A study has been conducted of language choice and language use by a small Moslem community-the Adyges, living in the North West Caucasus of the Soviet Union. A particular aim of this work was to look for possible differences between rural and urban communities and between different age groups. Approches used included the analysis of questionnaires administered through social networks, interviews and observations, e. g. of book use.
It was found that among rural schoolchildren Adyge was widely spoken in conversations with grandparents and parents ; whereas within their own peer group over one third of children used Russian exclusively.
In the case of rural adults over 90% used Adyge both at home and with friends.
Children experienced considerable difficulties in writing in their native language and showed disinclination to read Adyge. Adult Adyges also preferred to read books in Russian even when the same book was available in Adyge.
Urban Adyges tended to use their native language significantly less in all situations (at home, with friends, shopping, at work, at the doctors') than rural Adyges.
A model is presented which depicts in diagrammatic form the current status of the Adyge language.
The Linguistic Society of Japan