This article deals with Erzya, their affiliations, where they live and where their language is spoken. A geographical presentation is outlined for where Erzya has been traditionally spoken over the past one hundred years, as documented in the collections of Heikki Paasonen. Use of the language as a medium of communication is assessed in the rural and urban settings of various institutions: the family, education, the market, the Church and theatre. Due to limited official documentation of the Erzya as a nation or ethnic group, some of the facts are based upon personal experience and information accumulated by the author during his many trips to the Volga Region between 1992 and 2007. The Erzya language is encountered in many of the countries of the former Soviet Union. It is used the most in the rural setting in non-official matters. The new media of today: telephones, Wikimedia, etc. provide Erzya with a new niche in urban communication.
- 612 Kielitieteet, kirjallisuus