THE LINGUISTIC PROFILE OF TURKISH SPEAKING PEOPLE IN CYPRUS: CASE STUDIES OF TURKISH SPEAKING CHILDREN LIVING IN A CYPRIOT NEIGHBORHOOD AT THE CITY OF LIMASSOL, CYPRUS
Helen Kyratji & Chryso Pelekani Ministry of Education and Culture & University of Cyprus
Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, has always been a multilingual society. For over four hundred years the two main languages of the island have been Greek and Turkish. Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots met each other in the streets, but seldom in the schools. Prior to the independence of Cyprus from Great Britain in 1960, the schools were mainly monolingual. The Greek language had a place in the Turkish- Cypriots’ educational system during some periods in history. Until recent years, the majority of Turkish-Cypriots have had communicative competence in Greek. In contrast, there have been very few Greek-Cypriots who had communicative competence in Turkish.
The linguistic situation in the island changed dramatically after 1974, when the two communities were forced by the Turkish army to live apart for at least three decades. Communication between the Turkish
and Greek Cypriot communities was established again in 2003 after the two communities were allowed to circulate in the island under restrictions. The main purpose is to determine whether different types of grammatical phenomena (morphological, syntactic and lexical) in the speech of bilingual Turkish-Greek children are affected by language contact in both Greek and Turkish. Particularly it presents the conversational profile of Turkish speaking Roma children living in a mixed (Greek/Turkish speaking area) neighborhood at Limassol, Cyprus. Linguistic interference/transfer occurs (from Turkish to Greek
only) and the latter is analyzed in relation to the language contact between the children of the two communities who attend the same State School in Limassol, Cyprus.
In: Kyuchukov, Hristo; Elena Marushiakova; and Vesselin Popov (eds.). 2016. Roma: Past, present, future. ISBN 9783862887361: 250-262. (pdf e-paper).