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ERIC Number: EJ1166035
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
What Language Advertises: Ethnographic Branding in the Linguistic Landscape of Yakutsk
Ferguson, Jenanne; Sidorova, Lena
Language Policy, v17 n1 p23-54 Feb 2018
Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Russia's Far Eastern Federal District, was often described in 19th and early 20th century accounts as being unique in the Russian Empire in that it was not a solely "Russian" city; rather, it was a Sakha (Yakut) place. Its population, Russian and Sakha alike, were conversant in the local Sakha language during that earlier period, though over the Soviet era, progressively stricter policies of Russification led to communicative norms shifting and the Sakha language becoming less visible (and audible) in this urban centre. Using a survey of Yakutsk's linguistic landscape in 2013-2015, we analyse the presence of Sakha and the indexical meanings connected to its usage; examples from the commercial sphere suggests it is becoming prominent in a campaign of "ethnographic branding" (Manning and Uplisashvili in "Am Anthropol" 109(4):626-641, 2007) that relies on significant Sakha historical figures, cosmological concepts, as well as references to the rural (and Sakha-associated) spaces of the Republic to create a sense of "Sakha-ness" in the city. Though Russian remains dominant within the linguistic landscape of the city both when considering top-down and bottom-up policy and planning, we draw attention to the places where Sakha is indeed being used to reveal the dynamics of creating a more "Sakha" Yakutsk, and create a kind of "commodified" authenticity (see Heller in "Annu Rev Anthropol" 39:101-104, 2010; Heller et al. in "J Socioling" 18(4):539-566, 2014; Coupland in "J Socioling" 7(3):417-431, 2003).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A