The project of the North-Eastern Federal University “Preservation of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development of the Arctic and Subarctic of the Russian Federation” became one of the winners of the eighth competition for grants of the Government of the Russian Federation for state support of scientific research. The amount of funding for three years is about 90 million rubles.
The project supervisor from NEFU, Professor Liudmila Zamorshchikova of the Institute of Modern Languages and International Studies, notes that society faces the threat of losing diverse ethnic and cultural identities. “Our modern challenges pose a significant task for scientists in the humanities and social sciences to solve a wide range of problems. Protecting languages and cultures contributes to the preservation of ethnic originality, identity, and the vital energy of any nation. Unfortunately, today many languages of the peoples of the North are on the verge of extinction,” Professor Zamorshchikova commented. Within the framework of the project, preservation of linguistic and cultural diversity is studied as a scientific problem of linguistic ecology in the context of sustainable development and the well-being of communities, first of all, the Indigenous peoples of the North living in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and adjacent (subarctic) territories. Linguistic ecology is associated with the study of factors affecting the functioning and development of language. Our work involves finding the means for preserving and enriching language, monitoring the processes occurring in the spoken language. The protection of a person’s native language is considered an important indicator of a society’s well-being: language not only reflects, but also forms thinking, regulates behaviour and interpersonal relations, and is a universal tool for management, education, and development. “An important result of the project will be the involvement of young researchers, PhD students, the involving students in scientific research, and the training of academic personnel. We plan to attract students and PhD students from the Institute of Modern Languages and International Studies, and the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Peoples of the Northeast of the NEFU. An International Laboratory for Arctic Ecology at NEFU is also planned. The laboratory will lay the foundations for a scientific school of linguistic ecology – a comprehensive study of languages, cultures, and the social environment of their existence as one of the important indicators of sustainable development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and adjacent (subarctic) territories.” Professor Zamorshchikova added that the laboratory will combine the approaches and methods of the humanities’ different disciplines – linguistics, sociolinguistics, ethnosociology, as well as the methods of natural science in a comprehensive study of modern interactions between human, nature, landscape, and culture. This will contribute to the development of a new, integrated approach to solving relevant issues of preservation, revitalization, and development of languages in the context of sustainable development of the region’s ecosystem and the well-being of specific ethnic groups and multiethnic communities.