Documentation and analysis of an endangered language: aspects of the grammar
The project aimed at collecting, digitizing and analyzing new data from Griko, the Greek dialect spoken in Puglia, Southern Italy. Griko is rare among Greek dialects in retaining the infinitive in particular syntactic contexts. In all Greek varieties spoken in Greece, infinitives have been replaced by finite embedded clauses. Taking the infinitive as our point of departure, we examined aspects of the grammar of Griko, emphasizing in verbal morphosyntax (voice, tense, mood, aspect, modality) and the structure of embedded clauses.
During our fieldtrip in the Greek-speaking villages of Puglia, we collected new data, which was digitally recorded, transcribed and morphosyntactically tagged. The enriched data, along with the corresponding sound files, are available in an online database, where users can perform searches according to parameters such as location, tag, lemma, gloss, and syntactic variable. Our research records aspects of a language under extinction, emphasizing on the often overlooked syntactic level of grammar.
The online availability of these enriched data ensures optimal access to the international linguistic community. The theoretical analysis of data such as the ones provided here is relevant for theoretical syntax, theories of language change through language contact, as well as the study of the diachronic development of Greek.