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Does convergence generate stability?

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Abstract

The diglossic situation between Cypriot and Standard Modern Greek is still along way from being resolved; claims to the contrary often rest on the considerationof some structural properties of the emergent Cypriot Greek koiné,which are, arguably, of a ‘mixed’ nature, thereby pointing to a significant degreeof convergence with Standard Modern Greek. Based on a host of naturalisticdata as well as data collected quantitatively, I show that (a) convergence of theCypriot Greek koiné to Standard Greek is only partial, as convergence quastructural mixing is mostly achieved through (surface) morphological, as wellas lexical, choices, and that (b) the salient aspects of such convergence allow forthe Cypriot Greek koiné to emerge as a relatively stable linguistic variety actingas a robust ‘buffer’ against contact-induced de-dialectization as a result of itsrelatively high (c)overt, prestige among Cypriot Greek speakers, which is, inturn, due to is perceived, if not actual, convergence with the Standard.

References

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