Language Changes, Code-switching and Social Markers in Modern Armenian
Diana Krasovskaya
(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Saturday (April 22nd), 13:15-13:40
Lipsius 148
In this presentation I will provide the preliminary research results of Armenian and Russian languages different usage types in diverse social communication situations in modern Armenia. I consider the code-switching between Russian, standard Armenian and spoken Armenian as social conditioned communication strategies. First of all, I try to set the historical context by outlining the cultural imperialism logic in late-soviet Armenia, where Russian language was used as a cultural/social/national advantage marker. This can be illustrated by the example of Armenian last names transformation into “higher-valued” ones by dropping the typical Armenian ending (-yan) in favour of typical Russian one (-ov), e.g. Avetisyan > Avetisov. 
I also analyse the influence of Russian language on the Armenian language changes through word borrowing and its impact on the formation of specific language styles such as “academic” speech.
Basing on the William Labov’s work I try to analyse the speech differences in various types of social interaction, to specify the choice of the language style, particular lexis and the articulation manner considering them to be important components of communicative competence.