Article published in:Stability and Divergence in Language Contact: Factors and Mechanisms
Edited by Kurt Braunmüller, Steffen Höder and Karoline Kühl
[Studies in Language Variation 16] 2014
► pp. 163–178
Does convergence generate stability?
The case of the Cypriot Greek koiné
The diglossic situation between Cypriot and Standard Modern Greek is still a long way from being resolved; claims to the contrary often rest on the consideration of some structural properties of the emergent Cypriot Greek koiné, which are, arguably, of a ‘mixed’ nature, thereby pointing to a significant degree of convergence with Standard Modern Greek. Based on a host of naturalistic data as well as data collected quantitatively, I show that (a) convergence of the Cypriot Greek koiné to Standard Greek is only partial, as convergence qua structural mixing is mostly achieved through (surface) morphological, as well as lexical, choices, and that (b) the salient aspects of such convergence allow for the Cypriot Greek koiné to emerge as a relatively stable linguistic variety acting as a robust ‘buffer’ against contact-induced de-dialectization as a result of its relatively high (c)overt, prestige among Cypriot Greek speakers, which is, in turn, due to is perceived, if not actual, convergence with the Standard.
Published online: 26 November 2014
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