Sustainability of Estonian in the Era of Globalisation (EKKAM) is an interdisciplinary research program, focussing on the analysis and assessment of the ecology of the Estonian language in a globalised world and, using this particular case study, advancing the theory of language ecology. The research addresses the following four subtasks:

  1. what are the characteristics of the key linguistic environments where Estonian is used and the factors that shape these environments;
  2. how different linguistic environments affect speakers orientations towards the use of different languages;
  3. how the nature of the linguistic environment affects language choice, including intergenerational transmission;
  4. what is the interaction of different factors affecting language choice, intergenerational transmission and ultimately language sustainability.

As a result, this analysis will enable the team to assess the sustainability of Estonian in a complex manner, taking into account crucial environmental differences. Theoretically, this will enable the team to specify how different linguistic environments affect language sustainability in general, specifying the interaction of global, national and regional and minority languages in contemporary information society.

The work plan is scheduled from 2014 to 2019. The team is working at the Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics at the University of Tartu, and it is led by prof. Martin Ehala.