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Endangered LanguagesBeliefs and Ideologies in Language Documentation and Revitalization$
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Peter K. Austin and Julia Sallabank

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265765

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265765.001.0001

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Fluidity in Language Beliefs:*

Fluidity in Language Beliefs:*

The Beliefs of the Kormakiti Maronite Arabic Speakers of Cyprus towards their Language

(p.53) 3 Fluidity in Language Beliefs*
Endangered Languages

Chryso Hadjidemetriou

British Academy

This chapter discusses how the revitalization efforts of Kormakiti Maronite Arabic (KMA) in Cyprus may have influenced the beliefs and ideologies of the community towards its language. KMA is spoken by some members of the Kormakiti Maronite community in Cyprus, where the official languages are Greek and Turkish. However, local varieties of Greek and Turkish are used by most people in everyday communication and the use of KMA has declined, especially in terms of intergenerational transmission. The chapter begins with a sociolinguistic profile of the KMA community focusing on: (i) subjective attitudes towards KMA and its speakers, and (ii) the ethnic identity value attached to KMA. Recordings conducted since 2006, when revitalization efforts began, enabled the author to observe a slight change in some speakers’ beliefs about their language, triggered by ongoing revitalization efforts.

Keywords:   Kormakiti Maronite Arabic, Cyprus, fluidity, beliefs, subjective attitudes, ethnic identity, revitalization

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