2019 Naylor Memorial Lecture featuring Dr. Panayiotis Pappas (Simon Fraser University)

April 5, 2019
All Day
Pfahl Hall 302, Blackwell Hotel and Conference Center


Mark your calendars! The 2019 Naylor Memorial Lecture will be held on April 5, 2019 at 4:00pm in the Blackwell Hotel and Conference Center, Pfahl Hall 302. The lecture will be given by Dr. Panayiotis Pappas (Simon Fraser University). Dr. Pappas is Associate Professor of Linguistics, as well as Teaching Fellow for the Faculty of Arts and Social at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver British Columbia. Dr. Pappas received his B.A. in 1993 from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and his Ph.D. in Linguistics from The Ohio State University (2001).


The project Immigrec (Immigration and Language in Canada: Greeks and Greek-Canadians, Anastassiadis et al. 2017), is an interdisciplinary project which aims to document the second wave of Greek immigration to Canada (roughly the period 1945 to 1975) through the collection of oral histories and archival material (travel documents, photographs, etc.). The sample of 453 participants happily includes a large number of dialectal speakers from 10 of the 15 dialect areas of Greece (Trudgill, 2003), and this allows us to examine Greek dialect features in a sociolinguistic environment that is not dominated by Standard Modern Greek. I will focus on two dialectal features and show how the patterns found in the speech of Greek Canadians can help us understand them in ways that are not possible in Greece due to the negative evaluative force associated with them.

The first feature I discuss is the palatalization of the lateral stop before a high vowel (/li/). On the basis of a sample of 65 speakers I show how the data from Greek Canadian immigrants provides us with better insights into the range of palatalization that is possible, its geographic distribution, and even the circumstances that led to its negative stereotyping. The second feature I discuss is the raising of unstressed vowels, an emblematic characteristic of Northern Greek varieties, which has been described as unstressed /e/ and /o/ becoming /i/ and /u/ respectively (Newton, 1972). However, the dataset constructed from the interviews of 40 speakers from various areas of Northern Greece indicates that the raised middle vowels do not overlap with their high vowel equivalents. Furthermore, we are able to provide a more general confirmation of recent findings from Epirus that this phenomenon involves not only the middle vowels /e/ and /o/, as was previously thought, but also the low vowel /a/ (Kainada & Baltazani, 2014; Themelis, 2017).