Programme "Scientific projects"

Documentation and analysis of an endangered language: aspects of the grammar of Griko 

Research Committee, University of Ioannina


Griko is a severely endangered Greek dialect spoken in Southern Italy, whose syntactic structure remains largely unexplored. Griko retains use of the infinitive in limited contexts. Infinitives have ceased to exist in all Greek varieties spoken within Greece and have been substituted by the subjunctive. This instance of language change, which spread to other languages of the Balkan peninsula, has been the subject of various types of language studies. The project aims to investigate and digitally record core properties of the grammar of Griko, focusing on the occurrence of infinitival sentences vis-à-vis the subjunctive, and exploring the consequences of this marked property for the grammar of Griko on the whole. The proposal is innovative in two ways. The investigation focuses on the syntactic component of grammar, a level of linguistic description that is generally overlooked. Moreover, the empirical results will be transcribed, annotated and made accessible through an online database. The project will thus record aspects of Greek cultural heritage, engaging at the same time in current linguistic debates bearing on syntactic theory, contact-induced change, and the diachronic development of Greek.

Final Report



Maria Lekakou, Assistant Professor, Section of Linguistics, Department of Philology, University of Ioannina

Project Team:

Iliana Krapova, Associate Professor in Linguistics, Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Sjef Barbiers, Professor in Linguistics, Utrecht University / Senior Researcher at the Meertens Institute

Baldissera Valeria, PhD Candidate, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

University Campus of Ioannina

45110 Ioannina

Tel.: +30 2651 007 134

Fax: +30 2651 007 040 (in Greek)