Brill’s New Pauly

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Diglossia
(373 words)

[German version]

The term ‘diglossia’ (not to be confused with  bilingualism) was already used late in the 19th cent. to characterize the Greek language situation. However, it only became a central concept in sociolinguistics with Ch. Ferguson's essay [1] in which he developed the canonical definition using Swiss German, (Modern) Greek, Arabic and Haitian Creole as examples. It considers diglossia to be a language situation in which the spoken primary language (which Ferguson labelled ‘L’ as in ‘Low’; in the Greek language area this was the δημοτική, dhimotikí), whether regionally…

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Niehoff, Johannes (Freiburg) and Binder, Vera (Gießen), “Diglossia”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 30 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e317690>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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