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Understanding diachronic change in Cappadocian Greek: The dialectological perspective

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This article challenges the widely held view that a series of pervasive diachronic innovations in Cappadocian Greek owe their development to language contact with Turkish. Placing particular emphasis on its genealogical relationships with the other dialects of Asia Minor, the claim is that language change in Cappadocian is best understood when considered within a larger dialectological context. Examining the limited use of the definite article as a case in point and in comparison with parallel developments attested in Pontic and Silliot Greek, it is shown in detail that the surface similarity of the outcomes of Cappadocian innovations to their Turkish structural equivalents represents the final stages in long series of language-internal developments whose origins predate the intensification of Cappadocian–Turkish contact. The article thus offers an alternative to contact-oriented approaches and calls for a revision of accepted views on the language-internal and -external dynamics that shaped Cappadocian into its modern form.
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Keywords: Asia Minor Greek (Pontic); Cappadocian; Turkish; dialectology; language contact

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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