A general account of the languages of the Soviet Union, one of the most diverse multinational and multilingual states in the world as well as one of the most important. There are some 130 languages spoken in the USSR, belonging to five main families and ranging from Russian, which is the first language of about 130,000,000 people, to Aluet, spoken only by 96 (in the 1970 census). Dr Comrie has two general aims. First, he presents the most important structural features of these languages, their genetic relationships and classification and their distinctive typological features. Secondly, he examines the social and political background to the use of functioning of the various languages in a multilingual state. The volume will be of importance and interest to linguists and to those with a broader professional interest in the Soviet Union.