The presentation is based on the preliminary analysis of the Language Use and Ethnic Identity in Lithuanian Cities project results that was initiated by Multilingual Cities Project (further referred as MCP, coordinated by Babylon – the Centre for Studies of Multilingualism – at Tilburg University). MCP served as a “good practice” example of how to survey big numbers of respondents and find out the existing linguistic situation. The project carried out in Lithuania in 2007–2009 was aiming to investigate and measure the relation between the languages used in the biggest Lithuanian cities and the ethnic identity. One of the project’s aims was also to foresee the perspectives of maintaining and preserving the ethnic identity. The main aim of this presentation is to show the relationship between language use and the people ethnic identity in the largest cities of Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda. The methodological model of qualitative (in-depth interviews) and quantitative (questionnaires) research was used. General as well as specific, city-based, analysis and preliminary results will be presented. The issues of language use and language attitudes and ties with ethnic identity will be discussed, as well as the relationship between major and minor ethnic groups. Special attention will be paid to the historical developments of the cities, their current linguistic and ethnic situation, dominating and other language varieties as well as language choice and vitality.
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