A significant body of research has begun to explore the association between language and identity, a relationship that becomes more complex when considering multilingual communities. Important for this field, a number of studies have examined the interrelation between language and identity in the Cuban population in the USA, a case in which dominant (English) and minority language (Spanish) interaction has largely resulted in language maintenance and a positive correlation between language use and ethnic identity. While the Cuban population in Russia shares cultural and historical background with the well-studied US Cuban community, key differences allow for the examination of the role of several external factors (e.g. community size, lack of contact with monolingual speakers) on patterns of language use and identity. Employing quantitative survey methods and qualitative sociolinguistic interviews, the present study examines language use and language identity in the Cuban community in Russia, including both first and second-generation speakers. In contrast with the US Cuban community, results illustrate a shift towards the dominant language (Russian). Considering language and identity, results show the development of a dual identity, particularly among the second-generation speakers. The contribution of external factors on patterns of language use and identity is discussed.
Ethnic identity; language use; bilingualism; identity construction; heritage languages
Date of this Version
Yakushkina, Maria and Olson, Daniel J., "Language use and identity in the Cuban community in Russia" (2016). School of Languages and Cultures Faculty Publications. Paper 4.