Unformatted text preview: LING 201 LINGUISTIC METHODOLOGY
SAMPLE UNDERGRADUATE DISSERTATION
Lexical Borrowing: A Study of English Loanwords in the Greek Cypriot Dialect by Dimitris Evripidou
This dissertation is made available by kind permission of the author. Copyright remains with the author. This dissertation may be downloaded and viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader software. It is strictly forbidden to copy or reproduce any part of this dissertation electronically. Any quotation must be acknowledged and be in accordance with normal good academic practice. Please see www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/staff/mark/Web-201/Refer.htm#2. Citing References in your text
Lancaster University Department of Linguistics
Linguistic Methodology Ling 201
Dr. Mark Sebba
Dimitris Evripidou Bowland College
Lexical Borrowing: A Study of English Loanwords in the Greek Cypriot Dialect
Copyright © Dimitris Evripidou 2001
I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Mark Sebba for his helpful and useful comments upon my draft work. Additionally, I wish to thank the headmaster of Agios Anthonios Lyceum – Limassol Mr. Papachristodoulou and the headmistress of Agios Ioannis Lyceum – Limassol Mrs. Papachristodoulou for letting me distribute my questionnaires to their pupils and collecting them during lesson time.
The present study generally examines the spread and growing influence of English loanwords in Cyprus. Specifically, it reports 292 loanwords, it classifies them into various categories and it analyses them in terms of morphology and phonology. Furthermore, it reports some new English loanwords that entered into the Greek Cypriot dialect the last few years. Additionally, this study presents the results of a questionnaire, which examines the Greek Cypriots’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs on the usage of English loans in their dialect.
1. Introduction 2. A Definition of Borrowing 3. The Meaning of “Loanword” 4. Characteristics of Borrowing 5. Borrowing and Bilingualism 6. Dialects 7. Phonology and its Representation 8. Loan Translation 9. Data Collection 10. Loanwords 10.1 Direct and Indirect Loans 10.1.1 Direct Loans from English 10.1.2 Indirect English Loans a. Through French b. Through Italian 10.1.3 Loans of Mainland’s Greek 10.1.4 New English Loans 11. Analysis of the Loanwords 11.1 Morphology 11.2 Parts of Speech 11.3 Gender and Declension 11.3.1 Masculine 11.3.2 Feminine 11.3.3 Neuter 11.4 Plurals 11.5 Fluctuation 11.6 Word Formation – Verbs 11.7 Phonology and Accentuation System 11.8 Re-Hellenisations 11.9 Loan Translation 12. The Questionnaire 12.1 Representation of the Questionnaire 12.2 Results: Frequency, Percentages and Opinions about Borrowing 12.3 Reasons 12.3.1 Rank 1 – Crown Colony 12.3.2 Rank 2 – Studies in English Speaking Countries 12.3.3 Rank 3 – Greek Cypriots like to show off 12.3.4 The Greek Cypriot Dialect 13. Conclusion Appendix a. Note b. Direct Loans
1 1 2 2 4 5 5 6 7 8 9 9 11 11 12 14 16 17 17 18 18 18 19 20 21 23 23 24 26 26 28 28 29 31 31 32 33 34 36 39 40 40
c. Indirect Loans 46 i. Through French 46 ii. Through Italian 46 d. Loans that entered into the Greek Cypriot Dialect the last few years 47 e. The questionnaire in English 48 f. The questionnaire in Greek 51 References 55 [NOTE: the correct position for references is actually BEFORE, not after, the appendices]
1. Introduction Languages are constantly undergoing changes. Every language is the product of change and continues to change as long as it is spoken. Most individual changes are subtle and minor enough, and their diffusion through the speech community gradual, thus they might escape our attention as they occur. Over a span of centuries, however, their communicative effect is readily apparent. For instance, Homer’s Greek or Shakespeare’s English is difficult for modern readers to understand, especially without formal instruction. (Langacker 1972:305) One of the most significant sources of linguistic change is borrowing, the adoption by speakers of one language of particular structural traits of another. Linguistic borrowing is a very common phenomenon, and it is easily found in every language. Most probably no language whose speakers have ever had contact with any other language is completely free from borrowed words. However, borrowing is not restricted to loanwords, which is what this dissertation focuses on, but sounds, grammatical morphemes, grammar rules, syntactic patterns, semantic associations, discourse strategies and many other can be adopted and become part of the borrowing language. (Campbell 1998:57, Langacker 1967: 176)
2. A Definition of Borrowing According to Haugen (1972:81) the process of borrowing is considerably related to three important points:
1. It should be assumed as “axiomatic that every speaker attempts to reproduce previously learned linguistic patterns in an effort to cope with new linguistic situations.” 2. Among the new patterns that one may learn are those of a language different from his/her own, and these too he/she may attempt to reproduce. 3. If that person manages to reproduce the new linguistic patterns not in the context of the language in which they were learned, but in the context of another, that person might be said to have borrowed them from one language to another. The definition of borrowing could then be “the attempted reproduction in one language of patterns previously found in another.”
3. The Meaning of “Loanword” The term “loanword” is the prevailing lexical item of this dissertation; therefore a short definition of it would be of utmost importance. As exemplified by Campbell (1998:58) a loanword is an item, which has been borrowed from another language, a word, which originally was not part of the lexis of the recipient language but was taken from some other language and became part of the borrowing language’s vocabulary.
4. Characteristics of Borrowing There are four significant characteristics of borrowing that are associated with the rules of borrowing. These characteristics, which were illustrated by Aitchison, (1991:114) are to some degree encountered in the following research.
Detachable elements that are easily and commonly adopted: elements that are straightforwardly detached from the donor language and which do not affect the structure of the borrowing language. A typical example of this is the ease with which lexical items make their way from language to language, especially if those words have some type of prestige. For instance, in Cyprus some people would use English words or more loanwords than usual just because this would make them sound more sophisticated or chic. There seems to be no limit to these detachable items, which can be incorporated. It is nonetheless, rare to borrow what is regularly called “basic vocabulary”, words that are frequent and common such as numbers, pronouns etc. Some linguists have said that these words are impossible to be borrowed, but as Aitchison (ibid) believes this is an overstatement since languages are constantly changing and accepting alien elements.
The second characteristic is that borrowed words tend to be changed to fit in with the main structure of the recipient language, though the actual borrower might not be aware of the distortion imposed. In Cyprus this is only true with the older generations since nowadays people could be characterised as “lazy borrowers” since they utilise words without having them gone through a Hellenisation process or undertaken any changes.
The third characteristic is that languages are selective, they tend to choose at least when it comes to borrowing those aspects of the donor language which supposedly correspond moderately closely to aspects existing already in its own. This is intimately related to syntax and to languages that are likely to
borrow syntactic structures from other languages. This cannot be typified with an example of Greek Cypriot, since the dialect did not adopt any English syntactic constructions. (iv) The final characteristic was called by Aitchison (1991:115) as “the minimal adjustment tendency” and it is affiliated with the observation that the borrowing language makes only very small adjustments to the structure of its system at any one time. In a case where a language seems to have massively affected another, it is discovered on closer examinations that the changes have come out in a series of minute steps, with each one of them having a very small alteration.
5. Borrowing and Bilingualism As McMahon (1994:200) has pointed out, borrowing to some extent relies on bilingualism. It was highlighted that all borrowing by one language from another is predicated upon some minimum of bilingual mastery of the two languages. Nevertheless, for a large-scale borrowing a substantial group of bilinguals must be assumed. As Lehiste noted “the theoretical limits to bilingualism might be drawn to encompass the range between the person who uses one non-integrated loanword and the so called perfect bilingual who can pass for a monolingual in more than one language.” Consequently, borrowing is likely to be more intensive and more far-reaching in its effects when actively bilingual speakers manage to indicate closer contact between their languages. (McMahon 1994:200, Lehiste 1988:1)
6. Dialects Dialects could be the best examples of rejected varieties, since as opposed to standard languages, they tend to lack prestige, probably due to the fact that they are not regularly used in formal writing and in most cases they are not taught in schools. Of course it is not the language itself that makes the speakers abandon some lexical items and choose some others. All languages, standard or dialect are equally good as linguistic systems, since they are structured, complex, rule-governed systems entirely adequate for their speakers’ needs. As Peter Trudgill (1985:20) stated “Value judgements concerning the concreteness and purity if linguistic varieties are social rather than linguistic. There is nothing inherent in non-standard varieties, which makes them inferior. Any apparent inferiority is due only to their association with speakers from under-privileged, low-status groups.” Likewise, people might reject a standard language and select another one, or utilise linguistic features, or words or phraseologies from another standard language because they feel that the (newly) adopted expressions are more prestigious and perhaps more charming. This might be characterised as a subjective attitude and plausibly a choice based on the social connotations of a particular language. Additionally, this is partly what happens with the Greek Cypriot dialect and its borrowed items from English. (Trudgill 1985:20, KaroullaVrikis 1991: 43)
7. Phonology and its Representation Before going on to the actual loanwords of the Greek Cypriot dialect, it would be advisable to point out the differences between Greek and Cypriot pronunciation as well as the representation of some Cypriot sounds that might cause confusion.
According to Newton Brian (1972:24) the phonetic inventory of the Greek Cypriot dialect has 4 sounds that replace or sometimes coexist with 4 Greek ones even though in written language they are represented with the same letter. These are:
No. Sound Transliteration Phonemic Representation (i) τσ ‘tss’ (ii) ντζ ‘j’ (iii) σ ‘ss’ (iv) ζ ‘zz’ (i)
Example τσεκι τσ ντζεντλεµαν ντζ σουταρω καζουαλ ζ tsseki jentleman ssutaro kazzual
Meaning check gentleman shoot casual
The initial sound of the English word “check”, represented in my dissertation as tss and found in the loan tsseki that comes from the English noun check.
The initial sound of the English word “gentleman”, represented as j and found in the loan jentlman that originates from English gentleman.
The initial sound of the English verb “shoot”, represented here as ss, and found in the loan ssutaro meaning to shoot.
The medial sound of the English item “casual”, represented in my research as zz and found in the loan kazzual that is taken from the English adjective casual.
8. Loan Transliteration For the transliteration of the loanwords in Greek Cypriot I utilised four letters that do not exist in the English Language’s alphabet. These are:
No. (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)
Sound γ δ θ χ
Transliteration Phonemic Representation γ δ θ χ
Example γ ιοτ δολαριο θ ριλερ χ ολιτει γ iot δolario θ riler χ olidei
Meaning yacht dollar thriller holiday
The initial sound of the English word “yacht”, represented in my dissertation with the Greek letter γ and found in the loanword γiot, which comes from the English noun “yacht”.
The initial sound of the English word “that”, represented with the Greek letter δ and found in the loan δolario that originates from the English noun “dollar”.
The initial sound of the English noun “thriller”, represented here with the letter θ and found in the loan θriler that is taken from the English word “thriller”.
The initial sound of the English noun “holiday”, represented with the Greek letter χ and found in the loan χolidei, which stems from the English “holiday”.
9. Data Collection The lists presented in the Appendix (page 37) are based on the material I have collected from the written (magazines and newspapers) and the verbal (spoken natural conversations) sources. There are a lot of magazines and even newspapers that use English words while being engrossed in fashion, sports, the lives of foreign actors, singers, politicians, advertisements etc. Furthermore, a plethora of English loans can be heard from ordinary people while having their everyday, casual conversations. I have noted down every word I heard that might have come form the English Language and created my own lists of loanwords. The loanword collection even though it was not
particularly difficult to be done, it needed my full attention and concentration on what I was hearing in an attempt to spot the lexical items required for the lists’ formation. My material was collected and accumulated from my everyday activities such as visiting friends, going to coffee shops, restaurants, pubs; reading newspapers and magazines and listening to the Cypriot radio or watching the Cypriot television. In addition to this, I was writing down the expressions the loanwords were utilised in so as to be able to analyse them in context and be able to derive more about their meaning, function and grammar. I did not come across many problems, however the process of data collection especially from natural conversations was very time consuming and it was rather difficult in the sense that I had to pay attention to the language and vocabulary used as substantial as to the meaning and function of the utterances.
10. Loanwords In the Appendix (page 37), there are three lists with English loans used by Greek Cypriots today. This research presents the way they are pronounced in Cyprus, it gives their English equivalent and in some cases it specifies the meaning, which with they are utilised. The lists also give their gender distinction since the Greek (standard’s and dialects’) grammar makes one. For instance, the loan roba that comes from the noun “robe” is gendered as feminine, however the loan rolos, which derives from the noun “role” (acting) is gendered as masculine. These distinctions are analysed in more detail below.
Direct and Indirect Loans My material is classified into three categories. At this point, I shall state that I have followed the way Donald Swanson categorised the loans used in the Greek language, in his article “English Loanwords in Modern Greek” (Swanson 1958:31-38). However, before I go on to the analysis of the loans used in the dialect under discussion, since the present study is building on Swanson’s work, some of his viewpoints must be pointed out. According to his article, several lexicons of Modern Greek include entries that are given as being of English origin. Nonetheless, as he characteristically stated there is confusion and a lack of precise information that lies in the failure to distinguish direct English loans from the indirect ones that come through French and Italian. Swanson believes that Chatziyoannou’s work on foreign words in Cyprus is deficient and insufficient. This is because his list is “a gross underestimate of the quantity” (Swanson 1958:27). Likewise, Swanson (ibid) believes that Andriotis’ dictionary, which includes many English words, is weak in that English and French elements are not clearly presented and distinguished. As Swanson, I have created three lists with loanwords used in the Greek Cypriot dialect: i. Direct loans from English. (Appendix page 37). This lists comprises 249 loans from English and perhaps American English. Identifying loans as either British or American was not attempted. There are some important characteristics for a number of direct loans that were noted by Anastasiade-Simeonide and they are affiliated with three particular English suffixes: “er”, “ing”, and “man”. (Anastasiade-Simeonide 1994:91-97).
The “er” suffix is believed to be one of the most productive suffixes in English, which will be elucidated in the following section. In the Greek Cypriot dialect this suffix primarily creates words that can be classified in three categories: (i) Animate nouns ending in ερ, English “er” that can be used with both genders without any changes on the actual word. The ones I found in my lists are: tineijer “teenager”, performer “performer”, maneijer “manager”, partner “partner”. (ii) Inanimate neutral nouns ending in “er”. In the dissertation’s lists there are seven: xamburger “hamburger”, landrover, “land rover”, mikser “mixer”, θriler “thriller”, komputer “computer”, pulover “pullover”, poker “poker”, beseller “bestseller”. (iii) Some inanimate nouns ending in English “er” have entered into the dialect as feminine items ending in the grammatical item α rather than ερ. In my lists I could find only one and that is the English noun “bulldozer” that came into the dialect as buldoza. The “-ing” ending creates lexical items that are thought to be inanimate neutral nouns. A case in point can be the loan joking “jogging” that is the only one found in my data. The “-man” ending and possibly “-woman” are the second parts of particular compound words, which give animate masculine/feminine nouns that declare a person who is engaged in what the first part of the word indicates or has the property the first component declares. barman “barman”, barγuman “barwoman”, and kameraman “cameraman” are the ones noted in this research’s lists. ii. Indirect English Loans. (Appendix page 43)
Some loans used in the dialect under discussion did not come directly from the English language; nevertheless, they came through Italian and mainly through French. In the appendix there are two lists presenting indirect loans, which came through French or Italian. In identifying the loans I used the criteria used by Swanson (ibid). a. Through French Swanson’s main criteria for the Anglo-French loans were three: (a) the accent position of final syllables, (b) the loss of sounds (the way they are pronounced), (c) the addition of French suffix “-age”. This list is comprised of eleven loanwords. A case in point could be the loan boycotazz, which comes from the French word “boycottage”. The specific loan derives originally from the English word “boycott”, plus the French suffix –age. It is also important to notice that the stress of the loan is on the last syllable boycotazz, that is a characteristic of French loans and apparently more similar to the pronunciation of the French word “boycottage”. In the same way, that is what happens with the loan reportazz. This came into the Greek Cypriot dialect through the French lexical item “reportage”, which springs from the English word “report(ing)”. An interesting example could also be the borrowed item buldog. The English noun is “bulldog”, and its stress is on the first syllable, nonetheless on the loan the stress is on the last syllable that brings it closer to the pronunciation of the French word “bouledogue”, which originates from the English word. The difference of pronunciation can be very clearly shown on a two-syllable word such as the Greek Cypriot one rekor. Seemingly, this loan comes from the English word record, but in the dialect the loan is stressed on the last syllable instead of the first as in the English language. However, the specific way of saying it takes it nearer the
pronunciation of the French “record”, which is actually pronounced as rekor. A rather different instance can be one with an addition of a morpheme. A Greek Cypriot would allude to the steak made of beef by using the loan bifteki. In French the word is “bifteck” that derives from the English beefsteak. Therefore, the Greek Cypriot borrowed the English world from the French dictionary and then changed its morphology by adding an “i” in the end that makes it immediately acceptable in the Greek lexicon. b. Through Italian Swanson’s chief criteria for the Anglo-Italian loans were two: (a) the position of the Italian accent, and (b) the addition of a morpheme to the stem. (Swanson 1958:31-38) In this category I only found 4 loanwords. These are: inglezos/ingleza, kotero, masonos, sterlina. All the four loans follow the rules of the Italian pronunciation. For example, the loan inglezos is stressed on its second syllable. Similarly, the Italian word “Inglese” is stressed on the same syllable. Both words derive from English word “English”, even though on the original word the stress is on the first syllable. Equally important is that the “z” sound of the Italian “Inglese” is kept in Greek Cypriot, but the ending is changed with the dropping of “-e” and the morpheme addition that gives it immediately a gender. If the ending is “-os” then it becomes masculine and if it is “-a”, it is taken as feminine. The English loan kotero entered the dialect after it was borrowed from the Italian word “cotero”. The lexical item “cotero” comes from the English word “cutter”. All of the three words have their stress on the first syllable. What has occurred with the noun “Inglese” above is repeated with the Italian noun “masone” as well. The word emanates from the English noun “mason” (Freemason). The Greek language’s grammar drops “-e” and adds “-os” for its masculine form. Thus the word masonos is created and used in the
dialect. The particular noun does not have a feminine form since the women who have the same beliefs are named after a Greek word. In addition to these, the Greek Cypriot loan has its stress on the second syllable like the Italian one rather than on the first as its original English form. Another word that entered the dialect through Italian is the noun “sterlina” as sterlina from the English “sterling”. The Greek Cypriot dialect borrowed the word from the Italian language as it is used in Italy without changes. The “-a” ending of the Italian word could be characterised as an accidental patterning or perhaps a similarity with the Greek language’s grammar since in both languages nouns that end in “-a” are given a feminine gender. At this point I think it is important to unfold some thoughts about Swanson’s criteria and beliefs even though they are the most recent and more complete outcomes presented so far, since in Papapavlou’s book “Language Contact and Lexical Borrowing in the Greek Cypriot Dialect” (1994), the writer does not attempt to distinguish the direct from the indirect loans. Swanson elucidated that Chatziyoannou’s writing on loans on the Greek Cypriot dialect is inadequate since his list includes only a very few number of English loanwords despite the fact that Cyprus had been a crown colony since 1914. Indeed, a number of loanwords imparted in Papapavlou’s book as English loans (direct or indirect), in Chatziyoannou’s one they are given as coming directly from Italian or French. For instance, the loan kalmaro according to Papapavlou it came into the dialect from the English verb “to calm down”, and according to Chatziyoannou it entered into the dialect from the Italian verb “calmare”. Some more examples based on different points of view found in my lists could be:
Dialect karda karamella kassa (kasha) vazo
English card caramel case vase
Italian carta caramella cassa vaso
Confusion and complexity are very equitable and reasonable here, since the obvious similarity between the dialect’s loans and the Italian words, make the procedure of identifying the language that the dialect borrowed from extremely difficult. A similar problem emerges with English and French as well. In Papapavlous’ lists jelatina and bezina come from English “gelatine” and “benzene” (indirectly) respectively, but in Chatziyoannou’s lists they come directly from French “gelatine” and “benzine” as French loans. (Chatziyoannou 1936:63-119, Papapavlou 1994:73-82) The problem becomes even more intricate and convoluted since Swanson’s criteria might not be very satisfactory for the dialect, in view of the fact that they do not take into account the period the loans entered the dialect, and of course the island’s political status at that time. Loans of Mainland’s Greek The loans that are used in Greece’s Greek do not appear to be as problematic as the ones used in Cyprus in terms of where they come. The research carried out by AnastasiadeSimeonide and presented in the book “Neologikos Danismos tis Neoellinikis” (Lexical borrowing in Modern Greek) gives clear features and points that indicate which loans come Directly from French. These mainly depend on eleven suffixes, the pronunciation and stress of the loan. The French suffixes along with typical examples are:
(1) “-ette” (2) “-oir(e)” (3) “-euse” (4) “-age” (5) “-eur/aire” (6) “-tion” (7) “-erie” (8) “-ine” (9) “-ier” (10) “-ment” (11) “-e”
French: omelette French: trottoir French: liseuse French: reportage French: partenaire French: version French: boiserie French: cantine French: ravier
Greek: omeleta Greek: trotuar Greek: lizez Greek: reportaz Greek: partener Greek: version Greek: bouzeri Greek: kantina Greek: raviera
G. Cypriot: omeletta G. Cypriot: G. Cypriot: G. Cypriot: reportazz G. Cypriot: partner G. Cypriot: version G. Cypriot: G. Cypriot: kantina G. Cypriot: G. Cypriot: kompliment G. Cypriot: -
French: compliment Greek: kompliman French: fum`e Greek: fume
The suffixes that exist in my lists are numbers 1, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10; however in some of them there are vital differences that might reject the possibility of the loans originating from French. No.1 can be found in my lists with the word omeletta, tualetta, even though Papapavlou gives them as English loans through French (for the Greek Cypriot dialect). No. 4 can be noticed with reportazz and boikotazz; that are again given by Swanson and Papapavlou as (indirect) English loans. No. 5 with the item partner, which might be identified as a direct one. No. 6, in the Greek Cypriot dialect probably comes from English because the accent is not on the last syllable as in mainland’s Greek, but it is on the first syllable as the accent in English. No. 8 is found in kantina, bezina, routina, limuzina, which in Greek they are taken as French loans, however in Cyprus they may be taken as English loans through French. No. 10 can be found in the loan kompliment that has the English stress and not the French one as it is utilised in Greece.
Consequently, the lists given in the past and probably mine are not definitive and in the light of new findings they are very likely to change in terms of the language some of the loans are taken from. Thus, even though I have taken into consideration Swanson’s criteria, in my lists the loans that may lead to confusion are noted with a question mark. Nonetheless, the problems mentioned above are not faced with the loans that entered into the Greek Cypriot dialect the years after the decolonisation of the island and especially the last 20 years, as they are clearly borrowed from the English language. iii New English Loans The last six years some new loans have entered the Greek Cypriot dialect. (Appendix page 44) A small research I have carried out showed that 28 new loans are currently known and utilised by especially young Greek Cypriots. I have compared texts from three different editions of the Greek Cypriot magazine “To Periodiko” that came out in 19941996 with texts of three editions of the magazine that were published in 1999 and 2000. The results were remarkable since the dialect seems to borrow new words from the English language intensively. The words noted in the 1999-2000 texts did not undergo any morphological or phonological changes like some of the ones of the 1994-1996; instead they were presented as in an English text. The writers did not even give them according to the Greek alphabet but they were provided in English. As a result, the readers came across a text written in Greek with a rather peculiar way. For example, they lighted upon sentences with English adjectives (written in English) describing a Greek noun, or with Greek adjectives describing an English noun: “…, kikloforisan ta funky
trayoudia ton One…”( the funky songs of One are out), or “to monadiko boyband parousiasai…” (the unique boy band presented…). In Greece however, new English loans are based on different foundations, since the foreign words adopted without first being Hellenised are connected with secondary professional, social or other activities and manners such as fashion, football, cinema, etc and in most cases they were borrowed because Greek lacked the corresponding term. If there is a Greek term already in existence, it was rarely replaced with a foreign one. They plainly coexisted and implied a slightly different register of expression. (Ioannou 1991:30)
11. Analysis of the Loanwords Morphology As Swanson has already stated, even a Greek with a fairly good knowledge of English finds it difficult to analyse loanwords of more than one original morpheme. (Swanson 1958:38). This also applies to the Greek Cypriots of today, even though the new generations between the ages of 16 and 30 might be actually able to recognise a compound word. For example the loan beseler (bestseller) may not be identified as a compound of best + seller, and greifrut (grapefruit) is not in fact recognised by young people either, instead it is believed to be an one-morpheme word. Likewise, expressions made of two words are most of the times taken as one-morpheme lexical items as well. Cases in point can be expressions such as landrover (land rover) or bolybif (bully beef). Nonetheless, as I have already explained, this is changing rapidly since the new generations are getting closer and closer to the English language and have started
acquiring the way the English language functions; for instance, the way in which the morphemes are joined together to make words. The following English compounds and phraseologies have been adapted as one-morpheme roots: “hamburger” χambourker, “cameraman” kameraman, “Christmas cake” krismaskek, “superstar” superstar, “soundtrack” sauntrak, “feedback” fitbak, “ferryboat” feribot, “corn flakes” kofleiks, “network” netγuork, “boy band” boiband, “face control” feiskontrol etc. Parts Of Speech The lists that were created for this dissertation contain 247 nouns, 17 adjectives, 20 verbs, 4 adverbs, 1 unclassified item sorry, and 3 expressions bye bye, fifty-fifty, thank you. Gender and Declension In Greek nouns belong to one of the three classes known traditionally as masculine, feminine and neutral that differ from each other in inflection and syntactical environment. Since, Greek language’s grammar gives a gender to its nouns, all the nouns that entered into the dialect have taken either the masculine or feminine or neutral gender. Their gender can be identified by the article preceding them and sometimes by the ending that is added. Masculine The article that is always in front of masculine loanwords is “o” (ο). The loans of masculine gender have the inflectional suffixes -os and sometimes -as added in the end. When the word ends in a consonant then the -os ending is added. Examples from the lists can be komunismos “communism”, lorδos “lord”, pilotos “pilot”, sakos “sack”, tonos “ton”, turismos tourism. When the item ends in -e (and before that there is a consonant) then the -e is removed and the -os ending is attached. There are two loans in the lists that
can illustrate this change. These are the loans rolos “role” and delikatos “delicate”. The only loan in my lists ending in -as is the noun doktoras that comes from “doctor” (PhD). The -as suffix is mainly used with titles. Another example can be profesoras from “professor”. Some loans that entered into the dialect without changes can be used with both, masculine and feminine genders. These are star “star” (actor, actress), partner “partner” and fan “fan”. However, some others, even though they are sometimes utilised with both genders, they are most of the times taken as masculine. Instances could be klooun “clown”, ajent “agent”, maneijer “manager”, detektiv “detective”, komando “commando” and dijei “DJ”. Apart from these, some other loans with no alterations such as ngay “gay”, kameraman “cameraman”, jentleman “gentleman” and barman “barman” are only used as masculine because of their meaning in English, which is directly associated with men and probably because the equivalent Greek words are of course of masculine gender. Feminine The article that always precedes feminine nouns is “i” (η). The borrowed words of feminine gender have the inflectional suffix “-a” added in the end, like most of the Greek feminine nouns. When the loans end in a consonant like the words “mask”, “bomb”, “pen”, “soup”, “beer”, etc then the morpheme “-a” is affixed in the end making them immediately nouns of feminine gender. When the loans end in “-e” (and before that there is a consonant) then the “-e” is erased and replaced by the Greek feminine ending “-a”. Cases in point can be the loanwords pezina “benzene”, pipa “bibe”, routina “routine”, bluza “blouse”, kapsula “capsule” etc. Equally significant is the accidental patterning (Swanson 1958: 39) with English source-word, whereby the final sounds of the English
words are identical with homonymous or perhaps nearly homonymous sounds. For example in this research’s lists there are 6 such loans that did not undergo any changes because of their final accidental “-a” (α) and sometimes “-i” (η) sounds, with which the Greek feminine nouns form their ending. These are: ajenda “agenda”, soδa “soda”, formula “formula”, kamera “camera”, visa “visa” and kafeteria “cafeteria”. Neutral The article that always goes before the neutral nouns in Greek is “to” (το). Loans that fall into this category are rather difficult to be analysed, because they tend to become Hellenised with a number of various morphemes. The most popular ones are the endings “-o” (ο) and “i” (ι) that follow loanwords that end in consonants. Some instances taken from my lists can be kollaro “collar”, monderno “modern”, deposito “deposit” and γaloni “gallon”, tsseki “check”, varelli “barrel”, baloni “balloon”. All borrowed words that belong to this category and end in “-e” such as “costume” and “institute” drop the “-e” and take either “-o” or “-i” in its place. Thus, the nouns mentioned before now become kostumi and instituto. As in feminine nouns, in neutral nouns accidental patterning can occur too. Some neutral nouns happen to end with sounds that are accepted by the Greek grammar since they are homonymous. Such examples could be the loans taksi “taxi”, video “video” and raδio “radio”. Something of utmost importance in all the three categories is that the loans’gender sometimes depends considerably on the identical, synonymous or analogous words of the Greek language. For instance, the analogous word of commando in Greek is “stratiotis” that belongs to the group of masculine nouns. Similarly, the identical word of marketta (market) is “agora” which fits in the class of the feminine nouns. The same syllogism can
be applied on neutral nouns. The loanword dokumento or dokumen (document) is neutral since the identical Greek “eggrafon” belongs to the neutral category. This though, is not always true; the utterance “Touto to attitude pou kratas ine entelos laθos” (This attitude you have is completely wrong - remembered conversation) introduces a serious change in the relationship between signifier and signified, arising from gender alteration. The Greek word for “attitude” is “stasis”, a word with a feminine gender, but in the quoted sentence above instead of being given with the feminine article “i” (η), it is said with the neutral article “to” (το). This is plausibly a linguistic nightmare for Greek linguists because the English way of thinking realigns the gender rules of Greek language’s grammar or makes them even with the English. This gender conversions sometimes overlook the existence of the three genders of the Greek language and merely uses neuter which is of course not the Greek grammar’s one but the one of the indiscriminate English system. Plurals Most of the nouns of the dissertation’s lists do not occur in the plural. However, the ones that went into the dialect without any changes such as “film” film, “milksseik” milkshake, pulover “pullover”, etc can be used in both singular and plural, although they do not undertake any changes but remain in singular. The following sentences can illustrate this “zero-change” fact.
Singular: “To film itan yperoxo.” The film was great. Plural : “Ta film itan yperoxa.” The films were great.
As it can be seen from the above sentences the loan remains the same in both singular and plural while the rest in the sentences change accordingly. The singular article for neutral nouns from “to”, it becomes “ta” and the adjective’s ending changes from “-xo” to the plural “-xa”. Twelve loanwords are taken in the dialect only as plural nouns and they are never used as singular. These are: ssooubizines “show business”, χailaits “highlights”, bizines “business”, resta “rest”, ski “ski”, seils “sales”, midia “media”, kass “cash”, tips “tips”, tssips “chips” and χetfooun “headphone”. The articles of the loans revealed that all of them apart from two belong to the neutral category. Nevertheless, the gender of the borrowed items ssooubiziness and bizines could not be found since they are used with the article (οι) “i”, which is the plural form of both the masculine singular article (ο) “o” and the feminine singular article (η) “i”. However, if they were to follow their identical Greek words then both would be treated as feminine nouns. As mentioned in the “New English Loans” section above, lately English words and phrases entering the dialect’s linguistic world are being borrowed without passing through the process of Hellenisation. Accordingly, they are adopted with no efforts made to follow the Greek rules. As such items are taken without any modification, they sometimes cease to obey the rules of Greek declension, marginalizing one of the Greek syntax’s elementary devices: the cases. In the instance that follows, it can be understood that while the Greek article changes by case and number, the English adjective and noun do not: Case Nominative: Singular Ο (o) funky performer Plural Οι (i) funky performer
(the funky performer) Accusative: Genitive: Τον (ton) funky performer Του (tu) funky performer
(the funky performers) Τους (tus) funky performer Των (ton) funky performer
Fluctuation According to Swanson (1958:40) the English language pluralizes pairs of things that are attached such as pliers, pants, suspenders, scissors, etc and that the Greek language does not. However, this is not entirely true because some words like glasses are pluralized in Greek as well but some others like pants and scissors are not. This creates a problem with the similar loanwords that entered into the Greek Cypriot dialect. Two plural nouns have been found in my lists and these are jin from “jeans” and ssort from “shorts”. The lexical item “jeans” does not have a Greek equivalent but the word “shorts” has the noun “pandeloni” that is in singular. Both loans are utilised in the dialect as singular, therefore Greek Cypriot applied that pre-existing rule of “pandeloni” (singular noun) “trousers” to the analogous English plural nouns. The “s” sound indicator of plural in English has not completely dropped off the words since jin and jins as well as ssort and ssorts are used by the people of Cyprus interchangeably only in singular. Word Formation-Verbs There are 19 verbs in the dissertation’s lists that entered the dialect from the English language. All of them end in the mildly productive verbal suffix “-aro” and as Swanson (1985:40) has stated it came from the late Byzantine times and was originally found in Italian infinitives that end in “-are”.
The verbs can be divided into two categories since the suffix “-aro” is appended to the stems according to some morphological rules: (i) If the last letter is a vowel, then it is dropped and the specific suffix is added. Examples from the lists can be the lexical items skoraro “to score” and serviro “to serve”. (ii) If the last letter is a consonant, then the suffix is added in the end of the stem turning it immediately into a verb. Instances could be the loans startaro “to start”, blokaro “to block”, kanselaro “to cancel”, pasaro “to pass”, etc. In the lists there are three phrasal verbs that are treated rather differently. These are: “to sum up”, “to check out” and “to calm down”. Phrasal verbs are not found easily in the Greek language’s grammar and people nearly never use them. Therefore, in cases such as this, when phrasal verbs were adopted by the dialect their second part (adverb or preposition) was subtracted and the suffix “-aro” was added to their first part, the actual verb. Even though only the verb is actually utilised to form the loanword the meaning remains the one of the phrasal verb and not the verb. Hence, here the three phrasal verbs become sumaro, tssekaro and kalmaro respectively. Equally interesting is the loanword “stop” from the verb to stop, which is only utilised in imperative sentences and it always expresses a command. It is never used in declarative or interrogative sentences. Phonology and Accentuation System As Haugen (1972:85) elucidated the simplest and most frequent substitution is that which takes place when a native sound sequence is utilised to imitate a foreign one. According to him complete substitution is a characteristic of naïve language learners and is heard as
a “foreign accent”. However unwanted this might be when one is speaking a foreign language, it is normal and very common when reproducing foreign materials in one’s own language. The results sometimes appear to be completely unrecognisable to the speakers of the model language, while some speakers of the recipient language are completely unaware that they have changed the foreign word. Herman (1886:340) has pointed up that this process as one in which the borrower substitutes “the most nearly related sounds” of his native language for those of the other one. The only example it could be given here is the one concerning the English sounds “t” and “d”. Both sounds are presented in Greek Cypriot as “τ”, even though “τ” might be pronounced as something closer to either the English “t” or “d” in different cases. In some other cases “d” is pronounced as the English th” of “then” represented in Greek as “δ”. Instances could be the loans lorδos “lord”, biliarδo “billiard”, soδa “soda” etc. Apparently, loanwords are not always completely assimilated to the phonological system of the borrowing language. The same people that sprinkle their speech with English words for different and various purposes such as prestige might, for the same reasons, attempt to preserve the English pronunciation. If people are familiar enough with the donor language, or if a large number of words are adopted, the loanwords are likely to function as what Langacker (1967:180) called a “Trojan Horse”, which can sneak new sounds or even new rhythms, patterns or systems into the ones of the borrowing language. Something, which might displease the Greek linguists, is that Greek Cypriots use some loans without even changing their accentuation system. Some cases could be the loanwords χ olidei “holiday” and eniγue” “anyway” which keep the English accentuation
system and at the same time, infringe on the Greek one. The division of the syllables of these words in Greek are: χ o-li-de-i and e-ni-γu-e-i. The English words “holiday” and “anyway” are stressed on the first syllable; the same occurs with the loans which also have the accent on the first syllable. This though, violates the Greek system since accentuation in Greek is only possible on one of the last three syllables from the end. Re-Hellenisations The English suffix “-ism” as Swanson (1958:40) has explained, came from French, New Latin and ultimately from ancient Greek. In the dialect under discussion the particular suffix is re-Hellenised to “-izmos”. Accordingly, lexis such as “tourism”, “communism” and “realism” were adopted as tourismos, komounismos and rialismos respectively. These three nouns were the only ones found in this research’s lists that end in “-ism” and consequently in the Greek language in “-izmos”. Loan Translations The loan translation (known as calque in France) is the reproduction in terms of equivalent native words that are carried out with compounds and phrases. The form and the meaning of a compound word, instead of having it carried over into the recipient language as a unit, is simply employed as a model for a native creation. As Bynon has pointed out for this to be possible, it has to be both “morphologically complex” and “semantically transparent”. Additionally, the process consists in substituting for each of its morphs the semantically closest morph in the recipient language and combining these according to its own native rules of word-formation. Hence, while the general meaning of the new construct and the selection of constituent morphs will be modelled on the foreign
source, the constituent elements themselves and the rules governing their combination will be native. (Weinreich 1964:50, Bynon 1977:232) According to Papapavlou beliefs (1994:29) a lot of studies do not manage to report on loan translations because they cannot be easily assessed. In any case the Greek Cypriot dialect along with standard Greek have borrowed the meaning of many English terms and formed their own lexical items by joining Greek elements. However, as Swanson (1958:9) noted some of the translating morphemes go back indirectly to the ancient Greek language. The following illustrative list gives the English item and then the Greek item that is mainly a direct translation of the foreign term. 1. basketball = (basket + ball) -> (kalathi + sphera) = kalathospfera 2. internet = (inter + net) -> (δia + δikti) = δiaδiktio 3. skyscraper = (sky + scrape) -> (uranos + ksizo) = uranoksistis 4. homophobia = (homo + phobia) -> (omo -same- + phovos) = omofovia 5. toothpaste = (tooth + paste) -> (δonti + pasta) = oδondopasta 6. sociolinguistics = (socio/al/ + linguistics) -> (kinonia + glossologia) = kinonioglossologia All of the above words are used orally and in writing too, apart from “omofovia”, which is only used in oral conversations. The particular word does not exist in dictionaries and it has been utilised for the last few years by Greek Cypriots who study in the UK.
12. The Questionnaire Preparation of the Questionnaire
A questionnaire was developed to examine the attitudes, opinions and the awareness of lexical borrowing of young people between the ages of 16 and 20 (all of them pupils/students) on particular issues concerning the English loanwords currently known and used in Cyprus. The questionnaire consisted of three questions and five exercises: 1. Exercise A is tests the students’ ability to recognise loans from non- loans from a list of twenty words. 2. Exercise B tests their ability to provide native synonyms to a list of ten foreign loanwords. 3. Question C asks for their opinion on how many loanwords Greek Cypriots use. 4. Question D asks their opinion on whether or not the loans should be replaced by Greek words. 5. Question E asks if D is actually possible. 6. Question F asks for the students’ attitudes towards the people who use loanwords. 7. Question G gives them six reasons in terms of why the Greek Cypriot dialect borrowed words from the English language; and they are asked to rank them from the most important to the least important. 8. Question H asks them why they actually use loanwords. The questionnaire (Appendix page NNN) was translated into Modern Greek (Appendix page NNN) and was given to 200 Lyceum students and University students, all Greek Cypriots in Cyprus. Results: Frequency Percentages and Opinions about Borrowing In exercise A, 60% of the results were correct. In general, the students were able to recognise which of the words were loans and which not. Three characteristic mistakes
made by most of them were the loans filtro “filter”, tssimento “cement” and krema “cream” that were taken as words of Greek origin. One of the three words has an exact synonym used in Greek Cypriot and that is “mpeto” the equivalent of “cement”, whereas the other two do not have any equivalent words in the dialect. In exercise B the results were more encouraging since 66% of the students gave the right synonyms of the 10 foreign words presented. Even though, most of them gave answers two words were not frequently provided with the right synonym or they were not provided at all. Those two words were the noun routina “routine” and the verb paketaro “to pack” (packet). Most of the students gave rather vague synonyms for the particular items and some of them did not give an answer at all. In question C, 84% gave the right answer since the loans currently used in Cyprus are above 300 and fewer than 500. It is important to say here that there is not a steady number or a standard answer to this question since day-by-day new loanwords are introduced and added to the dialect. In question D most of the students (90%) answered that they wish to replace all the loanwords with authentic Greek ones, however in question E when asked if that is possible 80% of them answered that it is rather unfeasible. In general, here the answers and especially the one of question D showed clearly that they believe that the Greek language is rich enough and capable of replacing all foreign terms, but they are not sure whether such a move is possible especially nowadays. In question F 73% of the students stated that people who use loanwords and especially the ones that have not been through the Hellenisation process do sound more modern and trendy but they are not necessarily more educated.
In question D, the ranking of the reasons (1: most important and 6: least important) as to why Greek Cypriots borrow many words from the English language, percentages revealed the following ranks: Reason -because Cyprus used to be a British colony for a long time. -because many Greek Cypriots study in English speaking countries. -because Greek Cypriots are ‘show offs’. -because many Greek Cypriots travel abroad in English speaking countries. -because many Greek Cypriots are liberal-minded and accepting. -because the Greek Cypriot dialect is not as complete as the standard Greek one. Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 No. of People 128 104 60 44 34 30
The information of the table above is given in percentages in the graph below. Where ‘R’ corresponds with ‘rank’ from the table above.
Graph illustrating the importance of each of the reasons according to Greek Cypriots today.
70% 60% Percentages 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% R1 R2 R3 Reasons R4 R5 R6
Although the reasons above were ranked differently, four of them are rather significant on account of various and different rationalizations and explanations:
Rank 1 - Crown Colony
According to the history of Cyprus during the colonial period, the English imposed their language as an essential instrument of communication both within the island’s ruling classes and within the private lives of the islanders who might have seen in the British a cultural, social and military superiority. This meant that English became the official language of the island and the main organ of vocabulary expression of the Cypriots. Simultaneously, the main national Greek language was neglected and downgraded. Consequently, the relationship between people and state was not expressed through the islanders’ ethnic language but through a foreign language. Yet, as Stamatakis (1991:45) has expanded the desire to identify with the British and to use English lexical items gradually became evident after Cyprus independence. Nowadays, forty years after the British departure from the island, it is believed that English is still partly the language of the courts, the governmental departments and state institutions besides its prevailing role as the language of tourism, business and commerce. Despite the extensive usage of English was started by a limited group of Cypriots during the crown colony, after the 1960’s it expanded instead of weakening. The language of Cyprus continued borrowing loans giving Cyprus a rather “postcolonial” identity. As Hadjyoannou-Koura (1987 Phileleftheros-newspaper) stated this is “a unique historical phenomenon to see people who had been struggling so hard for their freedom and finally succeeded in gaining it, now warmly welcoming any cultural influences that originate from their ex-masters.” As she explained, it seems nowadays that the Greek Cypriot dialect reveals the desire to come closer to the advanced and powerful foreign countries mainly the UK and the USA. This desire
becomes even more stronger, since the “mother country” as some of the Cypriots call Greece, is not as rich, advanced or powerful as the ones mentioned above. (ii) Rank 2 - Studies in English Speaking Countries
This student factor was explained in detail by Ioannou (1983: 13). The lack of University-level education in Cyprus for many years impelled many Greek Cypriots to study abroad. The ones that did not attend universities of Greece were found in various European universities with a strong preference for the British ones. These students of English universities receive their instruction in the English language. With their mental maturity, the vocabulary (along with other linguistic items) associated with the area of study is grasped only in English and at the same time it can be noticed a serious degree of estrangement from the Greek language. For reasons of sociocultural consciousness a fairly small minority of these students manage to overcome this problem by consulting Greek textbooks. On the other hand, the majority is satisfied by utilising foreign terminology. When they return to Cyprus they do not generally face any special problems of understanding and communicating because they encounter people from nearly the same educational background and sometimes even language. In this way, the mother tongue deficiencies are disseminated and covered by substantial foreign term usage. Sometimes, even people out of these particular circles but in contact with them, end up adopting the same English terminology. Prodromou (1993:153) points out that the reality of the “Anglophonic elite”, for instance the ones who complete their studies in overseas English speaking universities, by some means manage to hide their own language deficiencies by trying
to defame and vindicate the Greek language itself, as, allegedly, it cannot meet the technological, scientific, industrial, etc demands of the modern world. (iii) Rank 3 - Greek Cypriots like to show off
As Campbell believes (1998: 59) one of the main reasons languages borrow words from other languages is the one of prestige. Linguistically insecure people or people who perhaps want to show their superior learning or even class over other members of the same culture often introduce prestige features into their speech. Prestige features seem to have more importance for them than for others and they are the ones who basically introduce prestige forms to the rest of the community. Since some forms of their own language might not be the right ones, they make attempts to adopt and present other forms that may symbolise foreign superior groups. In the specific research as illustrated before, English forms are introduced into the Greek Cypriot dialect. Very often Greek Cypriots use English words and especially the ones that do not undergo any changes before their usage, to emphasise the difference between themselves and their listeners. However, when they both utilise “non-hellenised” loans they probably do so in an attempt to lay emphasis on the apparent similarity that exists between the two and possibly the subsequent difference that exists between them and other people. Such utilisation of loans according to Karoulla-Vrikkis (1991: 46) and Papapavlou (1998:214) is made by the people who would like to be placed in the selected few. This is done in an attempt to be categorised as the “top people” who have plausibly graduated from British (or American) universities or even English secondary schools of Cyprus so as to differentiate themselves from people who studied in Greek or Cyprus universities or Cypriot schools.
“Speech is one of the most important ways in which one presents a personal image for others to evaluate, both through what one says and the way one says it” (Hudson 1985:115). Many Greek Cypriots use unchanged borrowed words to signal their superiority, which might underline their superior education abroad and their foreign life styles. A girl studying in the University of Kent, sitting at the same table as I did in one of Limassol’s cafeteria said “den ine ute high class ute ke poli extreme, ine aplos enas sinithismenos tis Elladas.” (he isn’t high class or extreme, he is just one of Greece’s-one graduated from Greece-). She used the loans “high class” and “extreme” which are not usually used in every day conversations but understood by nearly all Cypriots. At the same time, this suggests that people graduating from England are different from the ones who graduate from Greek universities. (iv) Rank 6 - The Dialect
The answers on the questionnaire showed that the Greek Cypriots believe that their dialect is actually sufficient and adequate enough so as to express complex ideas and concepts, nevertheless I tend to believe that this not true. “The island’s historical and political conditions have driven Cyprus into a kind of chronic dilemma. Deep down the Cypriot’s attitude towards language is marked by a sense of incomplete knowledge of the official language. Psychologically the Cypriot does not feel comfortable either in the demotic or the dialect.” (Ioannou 1983:13) The Greek Cypriots dialect does not seem to fulfil their needs, and accordingly it does not satisfy them intellectually socially or probably psychologically. When Cypriots have to go through an interview, make a speech or even utter simple statements the listener will see that that the majority of them hesitate over the appropriate selection of words,
expressions, or even syntax when it comes to express themselves in public. If Cypriots speak only Greek, they regarded as disloyal to their Cypriot community, if they speak only Cypriot they might be regarded as being disloyal to their Greek ethnic identity and as being poorly educated. On the other hand, a mixture of the dialect and Greek can give the impression of an “uneducated and unsophisticated person who has been unable to keep pace with the new demands for education and knowledge.” (Karoulla-Vrikkis 1991:51). All these have created new situations with which the everyday language (dialect) cannot cope successfully. For instance, a typical case can be the one of social behaviour and politeness. In these the dialect lacks the usage of the appropriate terminology and the terms in demotic are not used spontaneously. This is where English loanwords become extremely important, since borrowed terms such as “thank you, O.K, sorry, bye-bye, please” are introduced. In a traditional Cypriot society the equivalent Cypriot or Greek items and expressions were merely not in use because relationships were not formal and probably because the Cypriot society did not need such a kind of politeness. As Ioannou (1983:13) exemplified with the adjustment in social structure, relationships became more formal but the Greek Cypriots was not able to adopt the Greek “efcharisto” thank you or “parakalo” please in their dialect, because that made them (always according to their believes) sound pretentious, fake, or else mainland Greeks. Nevertheless, the English equivalent terms were very easily adopted because the Cypriots were familiarised with them and furthermore, it helped them get accustomed to them expressively as well as psychologically.
In the last part of the questionnaire (Question H), when the students were asked why they actually use loanwords; all of their answers had something to do with habit, convention and sometimes, even inheritance. The present-day Greek Cypriot’s speech contains many English lexical items; many islanders use them unconsciously and this peculiar way of speaking has become a tactic and a way of life. Children who grow up and mature in an environment of continuous usage of borrowed words will undeniably follow the linguistic models to which they are exposed. This might be a natural process of imitation that possibly all children go through. Yet, as Karoulla-Vrikkis (1991: 52) and Moschonas (1996:42-43) believe, there are serious implications underlying this situation. Not only do children subs consciously are taught to rate particular linguistic terms as being more high-status or impressive than others (features that are adopted in order to be found acceptable by other people), but also through all these, they learn to classify their language and perhaps their culture too, as being rather poorer than the foreign one.
13. Conclusion Contrary to the prevalent belief, language is not simply a means of passing on information and ideas. It is also utilised to characterise speech events, to outline the roles of the speakers and to project aspects of identity such as gender, ethnicity, social class etc. It is undeniable that language constitutes such an integral part of the social process that any attempt to identify the latter without considering language is probably insufficient. Moreover, the investigation of a linguistic phenomenon can often be fully achieved only when sociocultural and informative aspects of communication are taken into account. (Fasold 1990:NNN, Papapavlou 1998:218)
As it was illustrated from the aforementioned research on the lexical influence of English in Cyprus, 286 loanwords or expressions were noticed however, there are certainly more loans and day-by-day new ones enter the dialect. The bulkiness of English loans is definitely larger than people can realise, since not all of them understand the ‘gravity’ and seriousness lexical borrowing holds. Greek Cypriot has borrowed mainly nouns and some of them are accommodated to the dialect’s phonological and morphological systems, nevertheless some other remained as they are used in Britain. Generally speaking the lists of loans presented here, even though not entirely complete but undoubtedly representative, consist of a rather small number of loans as compared with the ones of other languages such as Italian or Japanese. I tend to believe that those loans cannot seriously alter the identity of the Greek Cypriot dialect and as Papapavlou (1998:230) has suggested contrary to fears of corruption and decay, loanwords can also be seen from a completely different viewpoint; that of enrichment. Honna (1995:61/62) who carried out some researches on the Japanese language’s borrowed items argues that the real issue is not to relinquish the loans but to find a gainful way to accommodate them for the enrichment of the Japanese language. Similar attitudes can be adopted in the Greek Cypriot dialect, which contains numerous loanwords from the English language. Nonetheless, this “enriching attitude” can be successful only if the loanwords go through a Hellenisation process, otherwise they might not be considered as “enrichment” but probably as “alternation” of the Greek language of Cyprus. Finally, Babiniotis (1993: 11/13) who is considered to be “the only linguist of the panel” (Papapavlou 1998:229) stated that the Greek language of Cyprus is spoken for more than three thousand years and highlighted that language is not merely a tool for
communication but the soul of every person, society or nation. He believes that the education’s language must be in the native language and that there should not be made any compromises in language policy for feasibilities or expediencies. Although, in Cyprus a fairly extensive usage and excessive presence of English lexical items is noticed, people should not be possessed with a mania of avoiding foreign terms. What is seriously dangerous, Babiniotis (ibid) explains is not the presence and use of English loans but the attitudes and feelings of superiority, sophistication and importance Greek Cypriots might have towards the English language and culture. Before the very end, it should be said that the Greek Cypriot dialect has been alive and kept alive for centuries. It is a national treasure that derives from a rich, ancient culture and that according to Babiniotis (ibid) is a source for the revitalisation and rejuvenation of demotic Greek with its own shades of meaning, concepts and ideas.
a. Note: The appendix is divided into four lists: the direct loans, the indirect loans, that are separated into two categories: through French and through Italian, and the loans that entered into the dialect the last few years. The lists show how the loans are pronounced in the Greek Cypriot dialect and after this phonetic representation; they are followed by their English equivalent. In cases where the equivalent might have more than one meaning then the appropriate meaning of the dialect is given in brackets. Additionally, all the nouns presented below are marked as either masculine (m), feminine (f), or neutral (n). Some of them, which are utilised in their plural form, are accompanied with (pl), and those, which can be used as both masculine and feminine, are given with (m/f). Finally, the loans that may lead to confusion, since their origin is not clear are indicated with a question mark.
b. Direct Loans 1. aksida (n) accident 2. akssion (n) action (film) 3. alpum (n) album 4. aluminio (n) aluminium 5. ajendis (m) agent 6. ajenda (...