The GoL project


Street sign, Kormakitis village, Cyprus

The GoL (The Gradience of Lingualities (GoL): Language Acquisition in Minority Contexts, Incomplete Linguistic Competence and Theoretical Modeling in Heritage Speakers, and Vernacular Varieties) project (PI: Kleanthes K. Grohmann, is following up on a  Research Topic in Frontiers in Psychology (Grohmann, Kambanaros, & Leivada 2017–18) and addressing the gradient scale of lingualities with the study of Greek in different contexts.

First, the GoL project will conduct fieldwork research and investigate the endangered minority language Sanna (a.k.a. Cypriot Maronite Arabic; cf. Newton 1964, Borg 1985, Karyolemou 2010, Hadjioannou & Tsiplakou with Kappler 2011)—spoken primarily in the village of Kormakitis—for the purpose of describing and analyzing a number of different phenomena in the grammar of this language. These data will subsequently be used to attest the paths of language acquisition in speakers of different generations. The population that will be involved in this project is adults, native speakers of Cypriot Maronite Arabic, who also speak Cypriot Greek. The GoL project will document Sanna as a heritage language in the Republic of Cyprus by using elicited data from fieldwork with speakers from Kormakitis and testing acceptability judgments with speakers currently living in the southern part of the island. Given the language contact with the dominant language of Cypriot Greek, variation in the acceptability judgments and gradience in grammar are expected to contribute towards creating a different profile of these speakers as heritage speakers differentiating them from the possibly bilingual profile of their control group. By creating different linguistic profiles, such as bilinguals of the older generation, heritage speakers of the current adult generation, and monolingual Greek Cypriot speakers of the young adult generation, different linguistic repertoires and abilities should be identified in the spectrum of multilingual speakers for this speech community.

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