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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."



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Dissertation Information


Title: Regional Phonetic Variation in Modern Greek Add Dissertation
Author: Anastassia Loukina Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Oxford, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics
Completed in: 2008
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonetics; Sociolinguistics;
Subject Language(s): Greek, Modern
Director(s): John Coleman

Abstract: The thesis looks at the phonetic properties of Greek spoken in Thessaly and
Cyprus – two Greek-speaking areas with different history, demographics and
presumably different phonetic features – and compares them to Athenian
Greek in order to determine how profound the differences are between these
varieties and examine the factors which might have contributed to their
development.

The study is based on original data recorded by the author in Cyprus,
Athens and Thessaly from the speakers of the same age and social group. The
recordings consisted of spontaneous monologues; the effect of factors which
are of less interest for this study was minimized by means of a carefully
selected sampling method.

The study confirmed the existence of some well-known regional features of
Modern Greek and provided more precise phonetic descriptions of these
features. It also revealed further regional differences in finer phonetic
details. Most of these differences have been previously mentioned in
detailed impressionistic descriptions of Modern Greek dialects, but so far
have not been widely recognized in studies on Modern Greek dialectology.

An important finding of this thesis is that the phonetic features usually
described as typical of a specific variety, may also occur in the other
varieties. It was shown that the difference between the dialects often lies
not in the presence or absence of a certain feature, but rather in the
extent or frequency of use of this feature, especially in quick casual speech.

Comparison with published descriptions of contact languages of each of the
variety showed that in many cases the features commonly occurring in a
given variety are also described for its contact languages. I argue that
the spread of a certain feature to a greater extent in one variety than in
another may be related to the presence of this feature in another language
or languages that is or was spoken in the region.