Article published in:Gender, Language and the Periphery: Grammatical and social gender from the margins
Edited by Julie Abbou and Fabienne H. Baider
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 264] 2016
► pp. 227–256
When She and He become It
The use of grammatical gender in the Greek of the Armenians of Cyprus
This paper is based on empirical data with adult speakers bilingual in Armenian and Cypriot Greek and examines the results of the contact between Armenian and Cypriot Greek (CG) in Cyprus. The focus is on the use of the grammatical gender of CG by the Armenians of Cyprus. The speakers interviewed are divided into two groups: (a) Cypriot-Armenians (CyAs) who were born in or arrived to Cyprus as infants, and (b) non-Cypriot-Armenians (non-CyAs) who arrived to Cyprus as teenagers or young adults. Variables such as age, sex, generation for the CyA group and length of exposure to CG and intensity of contact for the non-CyA group are taken into consideration. The overall results show that the use of grammatical gender is problematic for both groups exhibiting similarities in terms of the location of grammatical deviations in noun phrases, difficulties in gender agreement, and the preference for the use of the neuter gender.
Keywords: Armenian, grammatical gender, Greek-Cypriot, language in contact, multilingualism, second language acquisition
Published online: 16 December 2016
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