Article: The Pontic Greek spoken by Muslims in the villages of Beşköy in the province of present-day Trabzon

This article consists of two parts. The first part provides general information on the language and its speakers: I describe the language, land, and livelihood of the Greek-speaking people of Beşköy in Trabzon province. In this respect it is indispensable to mention migration, which is one of the most serious threats the Greek-speaking community and their language faces today; statistical data show that Beşköy lost half of its population over the past fifty years. Despite these adverse conditions, the language has proved to be resilient enough to remain a preferred means of communication when Greek-speakers come together. In the last subsection, on language and identity, I present testimonies by native people which illustrate that positive attitudes towards both the Greek language and Turkish citizenship or Islamic identity are easily compatible.

The second part comprises a linguistic discussion of the language and aims at giving an overview of its main features. It describes its phonological system, and points out some of its most interesting morphological and syntactical characteristics. Special emphasis is laid on the differences from the Sarachos variety that has been studied by Peter Mackridge.

Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Volume 37, Number 1, February 2013 , pp. 130-150 (21)



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