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Cypriot Greek

  • Amalia Arvaniti (a1)
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Cypriot Greek is the dialect of Modern Greek spoken on the island of Cyprus by approximately 650,000 people and also by the substantial immigrant communities of Cypriots in the UK, North America, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere. Due to lengthy isolation, Cypriot Greek is so distinct from Standard Greek as to be often unintelligible to speakers of the Standard. Greek Cypriot speakers, on the other hand, have considerably less difficulty understanding Greeks, since Standard Greek is the official language of Cyprus, and as such it is the medium of education and the language of the Cypriot media. However, in every day situations Cypriot Greek is the only variety used among Cypriots. Cypriot Greek is not homogeneous but exhibits considerable geographical variation (Newton 1972). The variety described here is that used by educated speakers, particularly the inhabitants of the capital, Nicosia. Although influenced by increasing contact with Standard Greek, Cypriot Greek retains most of its phonological and phonetic characteristics virtually intact. There is no established orthography for Cypriot Greek; however, certain, rather variable, conventions have emerged, based on Greek historical orthography but also including novel combinations of letters in order to represent sounds that do not exist in the Standard (e.g. σι for [∫]); a version of these conventions has been adopted here for the sample text. The transcription is based on the speech of an educated male speaker from Nicosia in his mid-thirties, who read the text twice at normal speed and in an informal manner, he also assisted in rendering the text from Standard to Cypriot Greek.

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References
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Arvaniti, A. & Tserdanelis, G. (in press) On the phonetics of geminates: evidence from Cypriot Greek. Proceedings of the VIth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing. Beijing.
Arvaniti, A. (1999). Effects of speaking rate on the timing of single and geminate sonorants. Proceedings of the XIVth ICPhS, vol. 1: 599602. San Francisco.
Charalambopoulos, A. (1982). Consonant gemination and aspiration in Cypriot Greek [in Greek]. Studies in Greek Linguistics 3, 237255.
Newton, B. (1972). Cypriot Greek: Its Phonology and Inflections. The Hague: Mouton.
Tserdanelis, G. & Arvaniti, A. (in press). The acoustic characteristics of geminate consonants in Cypriot Greek. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Greek Linguistics.
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Journal of the International Phonetic Association
  • ISSN: 0025-1003
  • EISSN: 1475-3502
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-phonetic-association
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Arvaniti sound files
Sound files zip. These audio files are licensed to the IPA by their authors and accompany the phonetic descriptions published in the Journal of the International Phonetic Association. The audio files may be downloaded for personal use but may not be incorporated in another product without the permission of Cambridge University Press

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