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Language Contact and the Lexicon in the History of Cypriot Greek


Stavroula Varella

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.