Elena Ioannidou


The aim of the present paper is to explore the links between language and ethnic identity among a group of eleven-year-old Greek-Cypriot students. The paper approaches the two concepts from both a theoretical (trying to define the meanings of language and identity) and methodological perspective (trying to define what language and ethnic identity mean in the fieldwork) using an ethnographic approach. Specifically 'language' is examined through students' expressed language attitudes towards Standard Modern Greek and the Cypriot Dialect, and 'ethnic identity' is researched through their ethnic awareness, identification and values towards the concepts of being "Cypriot, Greek, Greek Cypriot, Turkish, Turkish Cypriot". The principal question addressed is whether the students connect Standard Modern Greek and the Greek Cypriot Dialect with their preferred ethnic identities. The data are interpreted in the wider sociolinguistic and educational context of Cyprus.