The Linguistic Construction of Ethnic Identity in a Greek-American Community

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Title: The Linguistic Construction of Ethnic Identity in a Greek-American Community
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Boyd, Natalie
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Language Ideologies
Greek Diaspora
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: In Tarpon Springs, a historically Greek-American city in southwest Florida, the community and its use of the Greek language is changing. Competence in the Greek language has declined with successive generations as the children and grandchildren of immigrants adopt English as their primary language. Those who do speak Greek are increasingly rejecting the regional dialects spoken by previous generations in favor of Standard Modern Greek. Many informants attributed these changes to the increased influence of modernity and globalization, which they viewed both positively and negatively. This thesis examines how language ideologies and language use contribute to the construction of ethnic identities.
Statement of Responsibility: by Natalie Boyd
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Vesperi, Maria D.

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
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Classification: local - S.T. 2012 B7
System ID: NCFE004551:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: The Linguistic Construction of Ethnic Identity in a Greek-American Community
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Boyd, Natalie
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Language Ideologies
Greek Diaspora
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: In Tarpon Springs, a historically Greek-American city in southwest Florida, the community and its use of the Greek language is changing. Competence in the Greek language has declined with successive generations as the children and grandchildren of immigrants adopt English as their primary language. Those who do speak Greek are increasingly rejecting the regional dialects spoken by previous generations in favor of Standard Modern Greek. Many informants attributed these changes to the increased influence of modernity and globalization, which they viewed both positively and negatively. This thesis examines how language ideologies and language use contribute to the construction of ethnic identities.
Statement of Responsibility: by Natalie Boyd
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Vesperi, Maria D.

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 B7
System ID: NCFE004551:00001

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THE LINGUISTIC CONSTRUCTION OF ETHNIC IDENTITY IN A GREEK AMERICAN COMMUNITY BY NATALIE BOYD A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences and the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requir ements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the Sponsorship of Maria Vesperi Sarasota, Florida May, 2011


ii Table of Contents List of Illustrations iii Abstract iv Introduction 1 Literature Review 16 Photini 31 Exploring the Community 39 Maria K 72 Conclusion 78 Bibliography 91


iii List of Illustrations Map 1 8 Map 2 9


iv THE L INGUISTIC CONSTRUCTION OF ETHNIC IDENTITY IN A GREEK AMERICAN COMMUNITY Natalie Boyd New College of Florida, 2011 ABSTRACT In Tarpon Springs, a historically Greek American city in southwest Florida, the community and its use of the Greek language is chan ging. Competence in the Greek language has declined with successive generations as the children and grandchildren of immigrants adopt English as their primary language. Those who do speak Greek are increasingly rejecting the regional dialects spoken by pr evious generations in favor of Standard Modern Greek. Many informants attributed these changes to the increased influence of modernity and globalization, which they viewed both positively and negatively. This thesis examines how language ideologies and la nguage use contribute to the construction of ethnic identities. Maria Vesperi Social Sciences Division


1 Introduction Tarpon Springs, a town situated on the Gulf Coast of Florida, has been home to a large Greek population since the beginning of the twen tieth century. Greeks primarily from the Dodecanese began settling in the area in large numbers in 1905 due to the abundance of sponges in Florida's coastal waters. A community dominated by Greek immigrants was thus formed and has since thrived predomina ntly on the sponge trade. During the period of July 2009 through February 2010, I visited Tarpon Springs on average once or twice a week. Over the course of those eight months I met about 40 people, ranging in ages from 18 upwards. Naturally, while I developed close relationships with some, others I knew only as acquaintances or in passing. I obtained data through participant observation, as well as through formal interviews. I have chosen to identify my informants by their first names only, in orde r to preserve their privacy. In cases in which more than one informant had the same first name, I have added an additional initial by which to identify them. Two months prior to beginning my fieldwork, I began studying Modern Greek. At the start of my fi eldwork, I also began taking lessons with Maria P, a Greek resident of Tarpon Springs, who provided me with a wealth of information about the community, as well as about the language. By the winter I was able to hold limited conversations with my informan ts in Modern Greek and could understand much of what was being said. However, those interviews I did with informants who only spoke Greek I conducted with the help of Maria P. I also had another Greek American informant, Vicki, help me translate and tran scribe these interviews. These interviews in particular were challenging to translate and transcribe because the women I interviewed spoke dialects of Greek which were


2 difficult even for Maria P and Vicki, who were both native Greek speakers, to understan d. I also found that a majority of those informants with whom I developed lasting relationships were women. While men in their twenties seemed comfortable talking to me, older men were more reserved and seemed to find it somewhat inappropriate to engage in long conversation with me. My research interest is in language, which I view as an aspect of culture. Language both shapes and is shaped by the social world. I thus began my fieldwork in Tarpon Springs with various questions about the use of the Gre ek language in the community. Alessandro Duranti proposes that we regard a speech community as "the product of the communicative activities engaged in by a given group of people" (1997:82) My informants varied considerably in their Greek language profic iency. It is thus useful to think of the speech community in Tarpon Springs not in prescriptive terms, but in descriptive ones. Before beginning my fieldwork, I had read the only ethnographic article previously written about the Greek Community in Tarpon Springs, "Greek Sponge Divers in Florida" by Russel Bernard, a professor of anthropology at the University of Florida In 1965, Bernard had noted that the community of Greek immigrants in the area largely remained socially and geographically divided accor ding to their islands of origin. I thus visited Tarpon Springs for the first time wondering if the community still remained socially and linguistically divided, if dialect differences still existed according to island of origin, and if successive generati ons of immigrants maintained fluency in Greek.


3 As sponge diving was already an economic mainstay in the Dodecanese, the Tarpon Springs sponge industry attracted Greeks from the Dodecanese in particularly large numbers. Immigrants began pouring into the Ta rpon Springs area at the beginning of the twentieth century when it became known that the area was particularly lucrative for sponge diving. The sponge docks have long been a major attraction for tourists, who come to see the sponge boats and what the St Petersburg Clearwater tourism website refers to as the "gateway to Greek culture." The sponge docks are the area situated along Dodecanese Boulevard where the sponge boats are docked. Walking down this boulevard, one sees boats of various sizes whose de cks are covered in sponges drying in the sun. The area along Dodecanese Boulevard opposite the docks has thus become prime location for restaurants and shops which attract many tourists. A Google search for "Tarpon Springs" yields a website for "the Spong e Docks" as the top search result. The web site for the sponge docks boasts that for a 30 year period leading up to the 1940s, Tarpon Springs had the largest sponge industry in the world. The industry was almost destroyed in the 1940s and 50s by blight, but was revived again in the 1980s. One of my informants told me that the sponge industry was not as lucrative there as it once had been because of the introduction of artificial sponges. However, according to the website, "Tarpon Springs is back to bein g a leader in the world's natural sponge market." Thus Greek Americans in the area have historically earned their livelihood either as sponge divers or through businesses located near the sponge docks. While there are individuals in Tarpon Springs from ev ery area of Greece, a vast majority of them are from the Dodecanese, namely the islands of Kalymnos, Symi, and


4 Halki, and of these three, Kalymnians are the majority. As of 2009, there were two individuals of Greek descent on the City Commission, and both of them are Kalymnian. The current mayor's husband is also Kalymnian. Kalymnos, Symi, and Halki are each sister cities of Tarpon Springs, and thus festivals are held yearly to host officials from Kalymnos. Although other groups are present, they appea r to be less visible than Kalymnians, Symians, and Halketans. When one walks into Mama Maria's, a popular local restaurant, one sees that the southern wall of the building is painted with a mural divided into three sections: one for Kalymnos, one for Symi and one for Halki. Within the Tarpon Springs community, many individuals, especially older ones, do not identify as "Greek" as much as they identify with the particular region their family is from. Elaine, an informant whose family is from Halki and wh o is now 40 years old, told me that when she was in high school her parents "gave her a hard time" if she dated boys whose families were from Symi or Kalymnos. Despite the differences in regional identification, Tarpon Springs is a small community where, several of my informants have claimed, everyone knows everyone else or at least knows of everyone else. The umbrella of the extended family includes not only aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins but also the god parents of each individual, the extend ed family of each godparent, as well as any godchildren and their extended families. According to Tina, a local Greek American folklorist, if there is a funeral or a wedding in the town, almost everyone who is Greek attends. Tina said that it was conside red polite to attend not only if one knew the family of the person who had died or was getting married, but also if one knew someone who knew the family. The


5 picture given to me by several of the people I spoke with was of a close knit community where, as Elaine told me, "you pray for anonymity." People address older individuals as !"#$ or !"#% meaning "aunt" and "uncle." These terms are used to show respect in a more familiar way than if one were to address such individuals as &'(#$ or &'(#" Ms, or Mr. People who are two generations older than oneself may be referred to as )#$ ) #$ or *$**%' meaning "grandmother" and "grandfather." Maria P told me that the pre school children whom she teaches call her )#$ )#$ The variation of regional backgrounds in Tarpon Springs has thus historically resulted in a variety of regional diale cts being spoken. Fluent speakers are aware of these regional distinctions and can tell where another Greek speaker's family is from based on accent At least some aspects of regional dialects are passed from first generation immigrants to their children and grandchildren. Speaking to a married couple, for example, I learned that the couple had found that they had different words for basic things such as "knife" and "pear" when speaking Greek. Both husband and wife were third generation immigrants, but th e husband's family was from Symi and the wife's family was from Halki. Most of my informants continue to maintain ties with Greece through phone calls with relatives and occasional visits. They also watch Greek news and listen to Greek radio. History


6 The fact that a large portion of the Greek population is from the Dodecanese makes immigration statistics prior to the end of World War II rather misleading. The Dodecanese islands were occupied by the Italians from 1912 until the end of World War II, an d were not declared to be an official part of Greece until 1947. Many older residents have told me that when their parents first immigrated, they were listed as being Italian. They have also told me many stories about their parents' experiences with Itali ans during the occupation. Many of my informants mentioned to me that their older relatives spoke Italian as well as Greek because of the occupation and that these relatives often mixed Italian words in with their Greek. During World War II, Greek America ns from Tarpon Springs succeeded in petitioning the United States to let Greeks from the Dodecanese immigrate to the United States, in spite of the fact that they were listed as citizens of Italy, an enemy country. According to Strangers at Ithaca a his tory of Tarpon Springs published by George Frantzis in 1962, the first Greek man came to Tarpon Springs in 1896. In 1905, immigration of spongers from the Dodecanese began in earnest, with 500 spongers immigrating that year. Prior to Greek immigration, t he population of Tarpon Springs was about 300, and thus the Greek population in Tarpon Springs comprised a large and visible portion of the population (Frantzis 1962: 54). The Dodecanese Islands have a long history of occupation. They were occupied by t he Ottoman Empire from 1522 until 1912, and then by the Italians from 1912 until 1943. The islands officially became part of Greece in 1947 (1962: 104). Many of my informants expressed pride at the ability of their forebears to maintain Greek culture and religion despite centuries of occupation and oppression. Several informants told stories


7 of how their Greek ancestors had gone into the mountains to conduct Divine Liturgies and Greek schools, since they were forbidden by their occupiers to do these thin gs. From their position in the mountains, they would then throw dynamite to taunt the soldiers. Historically, the throwing of dynamite has been part of Easter Celebrations in Tarpon Springs as a reminder of this independent spirit. However, an informant told me that a church had at one point been partially destroyed by dynamite as a result, and that there had been a move toward the use of fireworks instead, apparently because of announcements made by the priest calling for safer celebrations. Most of m y informants had relatives or friends who had been or still were spongers. Conversations about local history and Greek heritage thus often turn to sponge diving. Traditionally, sponge divers were at sea for six to eight months, returning for short breaks. Kalymnos, the island most widely represented in Tarpon Springs, is matrilocal because of this seafaring tradition. Since the men were or are still almost always at sea, property passes from mother to daughter. I met two different women in Tarpon Springs who had inherited property from female relatives living in Kalymnos. A Tour of the Town The sponge docks and a majority of the Greek businesses are located in the downtown area, which one of my informants referred to as "Greek town." The downtown are a is now filled with Greek restaurants, tourist shops, and sponge shops. Walking along the docks, one sees many boats with Greek names with sponges hanging inside of them to dry. I have frequently heard men in this are speaking Greek to one another. Tak ing a tour of the area with one of my informants, Elaine, whose family has been in the


8 area for 60 years, she pointed out many buildings which were once dedicated to the sponge industry but were now tourist attractions. Map 1 below shows the area near th e sponge docks in detail, while Map 2 shows the layout of the town. Most of my research took place in the area ranging from Dodecanese Boulevard to Lime Street. Most of my informants lived or worked in this area, and all of them frequented this area. St Nicholas Cathedral, which is shown on Map 2, is the site of many social and religious activities. The cathedral, which was built in the Byzantine style, is perhaps the most imposing building in the area, standing as a physical monument to Greek culture and religion. The Greek school is also housed in the cathedral. Map 1 (Sponge Docks Merchants Association 2009)


9 Map 2 (City of Tarpon Springs 2009)


10 Across Pinellas Avenue from the Cathedral is the Fournos Bakery ( fournos means "bakery" in Greek), wh ich has tables for eat in customers. On the occasions that I have sat in this bakery, I have noticed that the vast majority of the patrons speak Greek, rather than English, and most of them seem to know one another and the owners of the bakery. The pries t of the Cathedral, who is a highly respected figure in the community, frequents this bakery. Near the window hangs a large painting with a gilt frame depicting a very grand looking priest tossing a small cross into the water at the bayou as several youth ful boys dive to catch it. The Epiphany Celebration, which this painting depicts, is one of the most important religious celebrations of the year in the community. When I met one of my informants, Maria P, for coffee in the bakery, the priest, Maria's son in law, and several other individuals that Maria also knew came, and all of them greeted Maria and me with an informal !"#$ %&' Conversely, when I visited the teachers at the Greek school across the street, both teachers used the more formal !"#$ %$ ( ." This is perhaps because both teachers are from Greece and have not been integrated into the community for as long as most of the Greek residents I have encountered. Just to the west of the Fournos Bakery is the Ahepa building, the meeting house of the Tarpon Springs chapter of a nationwide service organization by that name. Dinners are held at this meeting house every Friday, as well charity dinners or dinners held for Greek community organizations, such as the Halki Society or the Kalymnian Society. I attended two of these dinners and heard a mix of Greek and English. According to one of Ahepa's volunteers, the organizations original mission was to help integrate Greek immigrants into society. However, the organization no longer does this


11 because mo st new immigrants have family already living here. Ahepa now provides scholarships to high school students instead. Orange Street is dominated primarily by antique shops. While some of the people who work in these shops are Greek, I have not heard Gre ek being spoken when visiting any of them. At the end of Orange Street, the Tarpon Springs Historical Society is housed in an old train station. The society, which is headed by Tina, a Greek American folklorist who was born in California, primarily house s information on the train station that was built in Tarpon Springs in the late 1890s. The public library is located on Tarpon Avenue. At the front of the library are glass etchings of sponge divers, and the library houses a large number of books and audi o materials in Greek, some of which are on display. However, in my many visits to this library, I have never heard anyone speak Greek. The area near the sponge docks is dominated by Greek businesses. In some of the tourist shops along Dodecanese Boulev ard, the shop owners speak Greek to one another and sometimes have the radio tuned to a Greek language radio station. However, many shops also appear to be run by people who are primarily English speakers. In every shop hangs at least one picture of a Gr eek saint or of Jesus, usually behind the counter. All of the restaurants in this area appear to be Greek, and are especially busy on Sunday afternoons and on holidays. The southern half of Athens Street is dominated by Greek speakers. Every afternoon tha t I have visited this area, there have been men sitting outside the National Bakery and the Halki Market talking to one another in Greek. Inside both Halki Market and the National Bakery, businesses which many of my informants frequent, the owners


12 speak G reek to customers and people socializing near the shop, though they speak to me in English when asking if they can help me with anything. The Greek news plays on a television inside the Halki market where customers can see and hear it. Across the street from Halki Market is the )$*"+"#& ( "CafŽ") Usually in the afternoon and evening hours, the voices of men shouting loudly to one another in Greek can be heard from the open door of the cafŽ. This cafŽ in particular has only male customers, and I have noticed men of all ages sitti ng inside. One of my informants told me that for as long as she could remember, Greek wives had been complaining about their husbands spending all day in this cafŽ getting drunk on ouzo, a Greek liquor. I have seen almost no adults in the area described above who appear to be under the age of 40. I met one 18 year old girl who was passing out fliers for her family's restaurant on Dodecanese Boulevard. It appeared that these areas of the town do not attract a lot of young people. Language Policy Greece has historically been linguistically fragmented. In the wake of Greek independence, debates had emerged as to whether it was possible for Greece to adopt a single national language based on popular speech, following the example of other western European s tates. An early 19 th century scholar, Adamandios Korais, proposed a national language based on popular speech that was "corrected" to resemble ancient Greek, and this variety eventually became known as Katharevousa (Horrocks 2010:439) Katharevousa was i ncreasingly archaicized by elites who felt that the linguistic connection of the modern Greek state with its classical past was important for its future success. The newly framed constitution of 1911 proclaimed Katharevousa to be the


13 official language of the Greek state and forbade "any intervention towards the corruption of this language" (2010:458). While a push for the use of a Standard Demotiki begin in the late 19 th century, Demotiki was used primarily by educated elites, and was not taught systemati cally in schools in Greece until 1974 (Frangoudaki 2002: 103). The result was the coexistence of two prestige dialects, and for much of the twentieth century Greece remained diglossic. Katharevousa or "pure" Greek was used in formal contexts, such as in th e church and legal system, while Demotiki was used in informal contexts and increasingly by the literary world Katharevousa came to be associated with conservatism, and Demotiki with left wing ideals. Debates over which register should be considered the national standard continued throughout the twentieth century. Proponents of Katharevousa advocated that it was superior because it was connected with Greek antiquity and was the language of Greece's literate past. The bourgeois, in turn, argued for the u se of Demotiki as the language that people actually spoke in everyday contexts. However, neither of these registers were spoken by the majority of the population. They were restricted to the well educated, and Demotiki was the language of urban centers su ch as Athens, but not of those who lived in rural areas or the periphery (Frangoudaki 2002:104). Individuals in their 40s and younger with whom I have spoken recall learning only Demotiki in school, while senior citizens have told me that they learned Ka tharevousa in Greek school The mixing of elements of Demotiki and Katharevousa became more common during this period, and each carried with it its own connotations. According to Frangoudaki, "The usage of Demotiki in formal contexts is a linguistic indi cator of the


14 speaker's prodemocratic beliefs, while the choice of Katharevousa connotes respect for traditional values, resistance to change, and support of the given order" (2002:104). Frangoudaki also says that Katharevousa came to be seen as the langua ge used by politicians to legitimate their claims to power. In 1964, Demotiki was officially declared the language of education. However, the military junta, which established a dictatorship in 1967, immediately did away with this policy By the time th e military junta fell in 1974, Katharevousa had become firmly associated with pro dictatorship political positions. As a result, it became increasingly unpopular, and the reinstated parliamentary government declared Demotiki to be the language of governme nt, law, and education in 1976. Since then, various changes have been made to Standard Modern Greek. Most significant perhaps was the switch to the monotonic system of writing in 1982. Up until this period a variety of diacritics were used in Greek orth ography. However, it was determined that these orthographic conventions no longer corresponded with the accents of spoken Greek, and a system was adopted which uses only one accent mark. The debate about the national language continues in the media and g overnment in Greece. While some advocate for a retention of Katharevousa elements, which are perceived to be more learned, others argue for a standard that is closer to everyday spoken language. Many of these debates center around education and the import ance of language education in the formation of a unified national identity. National policies in Greece regarding language use are significant in the Tarpon Springs community because they dictate educational policy. Tarpon Springs remains


15 closely connec ted to the Greek government and to the Greek Orthodox Church A Greek government embassy is located in nearby Tampa, and the consular visits often. James Milroy proposes that we think of language as "a pool of linguistic resources" (2001). The social an d economic values attached to linguistic features influence the way individuals in Tarpon Springs choose to use these resources for their own purposes.


16 Literature Review As mentioned in my introduction, the only anthrop ologist to do ethnographic work in Tarpon Springs prior to myself was H. Russel Bernard, who published one paper on the subject, "Greek Sponge Divers in Florida" (1965). The 45 year time difference between Bernard's work and my own means that I am working in a very different context. However, Bernard's description of Tarpon Springs sponge diving in 1963 gives some historical background about the community, as well as insight into how it has changed since then. Bernard spent two weeks at sea on a sponge diving voyage with a crew from Tarpon Springs. His article is largely concerned with the way the introduction of new diving technology had disrupted the organization of labor on the sponge diving boat on which he was traveling (1965: 52). However, his ob servations about the community provide useful insight into the social world of Tarpon Springs. Especially salient to my work in Tarpon Springs were Bernard's observations about ethnic divisions in the community. At the time of Bernard's writing, the com munity of Tarpon Springs was run by a board of fourteen trustees, who were elected each year at the Greek school. This board was responsible for the Greek school, the church, and various community activities, such as the Epiphany celebration. The composi tion of the board is perhaps indicative of the ethnic distribution of power in the community. Of the board of trustees, three representatives from the Kalymnian community were elected, two from Halki, two from Aegina, two from Symi, four "mixti" or those from all other parts of Greece, and one representative from Clearwater. Bernard writes that "while many members running for election to the board


17 are second generation Americans, the island affiliations are still recognized since factionalism among the va rious island groups represented in Tarpon is still rampant" (1965: 44). As of 1963, the community was still heavily divided according to island affiliation. Bernard noted that "marriages and lesser social relationships are still predominantly along ethni c lines as are economic activities such as purchasing of groceries and patronage of service businesses" (1965: 45). Throughout my fieldwork, I was conscious of the history of factionalism in the community and interested in examining the ways in which it h ad transformed during the four and a half decades separating Bernard's research from my own. As I began this project with an interest in how the Greek language was maintained by successive generations of immigrants, I turned to the work of Joshua Fishman, whose research on the subject of language use in immigrant communities has been highly influential in establishing the sociological study of language shift as a field of inquiry. Fishman explores the various motivations for why immigrants ultimately may choose to switch to the language of the new country, rather than retaining that of the old. He notes that if there are rewards for interacting with the indigenous population, it provides incentive to immigrants to switch to the language of the new countr y Fishman refers to these as "social dependency relationships." If the rewards to the immigrant population for this interaction are great enough, "a host of social dependency relationships are developed" such that material, educational, and professional a wards are available to the extent that immigrants master the new language and interact with the indigenous population (1985:60). After this dependency relationship has been developed, status is afforded within the immigrant community to those who can speak the indigenous


18 language, so that eventually parents learn it and speak it to their children in the home. According to Fishman, "what begins as the language of social and economic mobility ends, within three generations or so, as the language of the crib as well" (1985: 61). Fishman, however, approaches these questions as a sociologist, and makes his observations based largely on surveys about language use among immigrant populations and economic data. As an anthropologist, I approached these questions r ather differently, and was curious to examine the ideas and attitudes behind what Fishman refers to as "social dependency relationships." According to Fishman, where A is the indigenous language and B is the immigrant language, "it is the weakening, and f inally, the destruction of B requiring role relationships among B's (in addition to the adoption of A requiring role relationships between B's and A's)" that results in the language shift (1985:61). Fishman goes on to list a number of kinds of rewards that lead to adoption of the A language. However, all of the "rewards" which he lists are material gains. He fails to examine what kinds of social rewards might exist for the adoption of the indigenous language by an immigrant population. Fishman's model u ltimately proved to be a useful way for thinking about the shift from Greek to English in Tarpon Springs if one takes social rewards and resources into account. The desire to seem more American or to be accepted by one's peers in the new country could be s trong motivations for switching to a new language. According to Fishman, after translinguification has occurred in the new country, "new immigrants translinguify even more rapidly than the old timers'" (1985:62). They need language A not only for inte ractions with the outside world but for interactions with


19 their family and social networks. Newly arrived immigrants find that social, religious, and educational institutions and community leaders are operating in the new language, and are thus even more compelled to use it than their predecessors. Fishman adds that "even with relinguification, the sense of B ness can continue among B's" and new patterns of B ness emerge. He continues: In addition, however, the old country' too has frequently changed fr om the good old days' when B's first began arriving in major numbers on the shores of A land. B land too has become relatively modernized and urbanized" "Thus, B's keep coming to A land in search of greater opportunity'but they are now importantly dif ferent B's than were their predecessors, the old timers' (1985:62). Fishman also asserts that there are often fewer differences between the new Bs and the As than between the new Bs and even the grandchildren of the old Bs. He states that this makes the transition easier for the new Bs and that they have fewer reservations about adopting A ness than the old timers. (1985:63) Recent scholarship has also discussed the social indexicality of various dialects of Greek within Greece. Brian D. Joseph (1992) has shown that within Greece, regional dialects have been accorded low stylistic status, while the standard Athenian dialect has been accorded higher status. According to Joseph, dialects from the island regions of Greece are perceived as being backward a nd less sophisticated. There is thus pressure on speakers of rural dialects to sound more "Athenian." I found that Greek speakers in Tarpon Springs were aware of this stigma, though some felt it more acutely than others. One Tarpon Springs resident whose family is from Symi told me that his aunt, who now lives in Marseilles, often chided him over the phone for speaking "island Greek."


20 Kostas Kazazis has also shown that Greek speakers are prone to hypercorrection (1992). Katharevousa Greek is still conside red to be more formal and to demonstrate learnedness. Greek speakers who wish to appear educated thus have a tendency to make their speech more similar to Katharevousa when in formal situations. According to Kazazis, some Greeks consider the use of Katha revousa to demonstrate snobbery, while others decry the loss of the more "learned" words. Language Standardization Pierre Bourdieu (2008) correctly observed that a standardized language is not somehow more correct or linguistically superior to regional dialects, but that it achieves this position through a political process in which socially and economically dominant classes use their authority to legitimate and codify it. Bourdieu references the process by which countries, France in particular, adopt a national language during the process of national unification. The adoption of a national language, according to Bourdieu, is a "properly political process of unification whereby a determined set of speaking subjects' is led in practice to accept the o fficial language." Bourdieu says of the "official language": As opposed to dialect, it has benefited from the institutional conditions necessary for its generalized codification and imposition. Thus known and recognized (more or less completely) througho ut the whole jurisdiction of a certain political authority, it helps in turn to reinforce the authority which is the source of its dominance. It does this by ensuring among all members of the linguistic community'the minimum of communication which is th e precondition for economic production and even for symbolic dominationProduced by authors who have the authority to write, fixed and codified by grammarians and teachers who are also charged with the task of inculcating its mastery, the language is a cod e in the sense of a system of norms regulating linguistic practices. (2008:404)


21 Bourdieu notes that in the process of the adoption of the official language in France "whereas the lower classes, particularly the peasantry, were limited to the local diale ct, the aristocracy had access much more frequently to the use of the official language, written or spoken, while at the same time possessing the dialect" (2008:406). Bourdieu notes that the process of national unification leads to the domination of an official language. "It is in the process of state formation that the conditions are created for the constitution of a unified linguistic market, dominated by the official language. Obligatory on official occasions and in official places (schools, public a dministrations, political institutions, etc), this state language becomes the theoretical norm against which all linguistic practices are objectively measured" (2008:404). While Bourdieu notes that some politically dominant force influences the standard l anguage through the process of unification, he fails to mention who these politically dominant forces might be or that they tend to be concentrated in urban centers. The sociolinguist James Milroy's article, "Language Ideologies and the Consequences of Sta ndardization," provides useful insight into the way language ideologies shape language use through the process of standardization. Milroy defines standardization as "the imposition of uniformity upon a class of objects." He adds that uniformity and invar iance are not natural qualities of languages, but rather that "uniformity has been institutionally imposed on pre existing states of language" (2001:534). Therefore, he suggests that "determinate languages, such as English, may be defined more by ideolog ies than by their internal structures." Milroy also comments that much of linguistic theory is flawed because it has been based almost entirely upon standardized languages and suggests that linguistic theory


22 based on non standardized languages would like ly result in a rather different notion of what constitutes a language. Milroy also notes that in variationist studies it has been common to use the standard version of a language as the unmarked form against which all other varieties are compared. Thus th e terminology used to described dialects often suggests that they are aberrant diverging from a base variety that is somehow more normal or legitimate (2001:533). Indeed, as will be seen below, it is difficult to get around this when doing descriptive an alyses of linguistic varieties. Milroy also notes that "the standard is always in the process of being maintained" and that this is done by policing language use in various ways, such as through the educational system. Since there cannot in practice be a wholly standardized language, uniformity should rather be seen as the "goal" of the standardization process. He notes, In modern European history, progressive standardization of monetary systems, weights and measures, and of factory made goods general ly, has gone hand in hand with the rise of international trade and capitalism, and progressive standardization of language has developed alongside standardization of these other things," and further, that language standardization is a process, and its imme diate goals are "not literary, but economic, commercial, and political" (2001:535). Milroy uses the term "standard language cultures" to describe speakers in such cultures and notes that An extremely important effect of standardization has been the devel opment of consciousness among speakers of a `correct', or canonical, form of language." No justification is needed for the interpreting of the standard as correct because it is considered "common sense." If you do not know this, Milroy says, "you are not a participant in the common culture" (2001:536).


23 However, it is clear that the standard language is not the natural result of native speaker intuition, but rather the result of external forces. The standard language is thus acquired through the proces s of education and with the "guidance of privileged authorities". Standard languages are thus defined by ideology, and their legitimacy is established through social and political means. The establishment of the idea of a standard variety, the diffusion of knowledge of this variety, its codification in widely used grammar books and dictionaries, and its promotion in a wide range of functions all lead to the devaluing of other varieties. The standard form becomes the legitimate form, and other forms become in the popular mind, illegitimate. Historical linguists have been prominent in establishing this legitimacy, because, of course, it is important that a standard language, being the language of a nation state and, sometimes, a great empire, should share i n the (glorious) history of that nation state. Indeed, the language is commonly seen as part of the identity of that nation state. (2001:547) In "The Ebonics Controversy in Context (1999)," James Collins discusses the issues surrounding language ideologic al debates, which were highlighted by the controversy surrounding the Oakland School Board's attempt to have African American English Vernacular or "Ebonics" considered a separate language from English. Collins notes that the attempt to change the legal s tatus of Ebonics was an attempt to gain financial support for Ebonics speaking students. Monies were available to provide special assistance to bilingual students. Had Ebonics acquired the legal status of a separate language, rather than a variety of Engli sh, funds would have been allocated for special classes for Ebonics speaking students. Thus, in the hierarchy of value imposed by the American legal system, while English is clearly the most highly valued, speech which has the status of a "language" other than English is more highly valued than nonstandard dialects or varieties of English. This renders non standard varieties of English practically invisible to the legal system and powerless under the law.


24 One newspaper columnist accused the Oakland School Board of "legitimating gibberish" (1999:208). Even many Ebonics speakers felt that it should not be used in a classroom setting. Many felt that using it would prevent the "betterment" and social mobility of black students. According to Collins, in a ca pitalist society, the legitimate language has a market value that allows speakers to climb the socioeconomic ladder. English was viewed as "empowering" while Ebonics was seen as something "that would perpetuate the exclusion of African American youth, mar king their difference and guaranteeing their subjection" (1999:212). Collins notes that in American society, English is widely seen as "the sign and vehicle of personal and collective historical improvement" (1999:212). The national language is thus not only seen as the vehicle of individual socioeconomic improvement, but of national improvement as well. Standard English was said to be "the language of business", "the language of power", an acquirable substance necessary to move up the social hierarchy i n a capitalist society. For those countries seeking to improve their socioeconomic standing on the global stage, a unified national language is often seen as a vehicle of advancement. Agreeing with Bourdieu and Milroy, I view the boundaries of standard languages as defined not by language internal factors, but by external forces. The study of speakers in the process of shifting from dialect speech to SMG (Standard Modern Greek) is thus as much anthropological (a study of social, economic, political for ces) as it is linguistic. Dodecanese Dialects


25 There have been very few academic publications on the dialects spoken in the Dodecanese. The three most relevant contributions to their description have been Brian Newton's The Generative Interpretation of Dialect (1972), Geoffrey Horrocks' Greek: A History of the Language and It's Speakers (2010) and Peter Trudgills' Preliminary Classification (2003). The Generative Interpretation of Dialect was the first book written in English which attempted a classif icatory description of all of the modern Greek dialects. The work is largely concerned with presenting a phonological description of the dialects with the aim of presenting "an account of interdialectal variation." Newton bases his account on the assumpti on that dialect variation has arisen as a result of a variety of phonological processes acting upon what he presumes was once a uniform Greek language. Newton assigns the Greek dialects into areal groups based on selected phonological isoglosses and then proceeds to provide a basic description of the types of phonological variation present in each. He classifies the Dodecanese, along with a wide area of the southeastern area, including Cyprus and Chios, as comprising what he refers to as the South easter n Dialects. Newton says that the Southeastern Dialect group is characterized by the following: 1) voiced fricative deletion in intervocalic position 2) softening of the velars /k/ /x/ and /g/ before front vowels and glides 3) gamma epenthesis in verbs w ith stems ending in [ev], where the gamma is inserted before the vowel of the verb ending 4) no final nasal deletion 5) unstressed /e/ tends to be rounded into /o/ when preceded by a labial consonant (1972: 59)


26 Newton provides examples of the above featu res using data gathered from Kalymnos and Symi, making his descriptive analysis especially useful in completing my own linguistic case studies. Newton also notes that standard counterparts to the features listed above are also common and that they are espe cially so in "larger and more accessible communities." Of intervocalic voiced fricative deletion, Newton notes that the "rule" is only applied consistently in smaller and more isolated communities. He notes further that "the phenomenon is largely restric ted to the older generation, especially the womenfolk" (1972:61). It is thus apparent that dialect standardization was already underway in the Dodecanese in the middle of the twentieth century. Citing the paucity of classificatory schemas for the dialec ts of Modern Greek, Peter Trudgill proposes his own classification. Since Trudgill's interest is in the traditional dialects of Greece, he opts to create a dialect map based on the presence of isoglosses in the year 1900, when what he calls the "tradition al" dialects of Greek were at their fullest geographical extent. Trudgill notes that the large number of inhabited islands in Greece make classification difficult because not all of these islands have been visited by dialectologists (2003: 47). Trudgill a lso notes that another reason for the lack of dialects maps is the fact that the borders of Greece were redrawn as recently as 1947 and that during the first three decades of the twentieth century, large population exchanges took place as a result of polit ical conflicts between Greece, Turkey, and Albania. He also notes that many areas which were not Greek speaking at the start of the twentieth century now are. He suggests that the creation of a graphic representation of this fact


27 would likely not have e ndeared the dialectologist to Greek nationalists in earlier periods, and suggests that Newton's map appears to have been influenced by this (2003:48). Trudgill states that many Modern Greek dialects have been replaced by Standard Greek or by standard lik e Greek, and that those dialects that remain are undergoing contraction. Trudgill groups the islands of Symi and Kalymnos into a much smaller dialect area than does Newton, and he terms it the Eastern Dialect group. This group includes Chios, Nissiros, Ikaria, Tilos, and adjacent areas of the coast of Asia Minor, but excludes the neighboring Dodecanesan islands such as Rhodes and Karpathos, as well as Cyprus. No mention is made of Halki.According to Trudgill, this Eastern dialect group is characterized by the presence of geminates and final /n/ retention, but does not display velar palatisation like the rest of the Dodecanese. Drawing on both Newton's and Trudgill's dialect descriptions, for the islands of Symi and Kalymnos, I assume the following pho nological features to be present: 1) Intervocalic voiced fricative deletion 2) Final /n/ retention 3) Geminates The most recent work to cover the Modern Greek dialects in detail is Geoffrey Horrocks Greek : a History of the Language and It's Speakers (2010) Horrocks' History has proven to be a valuable resource not only for its detailed and well supported history of the Greek dialects but also for its coverage of the political and cultural attitudes that have shaped the development of the modern Gre ek language, especially in the twentieth century. Horrocks states that "dialect speech everywhere is succumbing to the


28 standardizing effects of universal education, access to mass media, the flight of the young to cities, and the advent of easy mobility" (2010:383) Horrocks outlines a number of features which he describes as "typical" of the Southeastern dialect group. He notes that many of the features that now distinguish the Dodecanesan dialects from those of the rest of Greece arose as the result of i ts relative isolation from the rest of Greece. Changes that began to occur in most of the Greek dialects did not occur in the Dodecanese. Horrocks' book is a vast resource on features of the Greek dialects, and it would thus be beyond the scope of this r eview to list all of the features which he ascribes to the Dodecanese However, I've taken special note of a few I recorded among Greek speakers in Tarpon Springs. One such change was the loss of final /n/. Thus, while speakers of Dodecanesan dialects r etain final /n/, most other Modern Greek pronounce this /n/ only when it is followed by a vowel or a plosive (2010:274). In Standard Modern Greek, final /n/ and /n/ followed by an affricate occurs only in learned words whose pronunciation is influenced by their ancient spelling. Horrocks also mentions that third person plural verb endings in &'%# rather than the Standard Modern Greek &'+ are common in the Dodecanese, as well as Cyprus and Crete. Additionally, Horrocks states that the functional merger of the perfect and aorist forms in the Byzantine era led to regional variation in the productivity of the k and s endings (2010:302). Modernity


29 After doing months of fieldwork in Tarpon Springs, I realized that notions about "modernity" came up very freq uently in conversations with my informants, and thus found it necessary to consult the work of other anthropologists on this subject. In Expectations of Modernity James Ferguson examines the way metanarratives about modernity pervaded the thinking of his informants in the mining town of Kitwe, Zambia. Modernity theory, which posits that human society is progressing toward a somehow better future in a teleological fashion, has been debunked in the social sciences. However, as Ferguson notes, the metanarat ive of modernity is still very much alive in the popular imagination. Ferguson observes that the ideas of modernism appear to have been appropriated by communities as folk knowledge and adopted as a myth in the anthropological sense. He noted that the no tions of a great march forward into a superior and more prosperous society structured the way his informants viewed their own lives. Ferguson's observations were particularly salient because of the striking similarity of some of his accounts to those I ex perienced with my informants. Ferguson observed that his informants had adopted a dualistic way of thinking that contrasted "town ways" with "village ways," but adds "But what they described in one breath as a difference between urban' and rural' might in the next become a contrast between modern' and traditional', African' versus European', or even educated' versus uneducated'" (1999:83). In Modernity at Large, Arjun Appadurai comments on the ways in which selves are imagined in the context of mod ernity and globalization. He notes, "This mobile and unforeseeable relationship between mass mediated events and migratory audiences defines the core of the link between globalization and the modern The work of the


30 imaginationis a space of contestation in which individuals and groups seek to annex the global into their own practices of the modern" (1996:4). Individuals thus perform their modern identities through the appropriation of various aspects of the global, which they then redefine for themselves. I found that for many of my informants, their "modern" identity was conceived of in terms of their level of cosmopolitanism and "Americanization". In the following chapter, I discuss encounters with many individuals in Tarpon Springs whose language use and ideas had varying social significances within the context of the Greek American speech community in Tarpon Springs.


31 Photini -./"#+0 One afternoon, Maria took me to visit Photini, a 91 year old Symian woman. I had told Maria that I wanted to hear what a Symian accent sounded like, and Maria excitedly suggested that I meet Photini. Photini is what younger generations in the c ommunity variously refer to as an "old timer" or someone "born in a village". When I first walked into Photini's house, I noticed that it was muggy inside because she hadn't turned the air conditioning on despite the fact that it was hot out. She had op ened the front door and the windows to let the breeze in instead. She wore the head scarf that was once expected of all Greek widows, though not worn any longer by the younger generation of Greek women in Tarpon Springs. She held a cane and had difficulty walking, but brought us lemonade after we had sat down, and later offered to cook for us. She did not speak very much English, but it appeared that she could understand the gist of what Maria said to me in English. She addressed Maria P as 1&20 &', "d aughter." When addressing me, Photini would occasionally begin sentences in English, slowly, and then finish them in Greek, speaking much more quickly. It was very difficult for me to understand most of what she said because of her accent, so Maria trans lated for me throughout the conversation. After Photini offered the lemonade, Maria told her that she had to watch her sugar intake, but Photini waved her off, saying that her mother had been )#$+(% ("doctor"), and that all she needed to do was have a piece of feta cheese in the morning with her coffee. She told a story of how the "Greek doctor" in Tarpon Springs had told her he "found too much sugar" (Maria P's translation) and that she had cured it by remembering


32 what her mother told her about the cheese. I asked what kind of medicine her mother had practiced, and she explained that her mother had been a #$/2& ( 32$1/#1& ( which Maria explained to me meant that she had not studied medicine at a university. I asked Maria how she had learned medicine, and she said, "The everyday life and the experience in life. Some people, they gets a gift, I guess." But Photini referred to her mother throughout the conversation as a #$ + 2& without the 32$1/#1 & ( qualification. Glancing at the photographs of Photini's grandchildren on the wall, I couldn't help but think that their definition of "doctor" was probably very different from hers. Photini was the seventh and youngest child in her family. Her fathe r was from Crete, and her mother was from Symi. She came to the U.S. in 1961 with her husband, who died in 1992. He'd been offered a position as a 4&05& ( ("helper") on a sponge boat in Tarpon Springs. She said he had died ultimately of a brain hemorrhage caused by a German soldier during the World War II occupation. She showed me a photograph of him, and I saw that the hemorrhage did indeed appear to be about the size of a golf ball. I asked if working on the sponge boats had meant that he was gone a lo t, and Maria explained that in Greece the sponger divers were gone for three months at a time, but that in Tarpon Springs, they were usually only gone for 10 days at a time. Photini had three grown sons in their late 50s and early 60s. She told me in E nglish that her youngest son Giorgo's first marriage had lasted 15 days because "this girl already have boyfriend." But he got married again and now has two sons. Her oldest son lives with her, and the other two live in New Port Richie. Photini attende d school up until the age of 12. Her father had not permitted her to continue her education because the high school was co ed. I asked whether she had


33 learned Katharevousa or Demotiki in elementary school, and she replied 6770+#1$ ("Greek"), and Maria explained that Photini did not know the difference. Like many islanders her age, Photini remembered the occupation of her native island first by the Germans and later by the Italians. She recalled having to learn Italian for an hour at school every day during her elementary school years, because the island was then occupied by the Italians Several informants have told me that some Italian words have remained in their everyday vocabulary for this reason. Photini thus uses the Italian derived word for "face," *$/%$ in excerpt 3 below. She met her husband as a child on the island of Symi. An earthquake had destroyed the girls' school building, so they had had to share temporarily with the boys. She had shared a desk with her future husband, and gave him her books because his family was too poor to buy them. Photini told the story of how his mother had run into her mother as she was returning from collecting firewood on the mountain, and having learned that Photini had given h er son her books, said that he would marry Photini someday. This, she explained, is why she believes that their marriage was meant to be, even though she had wanted to be a nun instead of getting married. She told me about her three year engagement to he r husband and how the first time she was ever alone with him was when they were married. Her father never permitted her to go anywhere alone with him, and threatened to cut their throats with a saw that he kept behind the door if he ever saw them alone to gether. She mentioned a time when her future husband had asked Photini to come to church with him alone, and she had said no because she was afraid of her father.


34 At one point in our conversation she exclaimed in English, without prompting or preface, "For ty nine years married; Forty nine years zipper!" and made a motion across her lips. She seemed to have said this in English in order to get my attention and make sure that I understood. Then she switched back to Greek to explain what she meant to Maria. Maria explained that when Photini was living in Symi, her husband had a girlfriend and this had made her miserable. But she had prayed and felt that God was telling her to be patient and continue on without saying anything. For 49 years, she did not tell anyone about her husband's cheating or about how unhappy she was in her marriage. Even when her mother asked she would say "Nothing mama." Maria explained "she wanted to cry, but she didn't want other people to know what was the reason, and she will give a false reason that she had a terrible tooth ache" She went outside to cry, hiding her face with her shawl. She did not divorce him because she wanted to come with him to America, and she is grateful to him for bringing her with him. She said that she likes her life in the U.S. much better than her life in Symi. Many people with whom I have spoken have said that divorce would be unthinkable for Photini's generation. Like many elderly Greeks, Photini's religious faith was very important to her. S he told us that her religious experiences enabled her to endure her 49 year marriage to an abusive husband. She recounted several occasions when, as a young woman, prayers and religious dreams had comforted her in difficult circumstances. She told Maria P a story about how her husband had treated her once at a wedding which he had forced her to attend when they were still living in Symi and how her prayers had helped her cope: Ah, Mrs. Maria, the girlfriend came, and he pushed me away from him, threw me as ide, and he puts her next to him. I did not speakThere were judges,


35 policemen, you understand, all those people. That's what happened. A lady says "Pho Pho, come here close to us". And they (her husband and his girlfriend) got drunk. One for her; one for him. One for her; one for him. Beers. And they were saying loud: I want a divorce, tomorrow. I got embarrassed and I suffered (she had a stroke). But I forgive him cause he brought me to this good country, America. Morning and Night! Who does t his, Maria? But hope made me speak with Christ. In the morning, I feel good by the candle (religious altar in the home). Photini also explained that, in spite of having been unhappy in her marriage for 49 years, she would not go out for any festive o ccasions because it was improper to do so as a widow. She said that it was too hard for her to get rid of a lifelong habit, since both before and during her married life she felt it improper to go out alone. Her son once managed to drag her to a club that held social events for seniors. "But as soon as the orchestra started, she felt so bad, that she left by herself it was within walking distance and came back home". Photini laughed as Maria translated this and Maria did too, seemingly because she had th warted her meddling son. Maria added, "That is something that the old ladies think about when your husband dies. I mean, it's not proper for you to go out" Photini said that she would not go anywhere where there is music or celebration because it is in appropriate. She goes once a month to lunch at a club for senior citizens, but said that she would not go on Saturdays because there was an organ. Photini spoke with a thick Symian accent that betrayed her age as well as her Dodecanese heritage. Her vo ice trembled slightly as she told Maria and I many things about her life, often trailing off and then starting on a new topic. The Greek she spoke was not the "modern" Greek or Demotiki, but an older, more localized variety. Standard Modern Greek or Demot iki was not established until decades after Photini's father forbade her from going to school any longer.


36 While a complete linguistic analysis is beyond the scope of this thesis, I've chosen to give examples of the variations in Photini's speech using li nguistic features found in the following excerpts from our interview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hroughout the interview, rather than using the modern, contracted form of the verb 1$+. Photini used the older, uncontracted form, 1$+. In some cases, she did cont ract the medial consonants but pronounced the word 1$. ", as in the above. 2. /n/ retention Photini also pronounced many words with a final /n/ that fell out of use in other Greek dialects, as mentioned by Newton, Trudgill, and Horrocks. Some example s from the excerpt above: /?$>$2& +


37 12"44$/# + "+$ + %/$'2& + 3. / 5 / > /t/ in intervocalic position Some examples from above: "25"# ( > 2/"# ( Elsewhere in the interview, she also used the following words: 1$5"#%/" > 1$/%"/" 1$50%" > 1$/%" 025$ > 02/$ 4. D"+ > "+ Throughout the interview, Photini pronounced the word 5"+ as "+, and in excerpt 2 above, she pronounces it $+ According to Newton, this is typical in southern dialects. (1972:81) 5. %1$*+# This word is local and thus not listed in any Greek dictionary. Vicki, t he native Greek speaker who helped me translate the interview, said that she had never heard the word before, but it appears from the context that it means "stove." English translations of the excerpts above: 1. Photini told us about how she had lear ned the cure for high blood sugar from her mother: Drink your coffeeEat a piece of feta, you know, Mizithra. My mother was a doctor. When I was little, I listened when she was telling the neighbor, the sugar cuts (disappears). Well, when Diamanti (a l ocal Greek doctor) was here I love sweets I go. He says to me, "You have sugar" (high blood sugar). You'll come next month. You'll eat feta." I go he says I have sugar "Sorry Doc," this and that. He says "Ah! You are a doctor. You are a doctor." 2. Here, Photini tells of a dream that she had the night before her marriage, in which a saint speaks with her: What kind of bed is this to sleep in? She says, "It is Christ's. It is yours." I'm not sleeping in this bed. And she picks me up, and she puts me on the bed, and she leaves.


38 And when she put me on the bed, I heard "Ring, ring, ring" under the pillow. I pick up the pillowA cross! An icon of St. George that our little village by the sea had, the Worthy Belt. 3. In this excerpt, she tells of another dream she had as a young wife in Symi, in which Christ visits her and tells her to forgive her husband: A young man came and asked me, "Where is your husband?" "Hold on, child" I wouldn't tell him my secrets. I said "Come, come to drink a cup of coffee At least for one mastic. I'm honored to see your face for the first time. I see you for the first time." He came close. "Put it on the stove." He sits down. I put it on the stove. As soon as I turned around, he was goneI was lucky to have St Elephtherios close. Saint Elephtherios, you keep me alive and give me freedom. Show me in my sleep "My daughter, forgive. Every day that you burn incense, I see you. I am Christ. And do the things you do."


39 Exploring the Community I met people of many different backgrounds during the time I spent in Tarpon Springs. Some were third generation immigrants who were far removed from their Greek heritage and regarded it as little more than nostalgia. Others had spent signi ficant portions of their lives in Greece or were born there and had much stronger connections to the home country. Elaine The first person I met in Tarpon Springs was Elaine, who worked as a dealer at an antique shop. I attempted to strike up a conversa tion, and she seemed relatively unenthusiastic, until I told her what my research was about. At that point she became very eager to share with me and gave me her telephone number so that she could invite me over for dinner. Elaine had recently turned 4 0 and had been married to her second husband for a year. She dressed somewhat trendily and was relatively talkative once we had become acquainted with one another. She complained at length about what it was like to be a part of such a close knit Greek co mmunity, but it was clear that she was very proud of all of the things she was telling me and expected that I would find them interesting. Elaine told me that her father was Greek American and her mother was Irish American, but she seemed to consider her Greek heritage to be more important. When we began discussing Greek culture, Elaine told me excitedly about the one trip she had taken to Greece twenty years previously as a part of a dance troop, Leventia. The group sang traditional songs and choreograp hed dances to them. She remembered the trip as


40 one of the more important experiences of her life. She felt that Greek culture had been better maintained in Tarpon Springs than it had been in Greece itself because Tarponers didn't "take it for granted." She told me a story of how elderly people that the troop had met on their trip said that no one in Greece knew the songs that they sang any longer because they had been forgotten. I asked her if she spoke Greek and she seemed somewhat embarrassed to adm it that, while she had once spoken it very well, she was no longer able to speak it as fluently. She was able to understand the conversations of other Greek speakers, however. She refused to go to Greek school as a child, but her grandfather had come over to the house after school and given her lessons. Elaine proudly told me that her father carved the cross for the epiphany diving each year. The Epiphany Celebration is a yearly holiday honoring the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. In both Kalymnos and Tarpon Springs, the celebration includes an event in which the priest throws the cross into the water and then young men from the community dive in search of it. The young man who finds the cross is said to have been chosen by God to do so, and it is considered a great honor by Tarponers to have retrieved an Epiphany cross. I met Elaine at her house one afternoon, and she later took me on a tour of Tarpon Springs, often pointing out places where significant buildings used to stand, such as the Old Sp onge Docks. The interior of her house looked very much like a typical upper middle class American household. There was little, if anything, in it to suggest that the inhabitants were Greek Americans (even though she had insisted so strongly on the importa nce of "heritage" and "history"). She offered me Halva and we chatted for a


41 while. While there, I met her son, who lived in the guest house. He had recently graduated from USF with a music degree and earned money writing music and playing in a band. Lik e Elaine, he didn't speak any Greek, but said that he could understand some of it. He said that he had not gone to Greek school as a child because he had taken music lessons after school instead. He gave me a ride in his car one afternoon and pointed out where all the historic buildings had stood, just as Elaine had. He talked about Greekness as if it were part of his family's heritage and part of the older generation but not something that figured largely into his life. He told me that he had some Greek friends but that, like him, they didn't speak Greek. Elaine's husband, whose family was from Symi, arrived and I told them about my interest in language. Elaine and her husband expressed displeasure at how they felt the Greek language had changed within Greece. Recalling a recent trip to Greece, Elaine's husband said that several people had corrected him while there saying, "We don't talk like that anymore." He said that many words had been shortened, and that the people in the cities talked so fast tha t he couldn't understand them. Elaine felt that the change in the language was part of a larger process by which Greece was letting go of its traditional culture and becoming more "American" and more "modern." Elaine invited me to come to her sister's ho use with her for a family dinner, so I went along with her. As we were driving from her house to her sister's, she told me that both she and two of her three sisters lived within a mile of their parents, and that one of her sisters actually lived next doo r to her parents. She told me that she hadn't been able to "get away with anything" in high school because Tarpon was so small and everyone knew everyone else. Nevertheless, she seemed to like the intimacy of the community.


42 She had gone to Saint Petersb urg college because she hadn't wanted to move away from Tarpon Springs. I spent that afternoon talking with the people present at the dinner, who included Elaine's husband, two of her sisters, her brother in law, two of her sister's children, her parent s, her own son, and her sister's goddaughter. The only people present who were fluent in Greek were Elaine's husband, her father, and one of her brothers in law. However, they spoke mostly in English to one another in order to not exclude everyone else f rom their conversation. Elaine told me that she could understand most of what they were saying when they did speak Greek but had some difficulty participating. Elaine's mother told a story about how she had attempted to learn Greek when she and Elaine's father had become engaged in order to please her mother in law. She had asked Elaine's uncle to teach her how to say something to her future mother in law, and Elaine's uncle had rather deviously told her to address her mother in law as %1'7& ( which Ela ine's mother did, before finding out that it meant "dog." Elaine's mother said that she had given up on learning Greek after that. Elaine's father was born in the U.S. but grew up speaking Greek until he attended school at the age of five. His parents w ere from Halki. He said that many people asked him to carve replicas of the crosses which he carved each year for the Epiphany diving. However, he would only carve larger or smaller replicas because he felt that the winner of the dive each year won it by divine right and thus that it was inappropriate to offer a cross of the same size to anyone else. Elaine certainly had a sense of pride in her Greek heritage and seemed somewhat embarrassed when her son told her during the course of the dinner that he did not know


43 what Halva was. She prompted her parents and brother in law to tell stories about their progenitors in Halki and seemed eager for me to hear them. Her father told a story about how his uncle had had to flee the island before his parents had come to the U.S. themselves. The Germans had made life difficult for the Halketans by forbidding them from fishing. Elaine's father's uncle had thus sought to play a practical joke on one of the soldiers by greasing the steps with fat, but the soldier had tri pped and died of a head injury. Elaine's father's uncle had thus fled to America in order to avoid retribution from the German soldiers. Unlike many of my older informants and the more recent ŽmigrŽs with whom I spoke, Elaine and her family did not seem t o hold an entirely orthodox view of their religion, but a rather more inclusive one. They attended church semi regularly, and the only spiritual view that Elaine to espoused to me with any certainty was that "everything happens for a reason." She told me that when she did attend church, she preferred to go to the Greek language service, even though she could not understand much of what was being said. She recounted for me the succession of priests who had overseen the church since the early twentieth cen tury and which ones were the most loved by the community. I asked her why there was still a Greek language service at the church when it seemed that most people in the community spoke English (I realized what a silly question this had been later in my fie ldwork), and Elaine told me that the "old guard" wouldn't put up with it. I asked who she meant by "the old guard" and she explained that she meant the "old ladies" who were very traditional in their ways and, as it seemed to her, wielded considerable inf luence.


44 While Elaine had claimed that everyone in Tarpon Springs knew everyone else, there did seem to be a specific class of people that Elaine's family did not include in their conception of "everyone." Conversing over dinner at Elaine's house for exa mple, her brother in law referred to "DP's" during a conversation with her father, and Elaine explained that this term stood for "deport" and that they called more recent ŽmigrŽs from Greece this derisively because they'd been supposedly deported from thei r home country. I asked why it was that they didn't like them, and Elaine said that the immigrants who came over more recently didn't have "the same values and traditions" as the original immigrants to Tarpon Springs, that they had "less respect" and were "different" and "modernized." Elaine seemed to view Greek culture as an artifact of the past that needed to be preserved in the same form in which it was brought to the United States by her great grandparents. Elaine told me that many people she knew spo ke "Greeklish" because of their limited knowledge of Greek. She told me that her aunt, when asked how to say words in Greek that she did not know, she would merely add a Greek ending to the English word, and thus say things like "Caro" and "Ice Creami" wh en speaking Greek. Elaine's youngest sister, who never learned Greek, used the Greek "potata" for potatoes. I asked her if that was actually the Greek word for potato or if it was just an English word with Greek intonation (I later found out that it was, in fact, very similar to the Greek word for potato), and she said that if it had Greek intonation, it was Greek to her. "Greeklish" came up again many times during my fieldwork. One such occasion was when I met Noreen at a Night in the Islands event, a monthly event in which shops and restaurants along Dodecanese Boulevard stay open late and live music plays along


45 the sponge docks. I discovered that her son went to the same college that I did, so we began chatting. Noreen seemed to be in her early 40s a nd was rather soft spoken. She told me that her name had originally been a Greek one (she did not say what) but that she had changed it and moved to Jacksonville. She told me that her Greek used to be good but that it wasn't anymore because she didn't use it very often. She was in Tarpon Springs house sitting for her mother, and she mentioned that the elderly woman who lived next door only spoke Greek. She told me that because her knowledge of Greek was limited, when she was speaking to this neighbor over the fence, when she did not know the Greek word for something, she substituted English words with Greek phonology, much like Elaine's aunt. The loss of competence in Greek thus appears to have led to the introduction of more English words into the Gre ek vocabulary. I asked both Noreen and Tina, who was also present, whether they could distinguish the different Dodecanesan accents, and they both told me that they couldn't really tell because their Greek wasn't good enough. On a separate occasion, Tina referred to the limited Greek proficiency of many Tarponers as "kitchen Greek." I presume that it is so called because even those people I met who claimed not to know any Greek seemed to be familiar with terms associated with Greek cuisine, perhaps becau se their were no English equivalents for many Greek dishes. One such dish is 1$42&'2$ which is a traditional food of sponge divers and is generally served at special events and on festive occasions. At an Ahepa dinner one evening, I met a man who was boiling some 1$42&'2$ behind the building. He explained that the dish was der ived from the method used by sponge divers to keep their pork uncontaminated for weeks at sea. The meat was sealed in a can with a thick layer of fat in order to prevent it from spoiling.


46 When cooked for meals on shore, the pork is boiled in fat until it becomes saturated, causing it to taste very sweet. This word did not appear any Greek dictionary I consulted. However, I later found that kavurma is a Turkish dish consisting of fried meat. I thus assume that the shared term is due to the proximity of th e Dodecanese to Turkey. Maria P I asked Tina, a local folklorist, if she knew of anyone who could tutor me, and she recommended Maria P. Shortly after beginning my fieldwork, I began meeting weekly with Maria P, who tutored me in Modern Greek. When I explained my research to Maria P, she was enthusiastic about my desire to learn more about the community and helped me a great deal by introducing me to people she knew and bringing me along to events she was attending. Maria P spoke English with a not iceable Greek accent and occasionally made mistakes when she was speaking English. I noticed that after having conversations in Greek she tended to make many more phonological mistakes. For example, during an interview with Photini, who spoke primarily G reek, she pronounced "wood" as "good," an easy mistake for a native Greek speaker to make, since they are corresponding approximants in either language. Maria P dressed in the style of many American women her age, though she always appeared a bit more for mal than most Floridians tend to dress in hot weather. She was very assertive but also seemed to feel the need to be very self sacrificing. She se was reluctant to tell me what she charged for the lessons, even though it was a very low amount considering the amount of time she put into each of them. In the motherly


47 fashion common to many of the women in the community, she baked me a cake. I later heard from Nora, another informant, that Greek women generally play a caretaker role both for men and other women. Maria P had also taught at the Greek school for many years, and many of the people she introduced me to had once been students of hers. She ran across people she knew everywhere we went in the community. At the time of my fieldwork she also taugh t Greek on Fridays at a preschool in Tarpon and served as a representative of Kalymnos on the Sister Cities Commission, which oversees relations between Tarpon Springs and its sister cities. Maria was enormously proud of her Greek heritage and of the G reek community in Tarpon Springs. She had formerly taught Modern Greek at St. Petersburg College, and at our first meeting she gave me her course syllabus. Included under the "Introduction" heading was the following: When we speak Greek, the essence of th e culture reveals itself through the language. When we learn to speak Greek, we can experience the beauty and totality of the Greek culture. To learn Greek is to bring home to ourselves the sweetness and sensual pleasures of a journey through a varied an d colorful landscape. Maria P told me that the maintenance of Greek language fluency was essential to the maintenance of Greek identity and culture in Tarpon Springs. She often deplored the decline of Greek fluency and remarked unfavorably about parents who did not speak Greek to their children. Several times she insisted that "mixed marriages" were the cause of the problem and would shake her in head in shame. By "mixed marriages," Maria meant marriages between Greeks and non Greeks. She explained th at, if both parents are not fluent in Greek, they do not speak Greek to one another at home, and thus


48 their children do not learn the language. She also said that this was why it was important to have the grandparents living with them, so that children co uld learn Greek from them. Maria P had begun teaching Greek school in the 1950s, and would often deplore the way changes in national policy had affected what she taught during the course of her career. Throughout our tutoring sessions, she would often decr y newer forms that appeared in the textbook we were reading and show me an older form of a word. Many of these changes were the replacement of an older, uncontracted form with a newer contracted form of a word. For example, the verb "to love" was officia lly $!$ 3$. in1950s, but is now $!$3. Maria said on several occasions "They are butchering the language." Maria also told me about how frustrated she had been about the shift to the monotonic system. She had learned the polytonic system, taught it for most of her life, and did not see the need for the change. However, she seemed to feel that following the guidelines of the Greek government was more important than her feelings about the changes. Maria P told me that she was Kalymnian and seemed very proud of thi s fact. However, I later found out that she had grown up mostly in Athens and only lived in Kalymnos as a baby. She returned to Kalymnos as a twelve year old. As mentioned in my introduction, several of my meetings with Maria P took place in the Fournos I noticed that a majority of the customers were older and almost all of them placed their orders in Greek. They were all on familiar terms with Sevesti, the woman who ran the bakery and Maria P obviously knew most of them as well. Maria P had been Sev esti's Greek school teacher. I occasionally visited the Fournos by myself and struck up conversation with Sevesti and other customers. Sevesti, who appeared to


49 be in her late 40s, was talkative and friendly. She offered me several things to try and was ha ppy to tell me about Tarpon. She and her husband owned and ran the bakery. She did not speak with a noticeable Greek accent but occasionally made mistakes that would suggest that English was not her first language. Her parents were both born in Kalymnos but she said she had been born in Tarpon Springs. Her husband was raised in Athens, and they had two daughters. Sevesti seemed very connected to Greece and the family she had there. She told me that she had a house in Kalymnos and that they tried t o visit every few summers. She also had lots of relatives living in both Kalymnos and Athens whom she said she visited every few years. She spoke of her extended family in Greece as if they were very close. She also said that they got Greek television s tations and listened to Greek radio. Sevesti once told me the story of how she had had two miscarriages before either of her children were born and how distraught she was by it. She sought help from I2#+# C2'%&4$7$+/&', Saint Irini Chrysuvaladou, whom Sevesti said "carries the golden apple." She fasted for three days, and placed the holy belt of Saint Irini around her waist. She then broke her fast by eating an apple. She told me that she had becom e pregnant with her first child as a result and had kept the holy belt around her waist until her labor pains began. And she explained: And I have a, how you say /$9#& ("offering") Every time we go to Greece, we go to her church, Saint Irene, I light a candle and say a prayer, and every year on her birthday I send something to the monastery in Greece


50 I told Sevesti that my research was on the use of the Greek language in Tarpon Springs, and when I mentioned that most of the younger people I had met di d not seem to speak Greek very well, she told me that "It depends on how they're raised, on how they're brought up, they keep the traditions of way back, like we were raised and we keep all the Greek traditions" She then very proudly told me that both of her daughters were fluent in Greek and had spent time studying at the university in Athens. I commented that that was impressive because it seemed that most of the 3 rd generation 20 somethings I had met did not know any Greek, and she affirmed that this was the case with "a lot of em," and mentioned that her brother's daughter didn't know any Greek. "She blames her father and mother and she goes look at my kidsif she ever wants to go to Greece, she can't speak the language, and she regrets it, and it comes from the parentsBut we spoke only Greek because my husband said let them learn the Greek language because you learn Engli American from school and when you're young, you pick up fast." I commented on the different dialects from the Dodecanese. O f people from Halki she said, "When they speak, they like, sing." Kalymnos is veryin Greek it's bareia in English it's a strong, not a strong the accent, it's heavy, and the words, there's a lot of words that are different, in Kalymnos they say, lik e my father, he used to speak the words, and I learned from him, and the way he spoke it that's how I speak it.When I go to New York and visit my sister, she speaks Modern Greek (Sevesti emphasized this in such a way as the contrast it with the way she sp eaks) and then she goes (lowers her voice) don't you embarrass me by speaking the heavy Greek like you do you know and all that' I mean jokingly. She jokes around with meI says I'm sorry.


51 The way I learned, that's the way I speak it and I don't care a bout your family and your friends or whatever, you know?" She and her sister both seemed to feel that there was a certain stigma attached to her island accent. She added, My brother in law jokes around with me because the Kalymnians, when they talk, the y go 1 $+&'%# 3$#?&'% # '. Everything's with a %# It's supposed to be, the correct way is 1$+&'+" 3$#?&'+" She also mentioned that there were vocabulary words unique to each island and told me about how this had caused some confusion when she first m arried her husband, who was from Athens. When I got married it was winter, and I told my husband, I says, bring the >2$# '." At this point a customer comes in and tells her in Greek what he wants. "And I told my husband, I says, bing the >2$# ', he go es >2$# ?' >2$# '. This is when we first got married and he goes, What do want?' because it was winter time when we first got married ok so, it was September, it was cold, and I says *"2" &' bring me the >2$# he goes What do want? What is that?' and I says I told him in Greek, I'm talking to him in Greek now I says 12'.+. I'm cold, hoping he'll figure out what that is you know and he looks at meSo I go, 12'.+. He still goes /# 5"7"# s ?' and I says $'/& 3$+& 1"# and I showed him what it was in my closet, he goes "ahhh 1&'4"2/$ See now, 1&'4"2/" means blanket they say half the words from Kalymnos are Turkish words. C2$# is Turkish like. He goes <'/0 "#+$# 1&'4"2/$, D"+ "#+$# >2$# and I says "well, I learned >2$# ". On an evening when no other customers were in the bakery and my tape recorder was turned off, Sevesti also commented rather gravely that Tarpon Springs had changed since her childhood. She used to know everyone else in the town, but now that more strangers had moved in, she said things were no longer safe. She nostalgically recalled how she and her peers used to have parties on the beach and felt that this was no longer possible because of the way the community had changed. Sev: We used to have parties at the beach, at the old beach here. We used to do gatherings, just us that knew each oth er you know. But now you can't do that because the people are not the same as it was back then when we were brought


52 up. It's changed.There's a lot of jealousy involved, meanness, hatred, if someone has a lot more than the other one, I mean it's not like back in those days. It's different, different like, different peopleNo respect, you know, like our days. We had little but yet we respect everything we had you know because we got along good, but now Me: Do you think it's just the younger generation? Sev: Generations are brought up different. They're not taught that Greek from the house, you know what I mean, the way we were raised. They're very different. They're more modernized ." I could not help but be reminded of Elaine and her nostalgia for a m ore traditional form of Greek culture, in spite of how different the two women were. Sevesti felt the fact that the younger generations were not raised speaking Greek was indicative of their declining values and of their being "modernized." Sevesti also introduced me to her daughter, Irini, whom she had named after the saint who had helped her through her pregnancy. Irini was sharply dressed and somewhat reserved, but politely answered my questions. Her boyfriend sat near us but was silent throughout th e conversation and didn't seem very interested in talking to me. When I asked him a few questions about himself, Irini answered them for him. She told me that he was from Athens and had lived in New York City for four years before coming to Tarpon. Irini told me that a majority of her friends were Greek, so they spoke Greek amongst themselves. I ask Irini if she noticed the different regional accents being spoken by her parents, and she affirmed that they spoke with "completely different accents". Her f ather was born in Milos but raised in Athens and thus spoke what Irini referred to as "the Athenian style of Greek". She felt that her dad's Athenian style of speaking was the "original" or "right" way to speak, and that her mother's way was wrong. She repeated to me the anecdote about her mother and father having a different word for blanket. "The


53 original word's 1&'4"2/$ but she said >2$# ". I asked her if she used >2$# ". She laughed, as if this were ridiculous, and said, "No, no." She told me tha t she spoke with her father's Athenian accent and not with her mother's Kalymnian one because "it's just not the proper way of learning Greek". She added, "'cause every time, we go to Greece almost every summer and we visit the city so I'm mostly in Athen sI only went to her island once." Irini identified as Greek and was part of a peer group that spoke primarily Greek. However, she thought of Kalymnos as her mother's island, and not as hers. She identified with the Greek culture of Athens instead. S he seemed to find both Kalymnos and Tarpon Springs rather unexciting. I asked her if she wanted to stay in Tarpon Springs and she said, "not really. It's just not a town for young people. It's more older people." She wanted instead to move to New York. She excitedly told me about Astoria, as many people in Tarpon had, and said that it was "just like a little Greek town". I asked her where I should go if I visited Greece, and she said that I should definitely see the city and recommended Mykonos and San torini. However, she advised against visiting Kalymnos because she said that there wasn't really anything there of interest. "It's basically like Tarpon Springs," she said, rather unenthusiastically, "Everyone here is from there". She also echoed the sentiment that everyone in Tarpon Springs knew everyone else. I asked her how she felt about this and she said, "It's good and bad because everyone's always in your business, so you're going somewhere and your parents'll find out before you even get to te ll them where you're at."


54 At this point, Sevesti interrupted our conversation to say "but I wasn't as strict with my kids as my parents were. I wasn't allowed to date." She then told me that her first boyfriend had been her husband. I asked Irini how s he felt that her generation compared with her mother's, and she said, "They're not as like my mom said where she was, you know, like with her parents they didn't allow her to date, so now each generation's more lenient, so and they're not as, I don't know if I wanna say traditional and that aspect I think has changed, but, other than that, it's the same I think." I also asked Irini what the difference was between Greek culture in Tarpon Springs and in Greece proper, and she replied, "The Greeks here are more proud of their country than the Greeks in Greeceyou go to Greece and they don't listen to Greek music. It's all English.where here, they're so proud of their country, they always listen to Greek musicwhere there they're very envious and jealous o f Americans". She thus echoed Elaine's sentiment that Greek culture in Tarpon was somehow more authentic than Greek culture in Greece proper, though her reasoning as to why was slightly different. George I also met George, who had recently retired as p riest of the church, by chance in the bakery one evening. He had come in talking in English on a cell phone, and Sevesti introduced me to him as he was ordering, suggesting that I talk to him. George was trendily dressed. He spoke in a manner that is often characteristic of Americans in their teens and twenties, using rising intonation at the end of his sentences,


55 and referred to me as "dude." He had been on his way to a zumba class before stopping into the bakery for coffee. George's appearance an d comportment were certainly a far cry from that of the Greek priest who was visiting that week, whose long beard and robes had caused a local marine to mistake him for a "terrorist." Alexandra Zayas and Demorris A. Lee provided further details in a St. P etersburg Times article date November 11, 2009. The priest, who spoke little English, had gotten lost on his way back from a nursing home, and approached the marine, who was searching for something in the trunk of his car, in order to ask for directions. The marine subsequently pulled out a tire iron, with which he beat the priest and chased him for three blocks. The marine kept a 911 operator on the phone throughout the chase, saying that he had captured a terrorist. The marine was ultimately charged wi th assault, but the priest declined to press charges. He told me that he had left the priesthood because he and his wife of 21 years had divorced, and he wouldn't be permitted to remarry unless he left the priesthood. He would then be permitted to return after remarrying, but did not want to remain a priest otherwise. "That would have been a mandatory celibacy, and celibacy is not for me," he said and added "My hope is to go back to the hood." He asserted that the Orthodox church maintained the tradition s of the earliest Christian church and that this historical continuity set it apart from other denominations of Christianity. He had this to say about the church's role in the community: The church has always been, well from the time the Archdiocese was i ncorporated in 1922 ish in the United States, the church was a rallying point for immigrants back then, so you might say that was on of its ministries. It was a rallying point for immigrants to get together and meet other people from the old country and h ave some fellowship under the auspices of their church. Now that we're like third, fourth, fifth generation, we really don't need the church to meet


56 other people. We're more of an indigenous subculture The church, you know used to be all in Greek, but n ow you see the church services being done more and more in English. Tarpon Springs is on the tail end of that transition, but we still have two communities that we're ministering to, the Greek communitySo the church's ministry was twofold: Number one, to proclaim the gospel, and number two as uh, historically it's always been I guess a cultural gathering point in the Greek Orthodox church just like it is for the Russian Orthodox church or the Serbian or the Lebanese Orthodox church. It seems to all thes e jurisdictions have their own cultural, unique groups and, you know, things that they do, whether it's food or dance or music, whatever. So, it seems like that's part of the church's ministry, but now that it's more of an indigenous, it's kind of both. It's done in English and Greek where we do the services in English, but here we do like 2 services, Greek and English, and because it's a larger community there's a lot of people that wanna learn Greek, so the church offers that as a way of, you know, not just perpetuating its culture what is it's culture? It's culture is wherever it is. It's nothing proprietaryso it's American just as much as it is Greek. However, we're proud of our Greek heritage, soWhy does it do it? Because we're proud of it. I' m proud of my Greek heritage. Before George left, he warned me not to believe any of what he called !#$ !#$ theology" ( !#$ !#$ means "grandmother"). E#$ !#$ theology is kind of the superstitions, like folklore, wives tales, whatever, regardless of who they emanate from that are just folklore. They're not real." He said that some of this folklore was being passed on and perpetuated by the younger generation and he seemed rather irritated by it. Rather than leaving me with a !#$ %$ (an informal greeting for hello and goodbye) he proffered, "Peace be with you." The Sister Cities Commission Maria invited me to attend a meeting of the Sister Cities Commission, as well as their annual banquet. The Tarpon Springs Sister Citi es committee is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with Tarpon Springs sister cities. The


57 composition of the committee gave me some insight into the balance of power in the political and social life of the community. The commission seems roughly to represent the demographics of Tarpon Springs, and thus includes two representatives from Kalymnos, two from Halki, two from Symi. Of the four sister cities, Tarpon Spring's relationship with Kalymnos appears to be strongest and most long standing. In the year prior to this project, St. Petersburg College, which has a campus in Tarpon Springs, established a cultural exchange program with Kalymnos. One of the representatives from Crete expressed dissatisfaction that the exchange was only wi th Kalymnos and asked when the program would be expanded to include the other cities. It certainly appears from other experiences in the community that Crete is represented far less than the Dodecanese, and it is difficult to tell whether or not this is d ue to lower numbers or lower visibility. The yearly banquet of the Sister Cities Commission included separate circular tables for the attendees from each island that seated eight people. The Cretans and Kalymnians shared a table, but everyone seemed to t hink it good for the Cretans to be seated on one side and the Kalymnians on the other. Other guests were seated at other tables throughout the hall. At the banquet table at the front of the room sat the vice mayor of Tarpon Springs, who was also the Pres ident of the Sister Cities Commission, the consular from the Greek embassy in Tampa, the mayor, and the president of St. Petersburg College. There was an air of formality about the banquet, which included some rather long winded speeches. The vice mayor announced, among other things, that the boulevard along the sponge docks in Kalymnos had recently been renamed "Tarpon Springs."


58 When Maria P and I entered the banquet room, some people greeted us in Greek and others greeted us in English. Many people began conversations with Maria in Greek and then switched to English mid sentence. Several people asked if I was Greek or not. Since Maria P was Kalymnian, we sat at the table representing Kalymnos and Crete. Seated on the Cretan side of the table were Gioti, Nora, and Giorgos with whom I spent much of the evening talking. Gioti was 19, and Nora and Giorgos were both in their mid 20's. All three had been born in New York City but had each spent their summers in Greece throughout their childhood and ado lescence. Nora and Giorgos were Cypriot. Gioti was at the Cretan table with his aunt because she was the representative for Crete. However, he told me that his father was from Sparta and his mother was from Evia. I told them what my research was abou t, and the conversation thus became primarily about Greek language issues. Gioti told me that he knew Greek because his grandparents had lived with him when he was a child and spoken Greek to him at home. I asked him if he was able to distinguish where i n Greece someone was from based on his or her accent, and he said that he could only in the case of Crete, Cyprus, and "older folks". He added, "The ones who have been here a while speak the regular GreekKids who were born in America learn from the book ". Gioti told me that some of his friends spoke Greek and others didn't, but that the ones who did not speak the language could usually understand some of it because they grew up around it. I asked the table at large why they thought it was that only the older folks" had "an accent". The Kalymnian man next to me said that "they were born with it" and Gioti added "If you're from a village, you have an accent." He said the younger generation


59 often had a difficult time understanding "mountain people," refer ring to people from rural areas, and said "they can understand us, but we can't understand them." They also discussed the fact that while regional heritages were very important among Greeks, all of the Greeks in the U.S. seemed to know each other or to be connected to one another in some way. Maria P added, "We say, in the end, it's all Greek to me'." Gioti and I corresponded later through e mail, and I asked him to clarify what he meant when he was referring to people from villages. He replied "When I converse with people from villages I normally can't understand them but they can understand me. The reason being is that I speak City Greek. Which is learned in schools and considered "proper" Greek. The village people speak with an extremely heavy dia lect." He also mentioned that while both of his parents were from rural areas, they were each educated in more cosmopolitan ones (I hadn't asked for this information). He added that his grandparents spoke "proper" Greek, and that he himself was not consi dered fluent. The School National policies in Greece regarding language use are significant in the Tarpon Springs community because they dictate educational policy. According to the website of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, the ministry provides support to Greek schools abroad through the )"+/2& 677"+#10 s E7&%%$ s ("Center for the Greek Language") The center's website states that it is a strategic body of the Ministry of Education on matters of language policy," and states that part of its missi on is "the production of research and teaching materials, and whatever else contributes to the


60 promotion and dissemination of the Greek languageat home and abroad" (2011). According to its website, the Ministry of Education appoints teachers to various G reek schools abroad and provides Greek teaching materials to Greek schools worldwide. The center is funded by both the Greek government and the European Union. According to Maria P, the Greek government has always dictated the curriculum of the Greek sch ool in Tarpon Springs. Greek school teachers in the state of Florida who work five days a week and teach at least 100 students receive pensions from the Greek government, and Maria has this pension. The Greek school currently has two teachers, and there is a separate Greek pre school where Maria teaches. Both teachers told me that they had been sent to teach in Tarpon Springs by the Greek government. They receive their salary from the Greek government. The Greek school consists of three classrooms in t he church. Classes are held after "American school" gets out. Before students go their classrooms, they stand in rows before a religious icon with the priest and both teacher's present and say the Lord's Prayer in Greek. The priest is the principal of t he school. As of 1962, there were approximately 200 students enrolled in the Greek school, whereas now there are about 50. Of course, numbers of students enrolled in school is not necessarily indicative of language use. Many people I have spoken with ar e fluent Greek speakers learned the language at home and did not attend Greek school. Attending the school 50 years ago was primarily so that students who already knew Greek would become literate in the language. The goal now of Greek education now is la nguage maintenance.


61 According to Tasso, who teaches the first and second graders, all 13 of his students are from Kalymnos, Halki, or Symi. However he is from the Thessoloniki, and Marina, who teachers the older students, is also from central Greece. T hey thus bring something of a nationalizing influence to people whom they refer to as "islanders." Trained in the Greek university system, they teach the form of Demotiki sanctioned by the Greek government. Tasso showed me the classroom where he teaches, and was happy to tell me that it was a "high tech Greek school." The classroom has two computers and a flat screen TV mounted to a wall with large speakers on either side, as well as a stack of new looking textbooks for the students. Tasso also told me that the textbooks came with new software and videos for the students. The Greek government obviously considers Greek language education in Tarpon Springs to be worthwhile investment. I asked Tasso if he had noticed differences in the Greek spoken by his "islander" students, and he said that he had noticed that they sometimes had words for things he had never heard before or spoke with an accent. I asked him to give me an example and he mentioned 0 1"*$70 The correct form in Standard Modern Greek is /& 1"*$70 He and Maria both told me then that it was important that students be corrected when using these words and learn the standard form instead. This is interesting given that Maria is hersel f from Kalymnos and probably grew up using forms that were unique to Kalymnos. Tasso said that he is usually able to "correct" the linguistic problems of his students because they are so young, but that it is more difficult to correct the older students. Tasso said that many of his student's parents spoke Greek at home and that most of them had some exposure to the Greek language at home. He said this made it easier for


62 them to learn Greek. He also said that most of his students were second or third gene ration immigrants. One of the current teachers at the Greek school, Marina, also told me she felt that the quality of education was declining because of the changes. She said that she felt older teachers who had been required to learn ancient Greek when t hey were in school knew more about the language then her generation did. She said that she felt that this decline in the quality of education was a worldwide phenomenon, and that "going to school used to be hard" but that it wasn't anymore. Here is an excerpt from a conversation I had with Tasso and Maria P at the Greek school: Tasso: I'm from Thessaloniki, from mainland. I don't have any connection with islands. I never had the chance to listen, to hear Maria: To Kalymnian Tasso: To Kalymnian, but n ow I can tell. But even us, we have a different accent Maria: Different regions have Tasso: yeah, yeah Me: So the children, when they come in, do they have those accents, or is it just the parents? Tasso: I notice that they know words, you know, that we never use for example in my region. Me: Can you think of any? Tasso: Yes, like, uh, the head, the 1"*$70 0 1"*$70... Maria: feminine gender instead of neuter. B& 1"*$70 0 1"*$70. .. Tasso: It's easier for me to change this when I deal with little student s, but if we have you know adults, then it's different. Me: So with the younger ones, you would teach them /& 1"*$70 Tasso: the Modern Greek Maria: 1"*$70 it's not it's in Kalymnos yes, but not in The "Greekest of the Greek" Nora, whom I had met at the Sister Cities Banquet, invited me to hang out with her and her friends at a local sub shop, so we spent a relaxed evening enjoying good


63 conversation. Her friends ranged in age from 18 to 27. It was a group of about 10 people that swelle d and contracted over the course of the evening as friends trickled in and out. They all greeted one another with a kiss on both cheeks. When I arrived, Giorgos and another male friend, Nikos, were with Nora. Though Nora and Giorgos were both from Cyprus, they had met in New York City. Nora had a very warm nature and wanted to help me understand Greek culture. However, she was generally quiet unless she was helping me to understand something. Giorgos had a very serious demeanor, and had an expression th at was rather intimidating at first because it almost seemed angry. He was generally quiet. Nikos, however, who was from Corfu, was the perfect compliment to Giorgos in that he was constantly joking throughout the whole evening. He seemed to delight in humorously goading all of his friends, especially his girlfriend, who showed up later. He said everything in a way that almost sounded satirical, though he did become serious at times when there was a point he wanted to make. He seemed to assert his opini on about just about every topic of conversation that came up. Nikos and Giorgos both spoke English with an obvious Greek accent, while Nora did not. The sub shop was owned by a Lebanese man with whom all three were friends. An icon hung on the wall behind the counter. I noticed a hookah pipe and several backgammon boards in a corner, and Nikos explained that backgammon was the game that Greeks played, and spoke with admiration about the old men who had mastered the art and could be seen playing outside the )$*"+"#& while sipping coffee and smoking cigars. Nikos thus began showing me how to play backgammon while I chatted with Nora. We discussed marriage, a subject which came up frequently with the group throughout the evening, and namin g practices. She told me that she had been named after


64 Saint Ellenora, who was known for having rid an island of poisonous snakes by bringing cats to the island. There is now a monastery there that takes in stray cats, and Nora visits it whenever she goe s to Greece. I discovered that most of the people I met throughout that evening were named according to the traditional Greek system, in which the oldest son is named after the paternal grandfather, the eldest daughter is named after the maternal grandmot her, and children thereafter are named after aunts, uncles, and godparents. I found that this group kept many of the Greek traditions not kept by Tarponers less connected with Greece. They told me, for example, that they fasted before Easter and that they also bought gifts for other people on their own birthdays because this was traditional. When Nora found out that I couldn't eat a sub because of my gluten allergy, she insisted that the group move to a Starbucks down the road in spite of my tel ling her that there was no need. At Starbucks, we sat outside with our drinks and several other people joined us unexpectedly throughout the evening. Nikos explained that this was the place where their group of friends hung out every night because there was nothing else to do. There was Orania and another Nick who were brother and sister and told me that they were from Athens. Orania was "almost 19" and Nick was 22. Orania told me that she was born "here", meaning the United States (she was born in Ne w York City) and that her brother was born in Athens, but they'd gone to high school in Athens. I was surprised later to discover that Orania was dating Nikos because they sat opposite one another and didn't seem to pay any special attention to one anothe r, outside of the fact that Nikos liked to goad Orania even more than the others and Orania seemed especially sensitive to his goading. There was also a 27 year old man named Giannis who was from


65 Carpathos, which is in the Dodecanese. He was personable b ut mellow throughout the evening. Also joining the discussion were Sevesti a 20 year old Kalymnian girl, Panogiotis, a Greek American in his early 20s, and Axillea, Nikos' father. Each of the people in this group, except Panagiotis, had spent at least several years of their adolescence living in Greece and returned there frequently. They spoke Greek to one another unless they wanted to be understood by someone who did not understand Greek. Nikos told me that this group was the "Greekest of t he Greek" in Tarpon Springs, and they all seemed to pride themselves on this. It was a great contrast to many Greek American Tarponers I had met who spoke no Greek and knew very little about Greece itself Panagiotis explained to me that he had spoken Gre ek only semi fluently before he had begun hanging out with the others in this group, but that after a year of hanging out with them he had become fluent, since they primarily spoke Greek. There was a friendly rivalry between them over whose island or city was better and had the best sort of people. Giannis told me that elderly people living in villages considered anyone not from their village to be 9"+& s, a foreigner. Nick asked if I knew about the battles that had occurred between different Greek regions in ancient times, and when I replied that I did, he said "These still exist in Greece today too." Nora jumped in at this point to say that people from each part of Greece think they're better than people from every other part and were stubborn about it. They playfully chided one another throughout the evening about whose village or town was the best and speculated about the character of people from different regions. I heard, for example, the following comments: "If you're from the mainland, you think you're an educated person or something."


66 "The Athenians think that they're like the elite. It's always been like that from ancient times." "The Cr etans are the worst. They're like the Texas of Greece. They think they're a country." Ironically, they were united in a way by their disparate localist loyalties. Nikos told me that their "curse" was "to fight with each other but unite for a common pur pose", the common purpose being something outside of them, like foreigners. They all assured me that all the arguing was good natured, and said that Greeks liked to argue with one another. They collectively recalled, for example, that the European Cup so ccer match in 2004 was an event that had united Greeks all over the world. They told me that the streets of Tarpon were filled with people parading with flags. "Every single Greek was watching all over the world," Nick said. We also talked for a while ab out the different regional dialects Unlike those I spoke with who were not fluent in Greek, the people in this group were aware of different accents and able to discern them. All of them, except for Orania and Nick, told me that they were aware that the re were local features in their speech. They took turns passing my tape recorder around in order to give examples of the variants from their home villages. Giannis: We even have our own words, own vocabulary, that doesn't exist Me: yeah? Can you think o f any words that are different? Giannis: yeah like "retard", you know "retard", it's 1$5'%/"20"+& s where we come from we say 3$2$!&'2& s It's a different word completely yeah. It's our words. I guess they made em up a long time ago. I donno how that worked but. Me: That's really cool Giannis: Yeah, yeah. A bunch of words. I can't r emember them now though. Like when you're stuck "3"7$!.%$# Me: So that's just a Carpathos word? Giannis: yeah Me: So how does that translate exactly?


67 Giannis: 63"7$!.%$# means just stuck somewhere. Nora: Say what? Giannis: Stuck Nora: Stuck?... Me: (to Nora and Giorgos) Do you have like different words that you use? Nora: Um, a few. Yeah. But mostly its pronunciation wise, like little things. I dunno, like I would say the goalie, you know, of a soccer team or whatever we call it >&7$/%" ( ...but they (re ferring to Giorgos' village) call him 3&2/$D" ( which means Me: Door ish Nora: (nods) Door. Giannis: Is that what you call it? Really? Nora: Yeah, >&7$/%" ( /"2$/$*'7$1$ ( that's the proper word Giannis: Yeah. That's how we say it. So, there's three words for goalie. At the same time, they all seem to feel that their speech was less accent laden than that of previous generations because they were educated and urbanized. In contrast, they felt that elderly villagers were impossible to understand bec ause of their nonstandard speech. Giorgos: Yeah, as I told you, if they are from cities, now they are like, they talk the pure Greek, the main Greek. In the cities now because over there they are learning Greek, but if you're from the villages, then yo u have the accent. I mean, you should listen to my grandmother. She's from the village. It's like you can't, they can't even understand her. Giannis: I can't even understand them when they talk. (jokingly referring to Giorgos and Nora.) I asked them about Katharevousa, and they all had a rather vague idea of what it was. They described it variously as "what priests speak," "sophisticated Greek," "ancient Greek" or as what is found in "religious books." They sometimes heard old people use Katharevous a words and phrases, and recognized it in these instances. All of these younger adults were currently in Tarpon Springs because their families were there, but they wanted to move away. They all seemed to feel like there was too much gossip in Tarpon and th at there was no privacy because the community


68 was so small. Nora and Orania complained that you couldn't "do anything" in Tarpon Springs because the "old ladies" would always gossip after church when the Greek language service had ended. I asked what it w as that they gossiped about and they answered "what you're wearing, who you've been out with". Sev: I personally don't like Tarpon. Me: What's wrong with it? Nikos: Let me tell you whyThe difference is, this is what happens in closed community, so yo u can say that everybody knows each other and everybody's gonna talk about each other O: This is like in the islands too, like in small villages. Nikos: You know, it comes to a point that you're neighbor is going to know what time you took a shit too, you know. It comes to that close, you know, that everybody knows everybody else's business. Nick: It mostly goes around with women, mostly. It's come from back home where, you know, Greece.they would be at home all day and have nothing better to do than ju st gossip. Me: Most of the women in Tarpon are working now though aren't they? Kal: Well, not the old generation. My grandmother hasn't worked in 10 years. It just, it doesn't happen. Girls are not supposed to work. Girls are supposed to be home cookin g for their husbands, preparing their meals, you know, cleaning the house Nick: This still goes. Nikos: This is why I tell you it's a closed community. Even if everywhere else it's changing, you know the culture's just different. They keep it the same, yo u can say stereotype in a way, but they keep the old fashioned ways. Nick: They go as far as to arrange marriages in some villages. Me: They still do that? Kal: Yeah, my brother was an arranged marriage. They also complained at length about the fact that people in Tarpon Springs refused to allow anything to change. Nick said the following: "We try to bring something new into the city, and they would just kick you out. They would kick out your idea. They kick out anything you try to do new in the sponge docks area. They don't like it. They don't like change." They also all complained at length about the problems they saw with Greece itself. They spoke very disparagingly of the Greek government and educational system.


69 They also felt that Athe ns had declined because it had become crime ridden and "Americanized." Orania disparagingly compared Athens in 2010 to the Athens of her childhood: In Athens, the mentality has become more Americanized, like now there's the plastic money, the cards and eve rything. Before it wasn't like thatbefore we went out but we ate mostly like homecooked meals and on weekends we would go out. Now it's like here like we don't have time let's go and get some McDonalds'and that's why Greece is the most obese country i n Europe. They all assured me that Greeks were "the laziest people on earth" and complained that their government did not work well. Giannis told me that "Greeks live to be on strike" and that young people in Greece would start violent riots for no reaso n. Giannis told me that Athens had become infested with crime and drugs. Marriage Discussions about marriage and the restrictions placed on one's choice of marriage partner figured largely into our conversation. It has been noted by many of my informan ts that traditionally, one is expected to marry someone from the same village or island. Marriages with "foreigners" (people from different parts of Greece) were generally frowned upon, and still are by many Greeks. Both Elaine and Noreen told me that t his was largely characteristic of their parents' worldview when they were growing up in Tarpon Springs, but that it was no longer really an issue. It has thus been increasingly more common for Tarponers to choose a spouse from a different area of Greece o r to marry a non Greek. However, for Nora and her friends, the injunction to marry someone from their home village still carried considerable weight. Nick and Orania were the only ones whose


70 parents did not care if they married someone who was not Greek. They seemed to attribute this to the notion that people from Athens are more "modern." Nikos, however, who was dating Orania, told me that he wouldn't be able to date someone from Corfu, his native island, because he did not know anyone else i n Tarpon Springs who was from Corfu. They all seemed to think this marriage restriction was "crazy" or too restrictive but acknowledged that they felt the pressure to conform to it at the same time. They explained that parents wanted their children to mar ry spouses whom they considered to be of good family, and, due to a certain amount of xenophobia toward people from other villages, they consider only people from their own village to be acceptable choices. Several of the people in this group had siblings or cousins whose marriages had been arranged by their parents based on these criteria. The following are two excerpts from our conversation that evening: Giannis: Grandma every day When are you gonna get married my son, when? (laughs) Nora: And with t he daughters they try too. That's one of their big worries. Me: So that's like really important. So if you didn't get married that'd be a big problem? Giannis: They would like for us to get married Nora: But you know what, nowadays we are getting modern ized and stuff Giannis: and now, before, like my mom got married at 17. My cousin's mom, 14 going on 15, and the parents set up the marriage. That's how it was everywhere. From my island 1$# %"# ( and for them too for sure. So nowadays you know they s ay wait and wait and wait you know. I dunno, cause we're getting modernized like she said with the way things are now. Nora: Now they would say you know, wait until your 30s or something, go to school Giannis: Yeah, and it's ok. Me: They would tell you to wait until you're 30? Giannis: Yeah Nora: Some parents would. It depends on the family. There's some that are, they keep their traditions and they're very old minded, but there are some that are very modern Giannis: Well, can you imagine 14, waking u p and you're married without even knowing it? Giannis: But on my island they're very strict, of marrying into the village, not the island, Me: The village?


71 Giannis: The village! Me: So are you stuck then? You're gonna have to go back there and like, you know Giannis: Meaning, there's 20 girls there I had to pick from, you know. Me: Well, you know, do you like any of them? Giannis: They'd be happy if it was from the island, and they'd be ok if it was from somewhere else. Me: Ok? Giannis: Yeah, just o k. But they'd be very very happy if it was from the village. Me: But she has to be Greek of course Nora: When would they be furious? Me: Yeah, what would make them furious, like downright furious? Nora: If you married Giannis: An Albanian! (laughs) or so mething else like that, yeah. Or even an American girl. Me: Really? Giannis: No way! My mom would never accept that. Nora: It's a foreigner. Giannis: No way. My mother would disown me if I bring home an American girl Nora: He's had American girlfriend s. Me: Oh, so you just have to not tell your parents? Nikos: You never seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding ? Giannis: Forget it! The discussion thus seemed to revolve largely around what their values were and what sort of life they wanted. They contrasted w hat they saw as their more modern, globally connected lifestyle with the more traditional one of their parents, and seemed to be grappling with the question of how they might lead this modern, globalized lifestyle without losing their Greek identity and le tting go of important traditions.


72 Maria K F$2#$ ) One afternoon, after our tutoring session, Maria P took me to meet Maria K, a very elderly Kalymnian woman. As we pulled onto Maria K's street, Maria P explained that it was a historical ly Kalymnian neighborhood, and explained that "the neighborhood is Kalymnian families and across the street are two Kalymninan coffee shops." Maria K lived in the guest house of her son's house, a small one room building. The main house used to be hers, but she had given it to one of her son's and his wife. The driveway and backyard were littered with children's toys. When Maria P and I entered the house, we came immediately into a small room that appeared to serve both as her bedroom and as a sitting area for guests. One wall of the room was covered entirely with icons of Greek saints. Maria K was a very small woman. She wore a black dress and white headscarf. Despite being soft spoken and reserved, she was also very hospitable, and offered to co ok for Maria P and I. Maria K often trailed off as she was telling stories, and certain details were left vague and ambiguous, but Maria P had known her for many years, and was thus able to elucidate many of the things which she said. In spite of their l ong standing relationship, Maria P's tone of voice of became especially polite and grave when she addressed Maria K. I asked if Maria K had any friends, and she only cited other Kalymnians as acquaintances. This might be expected considering Bernard's 1 965 observation that the Greek community in Tarpon Springs was geographically and socially divided according to island of origin. It seemed that Maria K only ventured out of the house to go to the


73 Halki Market and to go to church. She did not frequent the National Bakery, in spite of the fact that it was just across the street from her house, because she preferred to make her own bread. A small child came into the house halfway through the interview, asking for scissors. She spoke in English and Maria K responded to her in Greek. Maria P told me that she and Maria K had been part of the same group pilgrimage to Jerusalem ten years earlier, and both recalled the trip as being very special. I asked Maria K what her favorite place in Jerusalem had been, b ut she was reluctant to name any specific place because she regarded the whole city as holy. She felt the same way about her wall of icons when I asked if any of them had special significance for her. She agreed to let me take a photo but insisted on sw itching from her white headscarf to a black one before I took it. For Maria K's generation, it was proper for widows to wear the black headscarf in public. Maria P told me that she was the only Kalymnian woman left who wore the black veil to church, and mentioned that otherwise people only ever wore it when they were going to the monastery. Maria K recounted how her husband had asked her father for permission to marry her when her father was on his death bed. She was fifteen at the time, and her father, agreeing to the marriage, had lied to a local official and said that she was sixteen so that the priest would agree to marry them. Maria K said that in Kalymnos and the surrounding area "all of the husbands" were sponge divers at the time, including her husband and brother in law. Her brother in law had owned a sponge boat and immigrated with Maria K's sister and her mother. They had thus immigrated to the United States in the early 80s, after all five of their children were born, and Maria K's husband had worked on her brother in law's sponge


74 boat. They had three sons and two daughters. One of the sons died in Kalymnos before they emigrated, and one of their daughters later passed away in the United States. Her remaining daughter had returned to Kal ymnos, and each of her sons lived in the United States. She had cried for a month after they arrived in the United States out of homesickness, and her children had attempted to save up enough money to buy tickets back to Kalymnos. However, she is now ha ppy where she is, and said that she would not want to move back to Kalymnos. Her husband and mother were both buried in Tarpon Springs, and both her sons lived in the United States, so she prefers to remain nearby. Maria K spoke with a heavy Kalymnian acc ent and used a variety of nonstandard phonological features and vocabulary. In this excerpt, Maria K. tells Maria P and me about her childhood in Kalymnos. ): B$ 32./$ >2&+#$ 3&' "!$7.%$, 0&'+ #120. M: What is it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


75 F: B$3"2$ in Kalymnos is the word "here," "D. 8: Is it s a Kalymnian expression......? M: Yeah, yeah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means to sweep. Now today you will say: 8$ %1&'3#%." But %/$ )$7'+#$ +$ *2.1$7#%." I've selected some features of Maria K's speech which stood out. 1) Third person verb inflections In many instances Maria used inflected forms of third person verbs not used in SMG. Verb endings in the excerpt above shift according to the pattern: /an(e)/ > /asi/ /otan/ > /ounto/ Horrocks mentions th at third person verb endings in &'%# and $%# are common in the Dodecanese, but does not mention an &'+/& ending (2010:391). Examples of this in the above excerpt: -&4&/$+ > -&4&'+/& )$5&/$+ > 1$5&'+/& )2'.+$+ > 12'.+$%#


76 B2.!$+" > /2.$%# -"'!$+" > *"'!$%# G$#?$+" > 3$#?$%# 2) /e/ Augment Lengthening Maria K. very frequently lengthened the past tense augment from /e/ to / 0 /. Some examples from above: 62> &&'+ > 02>&&'+ 61$$ > 01$$ 6*"2+$ > 0*"2+$ :&'7"'$ > ,!D&'7"'!$ 3) Older forms Maria K. used a number of forms that have fallen out of use in SMG. For example, in the above excerpt, Maria K pronounces the verb for "to make/ do" / "1$+$ / rathe r than / "1$+$ /, which is the newer, contracted pronunciation. 4) Local Vocabulary As displayed in the excerpt above, Maria K. used a number of words and expressions that she and Maria P. both consider to be exclusively Kalymninan. It is not clear wh ether they are, in fact, restricted to Kalymnos, but they are certainly not SMG. B$3"2$ -2.1$7#%." Maria P told me that /$3"2$ was a Kalymnian word meaning "here" and, as discussed in the interview, that -2.1$7#%." was a Kalymnian word meaning "to sweep."


77 The above excerpts are translated into English below. Maria K: The first years wh en I was growing up, I was young P: What was it? K: I was young, whatever my mom asked, I did it for her, I did it for her. God forgive herThen she was working somewhere elseI was working at home to cook for the children, to take food to her from do wn below, up by Kurapsili I would take her lunch and she would be calling me, all the way up: "Maria, are you coming. Maria, are you coming?". My mother was afraidI'm coming mother, don't be afraid, I'm coming [] That's how it wasThen we came down. I would come down alone to the house, I would come down. I would go to see my sisters. They were still little. They were squeezed because they were cold I liked the icons up there. "We are cold," they said "We are cold"They covered themselves. That 's how it was. P: After you got married? K: After I got married, I had children. I would bring the husband. I would bring the childrenI said work, home, work, homeNot foreign work (for someone else); workat my home. In Kalymnos, I was working her e (at home). Maria P: B$3"2$ in Kalymnos is the word "here", "D. Natalie: Is it a Kalymnian expression? Maria P: Yeah, yeah. K: I would work, you were saying, at home. My kids would come. They were eating, they were leaving, they were playing, t hey were hearing my voice, they were coming in, they were sitting and writing the lessons of the school. That's how it was, my MariaThen, you were saying, I would sitto yell at them, to read to them Readingwhere? I didn't knowInstead of me reading to them, they were reading to me. Limping, limping, I was managinglittle by little. Then we left from Kalymnos. We came to America. We took the kids from the schoolWe came to AmericaIn America, we were looking for work, with our hearts. We were worki ngIn the evening, like this time, we would come back to our home to wash, to cook, to sweep to mop P: -2.1$7#%." means "to sweep." Now today, you will say 8$ %1&'3#%." but in Kalymnos, +$ *2.1$7#%.".


78 Conclusion For most of the first generation immigrants I met and many of the second generation immigrants as well, Greek was their primary language. Successive generations were increasingly less likely to speak Greek with one another. Most of the third generation immigrants I met were able to understand some Greek and perhaps get by in conversation, but could not be considered to be fluent. In general, those who did not grow up in homes with Greek speaking par ents or grandparents were very unlikely to be fluent in Greek. Many such adults had gone to Greek school as children, but still reported that they did not speak Greek very well because they did not use it very often. In this sense Maria P's speculations a bout "mixed marriages" leading to the decline in Greek language fluency appear in part to be correct. The weakening connection to Greece has led to increased marriages between Greeks and non Greeks. Since such couples are much more likely to speak Englis h to one another at home, it is much less likely that their children will be fluent Greek speakers. Such couples often sent their children to Greek school (though Greek school enrollment has been on the decline), but such children were not likely to be flu ent as adults if Greek was not used in the home. Those with this lower level of proficiency are not able to place the island accents, so they become increasingly less important for successive generations as social markers. Additionally, those children w ho did learn Greek primarily through Greek school learned Dimotiki, rather than the island dialects of their parents. Most of the people I met in Tarpon spoke English well, even if it was not their primary language. Very elderly first generation immigran ts such as Photini and Maria K


79 had a limited command of English and had confined their lives primarily to interactions with other Greek speakers. However, most of the younger first generation immigrants I met were fluent in English. Younger generations of immigrants were generally better educated and much more likely to have learned English in their home country. They had grown up in a era of increased globalization, in which Greece was making increased efforts to "develop" and improve its competitiveness in industry with other European Union member states. Giannis speculated that a previous exposure to American culture was part of the reason why Greeks in America spoke English instead of maintaining their Greek language tradition: It's their surroundings They become Americanized. I think with the globalization, Americans are more like to us with the globalization In Cyprus and Greece, everybody knows English. Everybody. Additionally, unlike their predecessors, these younger first generation immigrant s had immigrated into a Greek American community already comprised largely of English speakers. Many people did indeed seem to feel that "globalization" was synonymous with "Americanization" and that this exposure to American culture had led to the grad ual abandonment of traditional Greek culture. Everyone I spoke with felt that the Greek language was an important part of Greek "tradition" and something that was in danger of being lost. Giorgos said the following: You know there is a good community here right? A small one, but there is a good community. So Greeks in America, after the second generation, the third generation, they are losing their ID, their Greek ID. It's very hard to it's very hard to find a Greek in the third generation that still spe aks Greek, all the traditions.


80 Giorgos felt very strongly that the Greek language was part of Greek "tradition" and that it needed to be maintained. However, no one spoke this way of the dialect features that were also becoming obsolete. Some people spo ke fondly or nostalgically about the dialects but no one suggested that they be preserved. Maria P, who was as equally as proud of her Kalymnian heritage as she was adamant that the Greek language be preserved, still insisted that Greek school pupils use t he "correct" forms, rather than the Kalymnian ones. Thus, those Tarpon Springs residents who did learn Greek at the Greek school learned the standardized form, which is void of any local identifiers. The attitude of the Greek government toward dialect s peech is very similar to the one James Collins ascribes to the United States government, as mentioned in my literature review. While the preservation and maintenance of Standard Modern Greek are important goals of the Greek government the unsanctioned va rieties of Greek do not have the status of legitimate language, and therefore no attempt is made to preserve them. The dialects are invisible under the law. Ultimately, I found that of those of the younger generations who were fluent in Greek spoke SMG, even if one or both of their parents spoke a different dialect. As mentioned in the data chapter, Irini had chosen to speak like her Athenian father, and laughed at the idea of speaking with her mother's Kalymnian accent because it was "not the proper way ." When in Greece, she spent most of her time in Athens, and thus had little reason to speak an island dialect.


81 Bernard noted in 1965 that ethnic factionalism was rampant in the Tarpon Springs community. For the most part this factionalism seems to have decreased, not only among second and third generation immigrants, but also among newer immigrants. As mentioned in the data chapter, for the first generation of immigrants which came to Tarpon Springs, marriages between people from different villages wer e considered unacceptable, whereas they are now quite common. For second and third generation immigrants, the connection with their ethnic faction becomes increasingly weaker. They feel less attachment to an island that they may have only visited once an d only know through stories told by their parents. They have spent their lives in Tarpon Springs and are thus more likely to identify with Greek American culture in Tarpon Springs than with the village where their parents or grandparents were born. For Pho tini and Maria K, who had both left their home islands behind as adults several decades before their Dodecanesan origins greatly shaped their identities. However, for Elaine and her sisters, the connection to Halki was much less important than their iden tities as Tarponers. For the younger generation of more recent immigrants too, ethnic factionalism appears to be less important. For Nora and her friends, for example, village loyalties were still important, and they expressed pride about their place of origin. However, they were playful in their teasing of one another on this point and seemed to feel that they were rather less xenophobic than previous generations. Their parents, as they said, were much more persistent in their island loyalties, expe cting their children to marry someone from the village that they were from, whereas the younger generation felt that this was excessively restrictive. Unlike their grandparents, the youngest adult generation is unified


82 by what it perceives as its embrace o f the modern. This constitutes a shared common identity. While they proudly told me what island they were from, they also prided themselves on being globally connected and "urbanized. The grandchildren of the earlier immigrants to Tarpon Springs howev er did not hold the same notion of Greek culture as more recent first generation immigrants had. While they may lead lifestyles that they consider modern, their notion of Greekness is placed firmly in the realm of "tradition." People like Elaine's family expressed the idea that Greek culture, as described in the stories of their parents and grandparents, was somehow more authentic than that of the younger generations of first generation immigrants. This situation is well described by a quote from Joshua F ishman: The emotional investment in B ness (the culture of the old country) that the old timers' had and, in part, passed on to their children and grandchildren, is not there for thoroughly secularized, modernized, and urbanized newcomers. (1985:62) Whi le Elaine and Sevesti viewed Greek culture as something temporally located in the past, seemingly as an artifact to be preserved, Nora and her friends viewed Greek culture as a contemporary phenomenon, and thus as a something more dynamic and malleable. As mentioned above, references to "modernity" and "modernization," variously conceived, came up a great deal in conversations with most of my informants. It became clear to me that notions of the modern played a large role not only in their language ideol ogy but in how they constructed their own identities. It also played a large role in the narratives they constructed both for themselves and for the Greek nation. All of my informants felt that either Greece or Tarpon Springs or both had changed signifi cantly and many attributed these changes to "modernization" or some variation on the word. My informants acknowledged both good and bad aspects of


83 modernity. They largely conceived of modernity as the decline of traditional Greek practices and an increase in global connectedness. Many second and third generation Greeks living in Tarpon had negative feelings about the way that they felt Tarpon and culture within Greece proper had changed as a result of "modernization". Many nostalgically recounted to me sto ries about their grandparents and about the first sponge divers in Tarpon Springs. They spoke disapprovingly of the ways they saw the community as having changed since the days of its founding. As mentioned in the data chapter, Elaine and Sevesti, for exa mple, had both complained that people had less "respect" because of modernization. Sevesti complained that Tarpon Springs was no longer safe and that people in it did not get along as well because to "they" (a group which remained unspecified) were "more m odernized." Elaine and her family expressed an equal unhappiness about the changes they saw taking place in the community because of the influx of more recent immigrants, as opposed to those whose families had been in Tarpon since the early twentieth cent ury. They felt that the newer immigrants did not have the same values as they did because Greek culture in Greece proper had been "taken for granted" and "Americanized" and thus that newer immigrants didn't "have the same values." I was reminded of this conversation with Elaine's family when I spoke with Nora's friends several months later. As first generation immigrants, they were just the sort of people that Elaine and her family were likely to complain about. Nora's friends felt that the culture of Greece proper had changed, but they contrasted this with what they saw as the stubborn refusal of Greeks in Tarpon Springs to allow any change. They all


84 felt that Athens had changed in ways they considered negative, discussing the influx of fast food chai ns and the rise in crime in the city. Orania said this: In Athens, the mentality has become more Americanized, like now there's the plastic money, the cards and everything. Before it wasn't like thatbefore we went out but we ate mostly like home cooked meals and on weekends we would go out. Now it's like, here like, We don't have time let's go and get some McDonalds'and that's why Greece is the most obese country in Europe. In contrast, they felt that Tarponers were attempting to maintain the same notion of Greek culture as the original Tarpon Springs families had brought with them from Greece one hundred years prior. Nikos and Orania said the following: Nikos: and I tell you this is the reason why that community stay so long too, you know. I believe so. They don't want to change, and they keep the same values or, you can say, the same culture, the same. O: But it's culture from a hundred years back, from whatever, from when the first Kalymnians came here, like it's not the same mentality, lik e people come here from all over the United States and are like Oh, this is what Greece is like!' No, it's not. It's nothing like Greece is like. Discussions about people who were viewed as more traditional seemed to go hand in hand with the discussio ns about modernity. People variously referred to as "older folks", "the older generation", "the old ladies," "the old guard," "villagers," and "grandparents" seemed to have been lumped into a category that stood in opposition to those who were considered more modernized, regardless of their specific region of origin. The older generation was said to be stricter in their adherence to tradition and less accepting of foreigners. People who were born in villages were said to be isolated, unaware of the "global culture outside of them, of technology, and thus they maintained traditions. Very elderly first generation immigrants in the community were often spoken


85 of as if they were the embodiment of tradition, of an older way of life that had since given way to "modernity" in the various ways it was conceived. Villagers were contrasted with a younger, more cosmopolitan generation that was familiar with the cultural customs of urban areas such as Athens and New York. Villagers, as opposed to city dwellers, were d escribed as being very "traditional" and there ignorance of urban ways were seen as leaving them disconnected from modern life. Nick, for example, described the villagers thus: Niko: There's people like in the mainland in villages that for example the old people that live there for like 70 years or something, all their life, and they haven't even set foot in Athens. New technology, how the world is moving forward, they don't know anything about it. They don't have cell phones. They're still, you know, uh herding their sheep and It's nice for city people, like personally me I would like to go see that. I would like to go spend time with, like say, my grandfather. My grandfather's not like that but say I would like to go spend the weekend with him and do what he does. Me: But you wouldn't wanna live there. Niko: No. Not like that. Everyone seemed to agree that elderly people who had been born in villages were almost incomprehensible when they spoke. Indeed, when I interviewed both Maria K and Photini, both Maria P and Vicki confessed that they were not able to understand everything that they were saying because of their dialect. They seemed to attribute this to their age and isolation, and to a lack of awareness of changes that had occurred. Many peo ple of the younger generation told me that they had difficulty understanding their grandparents speaking. Thus, while dialect speech was seen as being characteristic of the elderly and of tradition, SMG was symbolic of a modern identity. The transition to a standardized form of Greek was seen as a part of this shift to "modernity," as if it were some form of technological advancement. Younger adults


86 agreed that an SMG way of speaking shows that one is globally aware and educated. Whereas the "villagers" a s the younger people saw it, were isolated and uneducated, unaware of the changes that had occurred in the world outside of their village, the modernized and more globally aware younger generations spoke Standard Modern Greek. Many of my informants referr ed to the standardized form of the language simply as the Modern Greek. Many attributed knowledge of SMG not only to an awareness and connection with a globalized Greek nation, but also in part to education. One may indeed have been born in a village b ut have acquired the knowledge and awareness necessary to be considered part of modern society either through education or by having spent time in an urban center such as Athens or New York City. Many of my informants also seemed to think it implicit that their speaking of SMG was indexical of their connection with urban life. Many of them had spent time living in a city prior to moving to Tarpon Springs. It was very common for people to say that they had lived in Athens or New York City or Chicago. Peo ple did not necessarily live permanently in these cities but felt that their knowledge of urban life was important. Many of my informants referred to SMG as "city Greek" or "the Athenian style of Greek." Conversations with my informants demonstrate that Demotiki has been widely adopted as the correct way to speak less than 40 years after the government instituted it as the standard. This leaves perhaps unanswered the curious question of what caused language ideology, and therefore language use, to shift so dramatically in such a short period of time.


87 The influence of the government on the language of Greek speakers is extensive. It determines precisely what kind of is Greek is legitimate and mandates what is taught in Greek schools, not only in Greece proper but in Greek schools worldwide. Speakers of the Standard are thus increasingly unified by this fairly identical form of speech rather than being differentiated and ethnically defined by dialect differences, which were more common fifty years ago. T he standard, as James Collins notes, "has no memory of group, no burden of history" (1999:216). SMG is a vehicle for the production of a national identity which supercedes local loyalties. Giorgos : In school, we're learning like, there is only one Greek language. In school, everybody is learning the same thing. Now, but it's different, the way we are speaking. Car: Yeah, it's different. The dialect is different, each part of Greece you go to, like my dialect is different from his and different from h is. My interview with Tasso gave me some indication as to how effective Greek school could be in rooting out dialect differences among Greek speakers. It appears that it is the goal of the national educational system to produce a nation of speakers of a uniform version of Greek. Clearly, education policy played a role in producing uniform speakers of SMG, not only through the process of education itself, but also through the desire of individuals to sound educated. In this sense, the Greek government h as both directly and indirectly exerted a profound degree of influence and effectiveness in producing a nation of speakers of SMG, both in Greece proper and in Tarpon Springs. Several people I spoke with contrasted Modern Greek with the "dialects" as if the dialects themselves were located in the past. When explaining the nonstandard word used in Kalymnos for "to sweep" Maria P said:


88 -2.1$7#%." means to sweep.. Now, today you will say: 8$ %1&'3#%." But in Kalymnos +$ *2.1$7#%." Dialect speech was seen as a thing of the past, and SMG a thing of the present and future. Maria P described Kalymnos itself as if it were located in the past. Orania and Niko's comments support Milroy's assertion, as discussed in the literature review, that language standardization leads speakers in standard language cultures to think of the standard as the only "right" or "correct" way t o speak, in spite of the fact that Demotiki had been established as the standard less than forty years prior. I asked them if they spoke the Athenian dialect of Greek, and they tried to correct me by saying: O: Well, Athenian is the basic. Nora: It's t he Modern Greek. O: It's Modern Greek, but there's no dialect Nora: It's Modern Greek. There's noThey don't consider it a dialect. I mean, there's slang, like in any other language, but it's not really a different dialect. O: In the islands and Northern Greece Nora: In the islands and Northern Greece they have different dialects. Me: So you basically speak, like, Athenian style Greek? O: Just Greek Nick: Yeah O: It's just, it's the base. It's normal (Giannis interrupts here to make fun of them) Nora: Th ey're a little snobby; they're from Athens. (Here there was a bit of good natured uproar at the table.) Rather than being one dialect among many, they viewed Athenian Greek as "the base form." They also seemed think that "Athenian" was interchangeable wi th "modern." Some informants seemed to have adopted the notion that society was somehow marching forward into a more prosperous and superior future, while others believed that modernity was leading to the decay of Greek culture. Most of my informants u sed this


89 narrative to imagine themselves and to understand their lives. This "modern" identity was characterized for my informants by increased education, increased global awareness, increased adoption of "city ways," and the speaking of Standard Modern Gr eek. However, negative changes that they saw both in Tarpon Springs and in Greece were also attributed to modernity. In the wake of Greece's independence, the narrative of national unity and the narratives about modernity and globalization appear to hav e become inseparably linked. As Arjun Appadurai notes, "modernization" in the developmental sense was originally the project not primarily of individuals but of nation states (1996:10). The "great march forward" into a brighter future thus seems to requi re an abandonment of the local in favor of the national and global. For most of the younger adults I met, the local had become less important, as they increasingly identified instead with what they saw as cosmopolitan and modern. Thus social networks and marriages were no longer restricted to their home villages, and they abandoned local speech varieties in favor of the national variety of Greek. The dialectical relationship between "tradition" and "modernity" has become an important part of the ways p eople in Tarpon Springs imagine themselves and their communities. For my informants, "modernity", in the context of this dialectic, meant being globally aware and educated and not "old fashioned" or a "villager". In this sense, modernity is about knowledg e: knowledge of the world beyond one's village, of Standard Modern Greek, of technology, and of "how the world is changing."


90 It is left up to the individual to judge the weight of tradition against the allure of the modern and to grapple with the question of how one might appropriate or reject aspects of the modern without losing his or her Greekness.


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