The aim of the project “Languages of Moscow” is to describe linguistic diversity and language function in Moscow as a linguistic area. The investigation of the language situation in Moscow, the largest city in Europe, is an important linguistic and cultural task today as the language situation in the Moscow metropolis has practically not been studied.
The present project investigates the total number of languages spoken in Moscow and tries to estimate the number of their speakers. It also studies the geography of language spread in various parts of the capital and the degree of language maintenance in different ethnic/age groups. In addition, the project examines the functional aspects of language use in ethnic groups, i.e. the functioning of languages in the public sphere, including that of education and the media. Equally important is to investigate the degree of knowledge of the Russian language among the members of groups whose native language is other than Russian and to look at the ways these groups learn the Russian language. Special attention is paid to cultural, social and linguistic factors influencing the adaptation process of foreign students to the Russian education.
The subject of our research is to study how different languages function in Moscow and the moscow metropolitan area as well as the existence and functioning of subsystems of the national language of Russia, functional variants, and sublanguages of different ethnic groups.
The study of languages of Moscow is important for such areas of linguistics and related disciplines as sociolinguistics, areal linguistics, linguistic geography, linguistic anthropology, and ethnolinguistics among others.
The study of the language situation in Moscow is necessary for the proper formation of the language policy. The data on the actual language function will help develop educational programmes for the full integration of foreign migrants. This study could serve as an example for the analysis of language situations in other cities of Russia, which remain under-researched as well.