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Personal Names in the Families of Russian Germans: Challenges of Self-Identification of the Ethnic Group


The research deals with the topical issue of changing the ‘ethnolinguistic and cultural area’, a shift in the system of ethnolinguistic and cultural orientations and values of the people. The problem is discussed from the perspective of anthroponymic material in the families of ethnic Germans born in Russia, whose ancestors settled on Russian lands since the reign of Catherine II. The primary purpose of the study is to carry out a comprehensive analysis of some (often controversial) aspects of (self)identification of the linguistic personality of Russian Germans from the perspective of the corpus of personal names. Using the methods of functional historical analysis, continuous sampling, interview, systemisation, and interpretation, the authors of this study, based on the analysis of a relatively large corpus of collected personal names, as well as based on answers of 200 respondents, who are descendants of Russian Germans, attempted to determine which names are chosen for children and what language Russian Germans speak today. The problem is considered from a synergistic perspective: sociolinguistics, linguoculturology and ethnolinguistics, as well as anthroponymics. The authors conclude that the choice of names in the families of Russian Germans of German/non-German origin depends on several factors— traditions of the family; place of residence; the level of education; profession/specialisation. In the anthroponymicon of Russian Germans, under the influence of personal names of the surrounding ethnic groups, socio-cultural and historical changes result in internal changes in language units.


Russian Germans; Culture; Family; Anthroponym; Language as Native; Language as Non-native; Bilingual, Linguistic Consciousness, Interlingual Personality; Ethnic Codes


Author Biography

Daniya Salimova

Doctor of philological science, professor

in Yelabuga Institute of Kazan Federal University Russia


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