Pomak Language Unbounded… Through an Anthropological View

Author: Dr Ioannidou Elisabeth (Experimental Senior High School of Univ. of Macedonia, Greece)
Speaker: Dr Ioannidou Elisabeth
Topic: Anthropological Linguistics
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL COMELA 2020 General Session


Until November 1995, Pomak villages were confined to the other parts of Greek Thrace with a bar. Remains of the “iron curtain” the bar kept these populations and their language isolated. This restriction has forced people into introversion, self-reliance and conservatism. These tendencies were reflected in the Pomak along with an attempt at cultural self-identification, which is generally observed in minority languages. The selective use of the Imperfect verb tense (formed as Present Perfect Continuous)[1] in narratives and narratives related to cultural data highlights the cultural and political dimension of language.

After the removal of the bar and the reconnection with Greek society, Pomak continues to be used orally and by only a few specific circles to be spoken publicly, e.g. in the online newspaper Zagalisa. What nowadays characterizes the Pomak is extroversion, but at the same time with a tendency for differentiation (νασές Πομάτσκες γιεζίκ / nases Pomakski jazik),[2] for self-determination and selective memory management. Simple Present and Simple Past tenses dominate the modern narratives clearly indicating the concerns of the linguistic groups that represent them: Pomak cultural identity in the present and in the past.

Bounded the Pomak linguistic and cultural tradition through space and time, after the bar-removal, in fact, became …Unbounded. Both the transition and the adaptation of the Pomak to the new global linguistic environment were the main research lines of this study.


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Keywords: Linguistics, Linguistic Anthropology, Anthropological Archaeology, Identity