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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: The Consequences of Language Contact: Armenian and Maronite Arabic in contact with Cypriot Greek Add Dissertation
Author: Chryso Hadjidemetriou Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Essex, PhD in Linguistics
Completed in: 2009
Linguistic Subfield(s): Sociolinguistics;
Director(s): Peter Trudgill
Enam Al Wer

Abstract: The linguistic situation in Cyprus has drawn the attention of many
linguists who have mainly focused on the Cypriot Greek variety spoken in
the government-controlled area of the Island. It has been reported in the
past that little was known about the situation of the Armenian and
Arabic-speaking communities of Cyprus (Karyolemou and Goutsos 2004). This
study reports the consequences of contact between Armenian and Cypriot
Greek (CG) and Kormakiti Maronite Arabic (KMA) and CG.

The study is based on empirical data collected through interviews and a
written test. 41 Armenians and 48 Maronites were recorded; 5 Greek-Cypriot
monolinguals were also recorded as a control group; additionally, 45
elementary school Armenian pupils participated in a written test, and 21
monolingual Cypriot Greek pupils were included as a control group. The
analysis included 15 phonological features, and three morphosyntactic
features. The phonological results with respect to the contact with KMA
show that KMA speakers alternated between [X] and [x] in CG. The use of [X]
was found in bilingual KMA and CG speakers. Transfer from KMA is claimed to
be the reason of the appearance of this feature.

The phonological results regarding contact with Armenian show that the
Armenian speakers have a tendency to change the manner of articulation of
particular sounds in their CG (i.e [d] or [t] for [D], [t] for [T], [g] or
[k] for /ƒ/, and /k/ for /x/). Also, it was observed that there is a
tendency to adopt more standard features in their CG (i.e. when the choice
of selecting between dialectal doublets is present, they chose the more
standard variants).

When examining speech rate and pauses, the results showed the Maronites and
the Greek Cypriots produced fewer pauses and faster speech rate results
than the Armenian. When examining morphosyntactic features in the CG of the
Armenians, the Armenians did not use the definite article in environments
where the article is obligatory. Armenian children also produced more
definite article deviations than the monolingual Cypriot Greek children.
The examination of the assignment of grammatical gender in the Armenians'
CG showed that the Armenians produced grammatical gender deviations. It was
found that both groups showed a tendency to assign the neuter gender in
masculine and feminine nouns. Similar results were noted when Armenian
children were tested.

The analysis of case and number assignment in the CG of the Armenians found
deviations in this area to be uncommon in comparison with the definite
article and grammatical gender assignment deviations.