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Abstract–Reframing the Phylogeny of Asia Minor Greek: The View from Pontic Greek

In this article we discuss some of the crucial issues pertaining to the evolution and classification of Pontic Greek. In particular, we examine the extent to which Pontic Greek participated in the koineization process. In light of the Romeyka data (still spoken in North-East Turkey in the area traditionally known as Pontus), we present our cue-based (in the sense of Lightfoot 2002) reconstruction method (see also Willis 2011), which, according to Sitaridou’s (2014a/b) study of the Romeyka infinitive, has, so far, yielded a phylogeny advocating the Hellenistic Greek roots of Pontic Greek with ‘leap-frog’ contact with other Greek varieties during the medieval period. We test this further by presenting evidence from the negation system, which seems to confirm this thesis. Finally, we compare these findings with the ones stemming from a recent computational phylogenetic study based on microparameters (Guardiano et al. in press), and the results are shown to be compatible.

About Ioanna Sitaridou

Ioanna Sitaridou (PhD University of Manchester) is University Senior Lecturer in Romance Philology at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Cambridge and Fellow and Director of Studies in Linguistics and Modern and Medieval Languages at Queens’ College, Cambridge since 2004. Her main areas of research are the comparative and diachronic syntax of the Romance languages and also dialectal Greek, especially Pontic Greek and Cypriot Greek. The areas in which she carries out research are: the relationship between syntactic change and acquisition, language contact, micro-variation, and phylogenies. Her research has been published in journals such as Diachronica, Lingua,Glossa, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Folia Linguistica, Catalan Journal of Linguistics, Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, The Italianist. She is the author of numerous chapters in books (with Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, John Benjamins, Routledge, Visor, among others). Her research has been funded by British Academy twice (#SRG-102639; #SRG 48312) and the University of Cambridge several times (Cambridge Humanities Research Grants Scheme 2014; Newton Trust Small Research Grant 2010; Early Career Fellowship by CRASSH in 2008). In Lent 2012, she received a research buyout by the research project ISWOC, at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo, to collaborate on information structure and word order change in the earlier stages of Portuguese and Spanish. For her research on Romeyka she was awarded the Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellowship in Hellenic Studies by Princeton University in Spring 2011. At the CHS, her project concerns the evolution of Pontic Greek and the development of taxonomic indexes for the recasting of the internal classification of Greek.

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