Edited by Massimo Cerruti and Stavroula Tsiplakou
[Studies in Language Variation 24] 2020
Chapter 10. Language variation and maintenance in Cypriot Romeika
A case of non-koineisation
This paper adopts a social networks approach to investigate language variation and maintenance in Cypriot Romeika, a Greek variety spoken by an enclave community of Turkish Cypriots situated in Northern Cyprus. The variety, which has been in isolation for many decades due to political reasons, did not undergo the koineisation processes that took place in Cypriot Greek and thus not only has it preserved “archaic” phenomena that are unavailable in the Cypriot Greek koine, but it also includes several intradialectal geographical isoglosses that were available prior to koineisation. This paper presents the history of the community and its language and discusses why this linguistic situation has voided the processes of koineisation at work in the rest of the Greek-speaking parts of the island. It further explores the sociolinguistic factors involved in language maintenance, including the strong ties between language and identity, and the use of Cypriot Romeika as the language of the home, as well as the attitudes of its speakers towards the Cypriot Greek koine.