Edited by Gunther De Vogelaer and Matthias Katerbow
[Studies in Language Variation 20] 2017
► pp. 235–265
Chapter 9. Language acquisition in bilectal environments
Competing motivations, metalinguistic awareness, and the Socio-Syntax of Development Hypothesis
The linguistic reality of Cyprus is diglossic between the local variety of Cypriot Greek and the official language Standard Modern Greek. One of the better studied differences between the two varieties is clitic placement in syntactic environments where one requires enclisis and the other proclisis. This paper discusses the findings of two studies on the acquisition of object clitics so as to (i) explore the connection between bidialectalism and metalinguistic awareness and (ii) argue that competing motivations are relevant for the linguistic development in diglossic environments. Framed as the Socio-Syntax of Development Hypothesis, the process of constructing a socio-syntactic repertoire captures competing motivations by assuming that the linguistic development of Greek Cypriot children primarily involves the need to resolve linguistic accommodation and adjust to the “high” variety.
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