As a basic unit of sociolinguistic inquiry, the family context has been traditionally placed at a central position in its key role when it comes to transmitting a particular language from generation to generation (Fishman 1991). I conducted individual semi-structured in-depth interviews with 30 couples from Russian-Estonian mixed families. The couples were chosen to reflect the sociolinguistic diversity of Estonian regions: the bilingual capital Tallinn, the dominantly Russian-speaking Ida-Viru County (in north-eastern Estonia) and the dominantly Estonian-speaking southern Estonia. There were also three different age groups (25-39, 40-59 and over 60 years old). The couples all represent the traditional family model. The interview consisted of three parts: (1) the socialization of each individual, (2) the socialization of the couple, and (3) the socialization of the children. My approach provided a deeper understanding of how mixed couples experience and shape processes of transmission through the use of linguistic and cultural resources.
Anastassia Zabrodskaja, Tallinn University, University of Tartu, Estonia