On some recent Pomak writing activities in Greece: ethno-cultural context and linguistic peculiarities

  • Maria Manova


Despite numerous attempts at codifying their language, the Pomaks in Greece, a linguistic as well as religious minority, do not generally put into writing this variety, which is considered to be a Bulgarian dialect. Up until about fifteen years ago, there was an absence of any kind of lexicographic tradition. The grammars, dictionaries etc. that appeared in Greece in the mid-1990’s can be classified as “external” codifications, since most of them were made by the majority. Over the last few years, however, an increasing minority-activism has changed the situation somewhat. Some writing has begun to emerge from the community, but the variety is still far from fitting the criteria for micro-literacy, the codification of which is difficult due to the different idiolectal varieties of the language actors, which are far away from a uniform orthographical norm as well as an alphabet. However, the publications in the minority language are seen as evidence of cultural emancipation and linguistic vitality. This article deals with the issues of language and literacy among the Pomaks in Greece and presents a case study of the ethno-linguistic orientation of the currently most productive Pomak language activist’s writings.


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