God speaks Skolt Sámi as well. Finnish Orthodox Church as a domain of language use among the Skolt Sámi in Sevettijärvi
This study describes how the Finnish Orthodox Church in Sevettijärvi functions as a domain of language use and furthermore analyses what role the Church has had in the process of the Skolt Sámi language revitalization. Many researchers have expressed the importance of the Orthodox Church in everyday life of Skolt Sámi, however none have focused on the Church in the Skolt Sámi context from a sociolinguistic point of view. This study builds on the theoretical concept of domains of language use developed by Joshua Fishman and examines the Finnish Orthodox Church in Sevettijärvi as a domain of language use. This thesis shows what factors influence the language choice in this domain, how the domain has developed, and how it has influenced the Skolt Sámi language outside this domain. Empirically, my study is based on ten semi-structured interviews and participant observation. I present my data divided into four main parts: religious literature, religious services, religious education, and other communication in the domain of the Orthodox Church (communication between the church and the members through media, between the clergy and parishioners, among parishioners and individual communication with the divine). In this thesis, I argue that the Orthodox Church has supported the Skolt Sámi language and its revitalization. At the same time, I show what hinders the further development of the Skolt Sámi language in this domain and what measures might be taken in order to strengthen the position of the Skolt Sámi language in the future.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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