IS RUSSIAN DECOMMODIFYING IN CATALONIA?

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Abstract


The data collected in an ethnographic study conducted between 2014 and 2016 in tourist areas in Catalonia, Spain shows that the mastery of Russian has become a profitable commodity in Spanish tourism industry. The purpose of this paper is to show where and how Russian is used in the service industry and trace the commodification of the language over time. Against the background of fluctuating numbers of Russian-speaking visitors, this analysis will contribute to a better understanding of processes of language commodification and decommodification and the relationship between wider political and economic con-texts and valorisation of particular languages and speakers.

Miquel Cabal-Guarro

miquelcabal@ub.edu
Research Centre for Sociolinguistics and Communication (CUSC) University of Barcelona 585 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Miquel Cabal-Guarro, PhD in Linguistics at the University of Barcelona, Catalonia. He works as a literary translator and researcher in Sociolinguistics. Amongst his translations into Catalan, there are novels and plays of renowned authors as Dostoyevski, Tolstoy, Tsvetaeva, Dovlatov, Platonov or Chekhov. He is currently collaborating with the Research Centre for Sociolinguistics and Communication (CUSC) and the Group for the Study of Endangered Languages (GELA) at the University of Barcelona. Research interests: Sociolinguistics of the post-Soviet space, especially in Crimea and Ukraine, as well as the role of Russian in the post-Soviet countries.

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