Edited by Ludmila Isurin and Claudia Maria Riehl
[IMPACT: Studies in Language, Culture and Society 44] 2017
► pp. 11–40
Chapter 1. Russian-Germans
Historical background, language varieties, and language use
This paper illustrates the background of the so-called Russian-Germans: It describes the region of origin of the settlers and the original dialects spoken, the language development and language use in the respective settlements, and addresses changes in language use and language attitude in the post-war period. Based on narrative interviews conducted in the Volga region, the Ural area and St. Petersburg in 2001 with 40 informants of four different generations, the use of the different varieties of German is demonstrated and its consequences for language transmission and language use after repatriation is discussed. Moreover, the chapter shows what impact the change in language use and attitude had on identity formation in the Russian German community. In doing so, the paper illustrates what language repertoire, attitude and identity concept Russian-Germans had at their disposal before “re-migrating” to Germany.