Language and ethnic identity within the Pontic Greek community in Cyprus: a comparative perspective
This paper investigates the relationship between language and ethnic identity of Pontic Greeks who currently reside in Cyprus. More specifically, I examine how ethnic identity is perceived and reflected in language preference by Pontic Greeks. The Pontic Greek community in Cyprus, however, does not seem to be homogeneous in terms of ethnicity and language choice since the majority of Pontic Greeks coming from Georgia and those from Russia show different patterns of linguistic behavior. The geographical distribution of Pontic Greeks, which divides them into two groups on the principle of their respective country of origin, has some effects on their ethnic affiliations that are expressed by the different ethnic labels they self-identify. The obtained results and the relevant analysis suggest that Pontic Greeks from Georgia assimilate more actively into the Greek social and linguistic contexts than those from Russia, who seem to wish to preserve their Russian social, national as well as linguistic ties.