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Russian Language Abroad: Viewing Language through the Lens of Commodification/Русский язык за рубежом: взгляд на язык сквозь призму коммодификации

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Russian Journal of Linguistics
Number of pages30
Pages (from-to)463-492
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>Multiple languages

Abstract

After a successful 2-volume issue on discourse analysis (Ponton, Larina 2016, 2017) we are happy to offer the readers of Russian Journal of Linguistics another special issue this time dedicated to a new sociolinguistic topic — commodification of language. We will discuss what language commodification is, focus on its antecedents and methods of study and consider commodification of the Russian language in different countries — Lithuania, India, China, Israel, Spain, Norway, Finland and Bulgaria. All the contribu-tions document the historical moment when Russian became one of the most popular languages in the international service industry within the framework of transnational leisure- and shopping tourism. Furthermore, the contributions to this special issue un-derscore how geopolitical, economic, social, and demographic factors influence processes of commodification and decomodification of the language. Viewed from the economic perspective, these essays draw attention to motivations behind attempts to turn Russian into a ‘valuable’ communicative resource. Finally, the papers explicitly or implicitly investigate the role of teaching and learning Russian as part of the language commodi-fication, revealing how state and corporate policies promote the learning of Russian and boost individual motivation to acquire proficiency in Russian in order to meet mar-ket-driven demand that calls for the linguistic accommodation of Russian-speaking tourists.