The Finno-Ugric languages from a pluricentric viewpoint


Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest



Keywords: Finno-Ugric, Finnic, Volgaic, Permic, contiguous region, identity, Russian Federation

The aim of our talk is to provide an overview on how Finno-Ugric languages with different national varieties spoken in Europe fit into the pluricentric category.

The languages in focus are Finnish, Karelian, Mordvinian, Mari, Udmurt, and Komi, each of which form a contiguous region, some being used however also in non-contiguous areas.

Questions we will seek answers to include especially the following:

(1)  How do pluricentric languages of the Finnic, Volgaic, and Permic branches of the Finno-Ugric family compare with other pluricentric languages of Europe?

(2)   Is the relationship between the national varieties of pluricentric Finno-Ugric languages symmetric or asymmetric?

(3)  Has the relationship led to the emergence of different national identities, and if so, on what basis?

(4)  Can any trends towards or away from pluricentricity be observed among the languages at issue?

(5)   How concepts like dominance, power, and official status can be interpreted in the context of minority languages of the Russian Federation?