The status of English in Cyprus
There is growing concern about the spread and influence of English worldwide. In Cyprus, the influence of English on the Greek Cypriot dialect has attracted much interest in recent years, becoming the subject of frequent media attention and, at times, creating acrimonious public discussion. While some people have reacted mildly to this phenomenon, others express strong views, seeing the ‘influx’ of foreign words as a ‘linguistic invasion’ that ‘contaminates’ their language, and referring to the ‘suppression’ of the Greek language by English. Such ‘protectors’ of language warn of a colonialist ‘dominance’ of English in the lives of Cypriots. This paper (a) examines concerns and fears that were expressed recently about the influx of English loanwords in Cypriot Greek and in general the influence of English in Cyprus and (b) reviews papers presented at a conference held in 1992 that dealt with the dominance of English and the ‘suppression’ of Cypriot Greek.
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