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Understanding the present through the past: Processes of koineisation in Cyprus

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Studies of Greek as spoken today in Cyprus draw attention to a generalised variety of Cypriot Greek, free from local variation within the island, yet diverging in several ways from the standard spoken on the mainland. In this article, I attempt first to classify this variety, examining whether it exhibits structural and sociohistorical characteristics of koinés. Having established today's generalised Cypriot variety as a koiné, I then trace its evolution, arguing that an early koiné already came into existence in the late 14th c., playing an important role in the formation of both the modern Cypriot dialect and today's koiné.
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Keywords: Cypriot dialect; Frankish/Lusignan kingdom of Cyprus; Koineisation; levelling; mixing; simplification; standardisation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Cambridge

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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