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Sociolinguistic survey and documentation of endangered Turkic varieties in post-Soviet Kazakhstan

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Title: Sociolinguistic survey and documentation of endangered Turkic varieties in post-Soviet Kazakhstan
Authors: Nevskaya, Irina
Tazhibayeva, Saule
Tussupov, Jamalbek
Gehrke, Ralf
Issue Date: 03 Mar 2017
Description: This lecture presents some results of the project “Interaction of Turkic languages and cultures in post-Soviet Kazakhstan” (2014-2017) aimed at collecting sociolinguistic data on Kazakhstani Turkic minority languages and documenting their endangered varieties. The project, financed by the Volkswagen Foundation, is carried out at the Free Berlin University, the Frankfurt University, the Eurasian University in Astana, and at the Taraz State University by a group of German and Kazakh researchers. We document these varieties and process the obtained data using the software “Field Linguist’s Toolbox” for transcription, translation and morphological analysis, Arbil for the metadata as all the audio and video recordings will be stored on the server of the MPI in Nijmegen (IMDI Corpora – Donated Corpora – TMK). The sociolinguistic data were obtained by means of a questionnaire composed for this purpose and presented to representatives of various Turkic ethnic groups in Kazakhstan. All the obtained data are stored in open-access online databases, see http://tuyrki.weebly.com presenting the already processed 2235 interviews. This databank allows for filtering the data according to 191 parameters (age, education, occupation, migration history, ethnic identity, language use, language attitudes, etc.) that can be combined according to the users’ needs. The obtained information is visualized in the form of diagrams. In particular, our lecture will describe the sociolinguistic situation of the young generations of Meskhetian Turks, born in the already independent Kazakhstan. They are descendents of the Turks deported to Kazakhstan from Georgia during the Second World War and speaking various varieties of Turkish, or other Oghusic Turkic varieties that have not been documented prior to this project. Their self identification is Ahiska Turks with two major subgroups of Yerli Ahiska, linguistically a Turkish variety, and Terekeme Ahiska; the latter speak a dialect of Azeri. Alongside with Ahiska, there are Xemshili Turks that are supposedly Turkicized Armenians, Laz Turks that are representatives of Turkicized Caucasian ethnic groups, and other Turkish speaking groups that refer to themselves as Karadenizli (people of the Black Sea), Osmanli (Ottoman people) etc. The native varieties of all these groups can be regarded as separate Oghusic varieties of Turkic; they all are strongly endangered: younger generations switch to Standard Turkish thanks to Turkish mass media, widely spread in Kazakhstan, and the increased mobility of these groups themselves: many young people study and work in Turkey. Thus, it is a paradox situation: the spreading of Standard Turkish endangers the preservation of Meskhetian native varieties.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/42044
Appears in Collections:5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)



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