The structural similarities of the Middle Volga languages, sometimes referred to as the Volga Sprachbund, would not have been possible without a significant amount of multilingualism. In contact zones, multilingualism was normal.
Moreover, following the conquest of Kazan in 1552, Tatar remained the lingua franca of the Middle Volga. For example, if a Mari met an Udmurt, they would have likely spoken Tatar to each other. Continue reading