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The Apocope of /s/ in Greco Corsican



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The Apocope of s in Greco Corsican1 Nick Nicholas University of Melbourne 1 Introduction The Greek spoken in Corsica from 1676 until 1976 Blanken 1951 is characterised by the deletion of final s 1 t vra i en a era tis alasa at night there is a wind from the sea Standard Greek to vra i ine a eras tis alasas Blanken 1951 280 This apocope is reminiscent of the behaviour of Greek in Southern Italy Rohlfs 1977 47 49 and recapitulates the development within Italian from Latin This has led several observers to assume that the Corsican phenomenon like the Italiot is the result of Romance influence on Greek e g Papadopoulos 1864 415 Dawkins 1926 1927 376 378 especially given the overwhelming tendency in Corsican towards open final syllables see Fusina 1999 76 78 for the very few exceptions to this However several Greek dialects also feature apocope of s without any influence from Romance This is the case in Maniot the mother dialect of the Corsican colony Given the remarkable conservatism of Corsican Greek it is more plausible to ascribe the phenomenon to a tendency already extant in Greek The issue of s apocope in Greek has not been addressed recently and the extent to which it may have been influenced by Romance has been approached in impressionistic terms In particular reflecting the linguistic orientation of the times accounts of s apocope have been phonological whereas the diachronic accounts for s apocope make more sense in terms of syntactic conditioning In this paper I summarise the existing accounts of s apocope before investigating the conditioning of s apocope in Maniot and Corsican and whether there are any differences between the two that may point to Romance influence To do this I compare their apocope to that of Italiot where I argue Romance influence should be assumed 1 This paper was originally presented at the Second Intenational Conference on Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory Mitylene October 2004 My thanks to the participants for their comments



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