’ and ‘profit’ to the Russian language in three transnational contexts: the narrative of ‘compatriots’ outside Russia, the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. It argues that the discursive construction of Russian as a means for material advancement is constantly intertwined with manufacturing the transnational semantics of belonging to Russia (the transnational ‘pride’). This is often overlaid with the instrumental value-attribution for Russian for establishing and perpetuating power relations, exerting control and, finally, warmongering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)443-456
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Volume20
Issue number4
Early online date26 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017

Keywords

  • sociolinguistics
  • Russian
  • linguistic commodification
  • discourse
  • transnational
  • globalization
  • linguistic weaponization

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