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Language attitudes and use in a transplanted setting: Greek Cypriots in London

By Penelope Gardner-Chloros, Lisa McEntee-Atalianis and K. Finnis

Abstract

In this paper we explore language attitudes and use in the Greek Cypriot community in London, England. Our study is based on an earlier survey carried out in Nicosia, Cyprus and we compare attitudes to language and reported language use in the two communities. We thereby highlight the significance of sociolinguistic variables on similar groups of speakers. We further extend our investigation to include codeswitching practices in the London community.\ud \ud Analysis of language attitudes and use within the Greek-Cypriot population of London, and comparisons with findings in Nicosia, reflect symbolic forces operating in the two contexts. Despite obvious differences between the two communities, (most obviously the official languages and distinct cultural backgrounds of the two nations), the Greek Cypriot Dialect continues to play an active role in both. English is however the ‘default choice‘ for young Cypriots in the UK and Standard Modern Greek occupies a much more limited role than in Cyprus. It is argued that differences in language attitudes and use can be interpreted in light of different market forces operating in the nation (i.e. Cyprus) and the Diaspora (i.e. UK)

Topics: alc
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:325

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