Relationship between the identity and language attitudes toward mother tongue among young Udmurt people and Slovakian Hungarians

Authors: Ildikó Vančo (Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia)
István Kozmács (Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia)
Speakers: Ildikó Vančo, István Kozmács
Topic: Language, Community, Ethnicity
COMELA 2021 General Session


In our proceeding, we will shortly define the notion of minority, identify the basic issues of a sense of identity, and clarify the role of language in the maintenance of minorities and their identities. The group identity of minorities can be defined along three main factors which occur as historical, linguistic and cultural identity within a certain spatial and time frame. There are various group identities, and groups usually give special attention to some characteristic features, as language, race or religion (Hobsbawm 1994; Cseresnyési 2004). We will discuss the role of one of these in identity, namely, that of language. We will demonstrate the relationships of language and identity through language attitudes of nationalities Hungarians in Slovakia and Udmurts in Russia, which are similar in quota but different in their historical past and social situation today) (Shirobokova 2008; Kozmács 2008). We will ask what the role of language in different state formations is and whether identity maintenance plays a role in the maintenance of minority languages and linguistic diversity. The aspects of the research: who considers what a mother tongue; what is the relation between the mother tongue and the sense of origin; which are the main features of national affiliation, the importance of the mother tongue in national affiliation. The data are provided as results of a questionnaire survey. The Target groups of the research were university students as future intellectuals consequently opinion-shapers of the given ethnicity. Four groups were formed: Hungarian university students in Slovakia, Russian university students in Udmurtia, Udmurt university students in Udmurtia and Hungarian university students in Hungary.

Keywords: identity, language attitude, Udmurt, Hungarian