Materials and Methodological Solutions
Edited By Mikko Laitinen and Anastassia Zabrodskaja
The presence of the Italian language in the linguistic landscapes of Moscow
Moscow, which today may be considered an example of a multilingual metropolitan city, presents an interesting case for linguistic landscape studies since Russian is de jure the dominant language, but several other languages de facto coexist with it.1 Migration has for long been an important contributing factor for the city growth and was considerable already during the Soviet times. The various landscapes of Moscow, both ethnic and linguistic, are in continuous evolution.2 The various ethnic groups usually do not live as compact communities;3 they are only formally homogeneous and mainly display considerable internal social stratification (Arutjunian 2005), but they do not appear to develop separatisms and form ghettos (Vendina 2011).
Though the local language policy enforces the paramount role of Russian, the commercial and cultural life of the city is so lively that its globalized look can only be interpreted as multicultural and multilingual. This article will show that despite the considerable presence of a range of languages and cultures in the linguistic landscape, Russian is by no means threatened by other languages, not even the most powerful ones. The central aim of this contribution is to investigate the vitality and use of Italian, which can be seen neither as a language ← 263 | 264 → of migration nor a powerful minority language, since the number of Italian population registered in Moscow is quite low.4 The small Italian population in Moscow is employed in an array of fields, and they do not live...
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