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Language Contact and the Lexicon in the History of Cypriot Greek

Varella, Stavroula

Language Contact and the Lexicon in the History of Cypriot Greek

Series: Contemporary Studies in Descriptive Linguistics - Volume 7

Year of Publication: 2006

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2006. 283 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03910-526-7 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.430 kg, 0.948 lbs

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Book synopsis

Cypriot is unique among the Modern Greek dialects in possessing such a variegated vocabulary – testimony, indeed, to the chequered history of the island. This book presents a thorough investigation of the foreign component of the Cypriot lexis. It traces, firstly, the relevant socio-cultural factors that gave rise to it. It presents, secondly, a detailed account of how words from sources as diverse as Romance, Arabic, Turkish and English became fully nativised and indistinguishable from the native stock. A fresh case study of language contact and lexical borrowing, it addresses such issues as the extent of lexical borrowing, the types of vocabulary borrowed, the relationship between the social integration and the structural adaptation of loans, and the degree and predictability of the phonological, morphological and even semantic modification affecting foreign words.


Contents: Cultural/linguistic contacts in Cyprus and lexical borrowing – Loanwords: systematic correspondences and etymology – Loanword phonology and morphology – Cultural borrowing and semantic adoption – Semantic shifts in a cross-linguistic context.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Stavroula Varella received her Ph.D. from the University of Sussex, where she is currently a visiting fellow in the Department of Linguistics and English Language. Her research interests include Historical Linguistics, Etymology and Contact Linguistics.


Contemporary Studies in Descriptive Linguistics. Vol. 7
Edited by Graeme Davis and Karl A. Bernhardt