Aims

From century-old contact between Latin and Greek in Magna Graecia, there emerged a number of Romance and Greek dialects, whose exact nature can considerably enrich our knowledge of language variation and contact. 

As native speakers are now limited to a dangerously small number of elderly people, this project represents the very last opportunity to record and analyse these varieties, bringing a fundamental contribution to the broader debate about language faculty.

In particular:

  • We intend to document, compare and describe the principal patterns of microvariation of these dialects in order to map the morphosyntactic typology of Calabria and Salento and integrate the results within the broader Italo-Romance and Greek linguistic continua to produce a morphosyntactic atlas of Magna Graecia.
  • We propose to investigate whether there are any differences in the development of a language that was affected by minimal contact with other systems, on the one hand, and varieties which evolved from centuries of contact between two well-established languages, on the other. This will allow us to shed light on the role of contact and the nature of linguistic hybridisation.
  • We aim to establish the degree of divergence between these varieties and their sister Romance and Greek languages.