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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Linguistic practices in Cyprus and the emergence of Cypriot Standard Greek


In Cyprus today systematic changes affecting all levels of linguistic analysis are observed in the use of Standard Greek, giving rise to a distinct linguistic variety which can be called Cypriot Standard Greek. The changes can be attributed to the influence of English and Cypriot Greek (the local linguistic variety), and to the increasing use of the Standard in semi-formal occasions. Equally important is the reluctance to recognize the diglossic situation on the island (in which Standard Greek is the H variety and Cypriot Greek the L), for political and ideological reasons. This in turn means that the attention of the Cypriot speakers is not drawn to the differences between Standard Greek as spoken in Greece and their usage of it; thus the differences become gradually consolidated, while the users remain unaware of them.

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