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HistLing: Mark Janse - "Wanna Be a Dennil Floss Tycoon? The development of dental fricatives in Cappadocian (Asia Minor Greek)

Friday, November 8, 2013
12:00 AM
403 Lorch Hall

Cappadocian (Asia Minor Greek) is a Greek-Turkish mixed language characterized by heavy borrowing (Thomason & Kaufman 1988:215-222) and spoken in Central Anatolia until the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s. It was believed to have died out in the 1960s until Mark Janse and Dimitris Papazachariou discovered speakers of Mišótika, the only dialect that seems to have survived in three closed communities in Central and Northern Greece. In this talk I will concentrate on one particular case of phonological interference which has occasioned a major sound shift in Central and South Cappadocian, the dialects which were most heavily affected by Turkish interference. Whereas the (Postclassical & Medieval) Greek voiceless dental fricative /?/ and its voiced counterpart /ð/ had been retained in North Cappadocian, they were replaced with other consonants because dental fricatives are unknown tot the phonological systems of Turkish and local Anatolian dialects. The substitution was based on changing either the place or manner of articulation: /?/merging with /ç/, /t/, occasionally /s/; /ð/ merging with /j/, /d/, occasionally /z/. In this talk I will discuss the phonetic conditions underlying the various substitutions from a typological point of view and the relative chronology of the changes, which are part of a cyclic chain of phonetic changes in the history of Indo-European and other languages families. For those who dig vowel harmony, I will throw in a few examples of (supposed and real) vowel harmony in Cappadocian.