Sustaining Regional Linguistic Ideologies in Greece: Responding to the Question of Hellenism

Author Information

Michael Hadzantonis,
SOAS, University of London, U.K.

DOI: 10.47298/comela22.10-4
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in the Mediterranean and Europe 2022


Greece’s language landscapes are complex, as are the ideologies that extend throughout the region through the use of language These ideologies are infrequently explicit and hence buried in the appropriation of the language. Similarly, the ideologies appear as patterned, for example, Spartan language ideologies are frequently connected to exercise and physical adroitness, whereas Dodecanese language ideologies address ideologies of abruptness and harsh climates through phonological rules that replace nasals with plosives and ejectives.

This paper complements work on the documenting of Greece’s dialects, which has been an extensive multi decade ethnography of the country’s language landscape. I present my work on the description of language ideologies and how they appear through language in various parts of the country, in order to respond to te questions, what is Greece, and how is it presented through the use of language? While the question is broad, the response to this question does not intend to be an exhaustive one, but rather, the response seeks to inform understandings of Hellenicity and its continuity from prehistory until the present time. This study draws on the frameworks of linguistic ideologies and entextualization as methodical frameworks. The language documentation has thus far spanned several decades.

Keywords: Greece, language ideology, entextualization, dialects, ethnography, boundedness

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