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A sociolinguistic application of Bakhtins

authoritative and internally persuasive

Lukas D. Tsitsipis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Throughthe use of two central Bakhtinianconcepts, authoritative and intern-
ally persuasive discourse (word), this paper examines the tension between the
ideology of linguistic hegemony as a source of power in the Greek public
sphere and the condition of language shift faced by the Albanian-speaking
communities of modern Greece. I argue here that a cautious application of
these two notions, which are relevant to linguistic ideology, can reveal crucial
aspects of two processes: that of subordination to and that of questioning of
the dominant linguistic ideology by local Albanian-speaking communities.
Thus, in language shift contexts, it is possible that no simple relations obtain
that place social agents in unquestionable and easily predictable positions.
Such an approach proves useful for the sociolinguistic study of threatened
language communities.
KEYWORDS: Language ideology, Bakhtin, authoritative and inter-
nally persuasive discourse, language shift, Albanian, Greek
This paper examines linguistic ideology as a signicant mediator in language
shift. The newly coalescing eld of linguistic ideology provides us with tools to
avoid mechanistic assessments of dynamic linguistic phenomena (Schieelin,
Woolard and Kroskrity1998). Following this lead we can critically rethink some
of the teachings of traditional, positivistic sociolinguistics of the 1970s. My
empirical focus is on some ideological issues concerning a minority speech form
of Albanian, knownlocallyas Arvan| tika, which is spoken in modernGreece and
which, on the basis of sociolinguistic criteria, can be viewed as a threatened lan-
guage (for a recent account of the shift, seeTsitsipis1998, anddiscussionbelow).
I will elaborate here on language ideology using some concepts derived
from Bakhtin. With my analysis focused on particular communities, I want to
discuss some theoretical issues that relate Bakhtin to the study of linguistic
ideology. As other authors have suggested, the work of Bakhtin has frequently
Journal of Sociolinguistics 8/4, 2004: 569^594
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been applied rather casually.
It is therefore useful to operationalize some of
Bakhtins concepts in an accurate manner following the lead, for instance, of
Hills and others analytical attempts in various writings ^ not all of them
presented and discussed here.
Local Arvan| tika communities, which provide the empirical data for this
essay, are agents in complex networks of relations with wider formations such
as the nation-state in the context of which linguistic shift is gradually taking
place. The Greek state and the bilingual Greek-Albanian communities are
mutually interlocked in praxis and ideology. The communities do not simply
exist within the connes of the nation-state and carry on along lines parallel
to those of the matrix society. They relate to these superimposed structures
through various socio-economic, administrative, and communicative net-
works which allow local ideologies to address ocial linguistic views. Some
of the background of the shift will be presented in order for sociolinguistic
analysis to derive its power from social theory and history.
Since Bakhtins work is not a novelty in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthro-
pology I choose here to focus on two of his concepts, authoritative and intern-
ally persuasive discourse, which have not had much currency in sociolinguistic
works, even though ideas of authority, power, and their relations to ideology
are common in many trends of critical discourse analysis and sociolinguistics
more generally.
Some of the portable notions of Bakhtins theoretical framework such as
voice, word, and dialogism, in their most explicit form, are found in his work on
Dostoevskys poetics (Bakhtin1984). Bakhtin there, in addition to a thorough
analysis, also oers the concepts, more specically those of the voice and of the
word, in table form that facilitates their application in other contexts (1984:
199). The word of language, sometimes referred to as discourse, recognises not
only its referential object, but also the word of the other, a word invading, so to
speak, the speakers world fromthe outside and carrying over its social accents
and background to another consciousness. Thus a word often becomes double-
voiced, and its voices constitute ideological positions on the world. Dialogic
relations therefore exist even in a speakers formal and syntactic monologue,
and a proposition is never complete until it becomes an utterance by being
socially anchored and responsive to other voices (Bakhtin1986).
With regard to authoritative discourse, Bakhtin (1981: 342) observes that
[T]he authoritative word demands that we acknowledge it, that we make it
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our own. . .; it is, so to speak, the word of the fathers. Its authority was already
acknowledged in the past (emphasis in the original). And elsewhere, Others
words become anonymous and are assimilated (in reworked form, of course);
consciousness is monologized. Primarydialogic relations to others words are also
obliterated . . . (Bakhtin1986: 163) (emphasis inthe original). Bakhtin contrasts
this to internally persuasive discourse. Internally persuasive discourse forms an
opposite pole where authority does not reign unquestioned. It is not insulated
from the world of other voices. As against authoritative discourse which is
understood as coming from the past, from the ancestors, internally persuasive
discourse is open to engagements in dialogic relations with other points of view.
It resists other voices and is being resisted and simultaneously penetrated by
them. As Bakhtinputs it,a conversationwithan internally persuasive word that
one has begun to resist may continue but it takes on another character: it is
questioned, it is put ina newsituation inorder to expose its weak sides . . . (1981:
348). In my discussion of the Arvan| tika data below I will try to show why we
need bothkinds of discourse for the studyof linguistic ideology.
It is useful to try to bring home these two concepts. Authoritative discourse
obviously presupposes two entities, a sending source and a receiving desti-
nation. In theory at least, and in order to operationalize this and subsequent
concepts for the requirements of empirical analysis, it is legitimate to make the
hypothesis that an authoritative word may stem either from individual or
collective agencies. Other, analogous analytical categories which take into
account individual or collective entities have been used in sociological and
sociolinguistic studies such as Gomans (1990) personal and tribal ^ meaning
here, group ^ stigma. But the following limitation should be kept in mind.
These communicating sources are not also two dierent voices, as, for instance,
when two opposed views are expressed and struggle with each other, lest we
want to undermine the very nature of this kind of discourse. Furthermore,
authoritative discourse is not limited to certaincategories of texts or discursive
genres, but also includes the power of textual performances (Kuipers 1990: 7).
An important feature of authoritative discourse is its totalizing nature.
Whether it is rejected or accepted, it is viewed as an unfragmented whole. This
makes this discourse inherently ideological. What makes authoritative word
an appropriate notion for analysis here is that it holds a deep anity with
linguistic ideologies: social agentscommonsense understandings of language
structure and praxis. As Kuipers (1998) has cogently argued in his analysis of
the fate of ritual speech on the island of Sumba, Indonesia, languages are
accepted as such only if they are perceived as totalities. This is an attitude
shared equally by some linguists and also nave observers. Everything less
than a total linguistic structure, for example, shifting languages, threatened
local varieties, pidgins etc., is taken to be something not worthy of the label
of a human language. From an aggressive point of view, which stems from
the post-colonial powers and local populations, this principle excludes by
negation: broken, non-human, inadequate, etc. But it canalso exclude through
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sympathy: that is, a positive, but a frequently condescending, attitude which
does not save formerly ourishing linguistic structures from becoming prey to
an expanding linguistic predator. Authoritative discourse operates by erasure.
Erasure as an ideological mechanism simplies the eld of observation by
making sociolinguistic phenomena, languages, and social entities invisible
(Gal and Irvine 1995). This kind of discourse, whether accepted or rejected,
produces non-reexive thinking, and thus constitutes a component in the pro-
cess of misrecognition: the combination of subjective blindness and objective
legitimation (see Bourdieu [particularly translators denition] 1984: 566).
However, importantly, authoritative discourse is not to be automatically read
as a discourse of power even though it contains the potential of power. Power
is not simply dialogic or monologic. It requires an external, a social dimension
coloring, so to speak, discourse with the relational properties of the agents
involved (see Bakhtin and Medvedev1985: 133 on the external, sociolinguistic
dimension of the genre). Caton (1990) discusses the role of this dimension for
the study of the praxis aspects of poetry. These relational properties will be
focused upon in the analysis of the examples. For an authoritative word to
become the word of political power, a eld is presupposed in which social
agents meet on unequal terms. For the tense relationship between Arvan| tika
and Greek, for example, and, more specically, for the hegemony of the Greek
language to take hold of the local communities, something like a public sphere
is required. This allows for the embedding of the Bakhtinian concept in a
political and sociolinguistic context.
The Greek public sphere has assisted ocial language discourse to become
powerfullyauthoritative, but as I will argue here, not without being questioned
by internally persuasive discourse. I should add that I use the Habermasian
notion of the public sphere loosely (Habermas 1989). This is a problematic con-
cept, particularly with regard to what it excludes and what it includes. Never-
theless, it remains useful if cautiously applied. Cmiel (1990: 130), for example,
notes that public oratorical discourse and language decorum in nineteenth-
centuryAmerica were guarded by women, but to be used only by men. I adopt
here Gals (1995: 418) denition of the public sphere as a kind of legitimation of
political power. The reason for using the analytical concept of the public
sphere is that bureaucracies and formal institutions do not suce to explain
the spread of the ideology of the ocial, standard linguistic norm and the
guarding of its authority. In order for such an ideology to be inculcated in
speakers social consciousness, more diuse vehicles are also required such as
a public discourse, media, popular conferences, daily conversational routines,
and the role of amateur or even professional students of the communities.
Such channels help shape, among the members of local speech communities,
a certain sense of linguistic self or identity formed in a constant dialectic with
the standardist, and hegemonic, model of the Greek language. My take on
Bakhtins authoritative and internally persuasive discourse, supplemented with
the concept of the public sphere, is not, therefore, intended as a convenient
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metaphor but as a set of theoretical and methodological tools shedding
important light on particular sociolinguistic data.
The national imagining of the Greek nation-state inthe19th century (Anderson
1991) has led to a mechanism that I call subordination following Laclau and
Moue (1985). This mechanism is responsible for the subjection of a social agent
to the decisions of another when no signicant discourses of resistance surface
to question the dominant power (for a discussion focused on this process and
for linguistic ideology in relation to it, see Tsitsipis 1995). We should also take
note of the fact that Andersons work cited above does not adequately account
for the linguistic aspects of the problem but I do not wish to discuss this issue
here. The gradual emergence of the state and later techno-economic develop-
ments have solidied the ocial discourse of the monoglot standard (Silverstein
1996) which forms the basis for the construal of everything else as deviant.
The Albanian-speaking communities, domiciled in what is now Greece for
about ve centuries following the demographic and social transformations
of the late Byzantine era, have come to adopt the hegemonic pattern that
Hamp (1978) calls self-deprecation. The Albanian variety spoken in Greece,
Arvan| tika, represents a conservative branch of the southern major dialect
division of the Albanian language, Tosk (the northern dialect being known as
Geg). Members of the Arvan| tika communities in Greece are bilingual in
Arvan| tika and modern Greek, whereas their sociolinguistic proles include
uent and terminal speakers. As a sociolinguistic category, terminal speakers
are bilingual members of the communities with a severely diminished gram-
matical and lexical competence in the minority language. Abundant evidence
suggests that the Arvan| tika language is undergoing shift (Sasse1990; Tsitsipis
1981; for the state of the art with regard to language shift studies, see Dorian
1999; for language shift, language rights, and various rhetorics for their inter-
pretation, see Errington 2003). Even though the age ranges in which terminal
and uent speakers of Arvan| tika can be allocated vary from community to
community, the sociolinguistic distinction concerning speaker-competence
levels inthe language is more or less stable across communities (for dierences
and similarities between the Arvan| tika case and that of East Sutherland
Gaelic, see Dorian 1981, and various references to Tsitsipis in this article).
Long-term ethnographic and sociolinguistic eldwork has been carried out in
several Arvan| tika speech communities in south-central mainland Greece.
Data for this study are derived from the two communities of my main research
focus, the southern semi-urban locality of Spata, and the northern, mountai-
nous village of Kiriaki.
The vast literature on language shift, obsolescence, and attrition studies
points to crucial dierences among various communities worldwide. For instance,
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the need for what Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer (1998) call ideological
clarication concerning Amerindian languages of southern Alaska
should be viewed in a dierent light when applied to Arvan| tika. Since
people in the Alaskan communities exhibit a strong pro-minority rhetoric but
do almost nothing to bring it about, these scholars take ideological
clarication as a prerequisite to a successful reversing of linguistic shift. This
praxis-cum-attitude complex, resembling what I call performative contradic-
tion, that is, the making of statements that are pragmatically undermined, so
that constative and performative dimensions are in opposition, does not have
many chances to succeed in the Balkan case under examination. Due largely
to the hegemonic eects of the authoritative discourse, no serious eorts
have ever been made to reverse the shift. It is better to view ideological clari-
cation as a sociolinguistic universal taking on dierent contents in dierent
In the Arvan| tika enclaves a kind of authoritative discourse shows up
which, as Bakhtin notes, comes from the ancestors, the details of its specic
character being locally determined. The national imagining, requiring
legitimation which stems from some remote and non-negotiable source, is a
good candidate for this kind of discourse. Arvan| tika speakers construe
their identity through identication with the fate of Greek history. It has
become their own. An Arvan| tika philologist of the 1960s oers the following
Extract 1
In the Arvan| tika villages, at least in those ones which had the privilege of
transportation, recent decades have been characterized by the evolution of civil-
ization, the decrease in the usage of Arvan| tika and the advancement of Greek.
Today, it is only in some isolated villages that one can hearArvan| tika mixed with dis-
torted Greek spoken by old people . . . However, in areas where ease of transportation
has brought about an intensive contact of old Arvan| tika villages with the city,
the life of these peasants has nothing to remind us of their earlier characteristic
peculiarities. (My translation fromGreek; Biris1960: 329)
This work has a title that refers to Arvan| tika people as the Dorians of Modern
Hellenism. It lters Arvan| tika society ethnohistorically through the geneal-
ogy of the Greek nation. Birisand others views belong to a tradition of nation-
alist discourse which includes also an emphasis on progress, iconically related
to the ocial language, Greek. A crucial component of this ideology is a
linguistic corrective that demands of all marginal or deviantdialects, varieties,
pronunciations, etc. that they conform to the canon of purity. This view marks
a, still active, pre-linguistic phase in Greek intellectual life that diers from
western sociolinguistic studies. National imaginings, to be eective, have to be
totalizing. Individuals and social sectors are allowed to be more or less nation-
alistic, but nationalism as ideology is not. Once the historical conjuncture
has brought about this eect, Greek authoritative discourse as ocial ideology,
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supported by the power of the historically legitimated public sphere, operates
by erasure: that is, no other alternatives are considered.
At a popular conference on Arvan| tika with the participation of historians,
anthropologists, folklorists, activists, local politicians, and other concerned
people (on popular conferencing, seeTsitsipis 2000), the issue of the authority
of a unied and unfragmented language allowing no interference from other
centrifugal forces (voices) was put into relief by various participants. The
following extract comes from an amateur linguist of Arvan| tika origin, who,
in his several interventions in favor of Arvan| tika, falls prey to the discourse of
the monolingual authority:
Extract 2
G.M.: An answer concerning the written status of the language [Arvan| tika] follows
the answer as to whether the language is unied. And the answer is that the
language is one, unied, unfragmented. Entities suchas Arvan| tika, Albanian,
Arbe resh [a label applied to the Albanian-speaking communities of southern
Italy] and others do not exist. By the same token, there are no people of
dierent kinds who use this language. That is, there are no Arvanites people,
Albanians, etc. The people is one. (My translation from Greek; for conference
proceedings, see Empirikos, Ioannidou, Karatzola, Baltsiotis, Beis, Tsitselikis
and Christopoulos (eds.) 2001: 341)
Eventhoughthe speaker focuses his discussionon Arvan| tika, he does not also
treat it inthe context of a logic dierent fromthat of nationalist language ideol-
ogy. The value and prosperity of the language is here understood through the
symbolic domination of the Greek monoglot standard, but with Arvan| tika as
the explicit referent. Generations of people having undergone Greek education
are aware of the totalizing nature of linguistic oneness. This ocial discourse
is simply transferred down and applied to the local linguistic forms. Even
though such ideology of oneness appears to treat all members of the various
ethnic communities, and citizenry in general, on equal terms, it crucially
undermines the voices of minority groups and blocks their potential for recog-
nition (Taylor 1997).
Extract 1, above, stems from a published source; Extract 2 comes from an
actual event in which the ethnographer was a participant, but I would call this
a remote participation since it did not meet the requirements for what we gener-
ally understand as a typical eldwork situation. The author was one among
many other co-participants even though his reputation as a specialist was
already known and established through previously published articles and
personal networks. In an early work, Hill (1970) argues that the researcher is
considered by the members of local speech communities as an authority in
matters concerning language and culture. This attitude, even though not
necessarily a universal one, serves as an index of authoritative discourse
deriving its power from the symbolic domination of a standard language and
all those who are perceived as its representatives.
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During the event from which Extract 2 is taken, many participants viewed
the various specialists as those who really know regardless of specic argu-
ments raised in the discussions. But published texts and large events reinforce
a tendency that Briggs (1986) has already discovered and discussed for the
micro-level interview: they make the isolation of referential content from its
indexical surrounding much easier by severing the ties between what is said
and actual interactions. Thus, issues such as who speaks to whom, and in
which conditions (Hymes 1974), are either erased or are carried over to the
communicative situation already ideologically constructed prior to the event
(specialists versus amateurs and natives).
For the oral texts and interactions which follow, some observations on my
role as an ethnographer are in line since this introduces the necessary reex-
ivity that is exactly what is missing from traditional interviews (see
Briggs 1986). As against the pure image of the specialist as briey described
above, which is quite abstract and is one of the many guises that authority
can take, even unwittingly, on the part of the researcher, in the immediate,
face-to-face interactions, conditions are more complex. Philips (1993: xi
^xix) in the new introduction to her work discusses the signicance of
microethnography using tools from interactional sociolinguistics, discourse,
and conversation analysis vis-a' -vis traditional ethnography. Furthermore, it
must be added here that, since part of the focus of the larger sociolinguistic
project on language shift was the study of ideologies, frequently an elusive
subject, a long contact had to be established between the consultants and
myself before an investigation of linguistic ideological views could be
embarked upon. Narrative texts and interactions analysed in this work have
been collected basically from older and middle-aged speakers who retain a
maximum of narrative competence using resources from both languages
(see Tsitsipis 1988 for a detailed treatment of this issue, and discussion below
for data collection). Several of the extracts cited and discussed here are non-
continuous selections from the original transcripts. I have made my choice
of the particular chunks though in such a manner as not to distort inter-
pretation. That is, the inclusion of additional material would not profoundly
aect the analysis. I have marked the point of the break between what is
omitted and what is included only for Extract 5 since conversation
with these consultants including the specic extract was on and o for
several sessions over a span of a few days (for transcription conventions see
Extract 3 is a conversational interview between myself and two women.
One, Ms Gar., was ninety-seven years old, back in the early 1980s, and the
other, Ms Argh., was middle-aged, the daughter-in-law of the rst, from
Kiriaki village, in central mainland Greece. This extract is doubly
biased referentially: rst, because interviews are so constructed (Briggs
1986: 42), and, second, because its focus was on a metalinguistic testing
and elicitation:
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Extract 3
Ethnographer: 1. rr|mte che ka te tho te ?
rr|mte what does it mean?
Ms Argh.: 2. to len i Zerikje ses pu le me to lazhu ri i mblju am
Zer| ki (a village name) women say this as we say the
lazhu ri i mblju am (blue)
Ms Gar.: 3. i mblju ami e tho mi atje lazhu rit [shkru aj de]
lazhu rit is the name for blue [write down cmon]
4. lazhu rit ja tho mi i mblju ampe r fuste ne
lazhu rit is the name of the blue of (womens) skirts
Ms Argh.: 5. [p| ej tidhe te thot jaja ja]
[drink (your coee) while grandma is talking to you]
Ms Gar.: 6. ie kji nu sxja fuste ne nji soro ie kji, ie kji, ie kji
the daughter-in-law has a lot of dresses (she) has, has, has
Ethnographer: 7. si tho ne to siko ti to plemo ni?
howdo they call the liver the lung?
Ms Gar.: 8. Mulsh| e zez mulsh| e bardh
liver lung
9. bu rri ka nji mulsh| te bardh e nji te zez
man (human being) has a lung and a liver
10. kadhe pache
has also bowels (intestines)
11. edhe ne ve ke mi pache
and we have bowels
12. te r, te r i ke mi ata ne ve
we have all, all those (things)
13. nan| che te tho mi? [pxje kafe ]
now what should we say? [drink coee]
14. u kamenen| nda epta v| tra
I am ninety-sevenyears old
15. prohore s pe r te shkonj
I am nowabout to die
16. [ura te n te kesh]
[be blessed]
In this interview, what Briggs (1986) calls communicative hegemony is
quite conspicuous. Speakers respond to the researchers queries without any
questioning of his role as a specialist or his right to engage them in an
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unusual ^ from their point of view ^ genre of communication. But Extract 3,
even though a pragmatic reection of an outside authoritative discourse, is a
multilayered event (without turning itself into an instance of internally
persuasive discourse on which there is more, later in this article). At
various places participants break out of the question^answer frame to refer
to everyday life conditions either by providing realistic frames for the terms
investigated (lines 6, 9, 10, 11, 12), or by expressing directive-aectionate
speech acts (lines 5, 13), or by oering autobiographical information (lines
14, 15) accompanied by formulas marking age-related communicative rou-
tines (older people express wishes for a long life to younger people, line 16).
A social self is thus projected which suggests more than just a passive accept-
ance of an outsiders authority. It is the turning of an interview situation
into a somewhat unmarked public interaction. Voices such as the ones
depicted in Extract 3 are quite representative of local, village or semi-urban-
sized, communities (for statistics dierentiating community types, and for
critical remarks on such statistics with reference to nationalist ideology, see
Tsitsipis 1998: 16^18).
Onthe basis of an examinationof a large corpus of conversational, narrative,
and interview data we can discern a continuum from a more private (or semi-
private) to a more public discourse. Since my research in both communities
focused on both linguistic and sociolinguistic phenomena, the data collected
consisted of long hours of conversations, quite frequently the oering of
unprompted stories, and questionnaires, including translation tasks testing
for linguistic competence in both languages and searching for social and bio-
graphical information. Thus an exchange, which started as a formal interview,
could often end up as a relaxed conversation with a variety of embedded topics
covering a range from personal accounts to discussions of wider social issues.
From the above, it becomes clear that the corpus just mentioned derives from
mixed eldwork conditions that moved from the most formal procedures to the
least formal ones. In collecting the corpus and judging which procedure
would be the most appropriate, I had some advance knowledge as to who
would be the best and most forthcoming narrators. This was not designed to
exclude the competent narrators from the formal testing of their bilingual
competence but to prot most from their spontaneously emerging narrative
skills. Investigation of interactional routines across contexts suggests that
communicative choices such as the ones in Extract 3 are quite typical across
situations, with parameters such as age, sex, etc. being responsible for vari-
ation in style. However, as a comparison of Extracts 4 and 5 will show, not all
speakers are equally inclined to produce an authoritative voice stemming from
the world of tradition (see analysis below). Two important processes remain
therefore to be discussed: the rst is a second type of authoritative word
characteristic of the ideological structure of the Arvan| tika communities
themselves; the second is internally persuasive discourse which I will analyze
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Before contact through schooling and centralization of state bureaucracy
intensied, and, consequently, legitimation of the Greek standard spread to
the periphery, it was Arvan| tika language that was perceived as the word of
the ancestors. Around the 1950s and earlier, the impact of administrative
systems linking local communities with the central bureaucratic structures
was not so strongly felt. I have called the condition that prevailed locally,
and still does to some extent, indexical totality: a full correspondence between
a linguistic and a non-linguistic order in speakers commonsense under-
standings. This in turn erases from view any possible dierences among
local linguistic varieties and groups. It is this totalizing discourse that the
Greek standard turns into fragments (viewed as mixed) and substitutes in its
place its own authority (on fragmentation, see Tsitsipis 2003). Since two
separate totalizing ideologies succeed one another in the history of the
local communities, but not as a smooth replacement process, I argue that
authoritative discourse is not intrinsically endowed with power (only histor-
ically does this happen). This emerges naturally out of the dierent power
potential that the Greek standard and Arvan| tika traditionalist linguistic
views exhibit.
Here is an extract from a conversation with an elderly speaker, with the
initials D.P., an octogenarian woman from the modernized community of
Spata in southern mainland Greece, referring to this earlier condition:
Extract 4
D.P.: 1. ne ve kakoshku ame , ne ve ata v| te ra
those years we faced hardships
2. r(r)e mo nje me , kladhe pse me vre shtate
(we) dug (the soil), cut the branches of the vines
3. puno nje m me sust me ka re ne ve im
we cultivated (the land) we moved with a carriage
4. ne k ke im kje [ . . .] kakoshko jne ko zmos
we didnt have oxen [ . . .] people had a hard time
5. ne ala dho ksa to theo o mos
yes but anyway God is blessed
6. shko nje m me mir, she ndo shat m| ra
we had a better time, in good health
7. dhe she rbe nje mala ha im
and we worked but we (had) to eat
8. ta te ne ke ime njikokj| r shum
we had a hard-working father
9. it edhe me

our mother spoke Greek
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10. edhe ta ta na it Elinika
and the father also spoke Greek to us
11. ne

ke | shne shumpaleo
they were not that old-fashioned
12. Arvan| te, Arvan| te, kuvendo in Arvan| te
Arvan| tika, Arvan| tika, they spoke Arvan| tika
13. Arvan| te ata plje kjte
these old people (spoke) Arvan| tika
14. Elinika kuvendja zame ta pedhja
the children spoke Greek
15. dhen guvendja zame Arvan| tika
we didnt speak in Arvan| tika
16. me tis ghrie s maz| le me tArvan| tika
with the old women we speak Arvan| tika
17. pjo e fkolo to ra a ma vro tis sinomil| s mu
it is easier now if I run across my age-mates
18. me tis Arvan| tises Arvan| tika
with Arvan| tika women Arvan| tika
19. oh, oh, panij| r, ske a rdhure ke tu ne panjij| r
oh, oh, (quite) a feast, you havent participated in the feast
20. Arvan| te che ke che nje m horo ke ndo nje me
we were dancing (in) the Arvan| tika (tune) (quite) a dance and we were
21. ve je me nde klj| se , v| nje me nga klj| sa
we went to the church, we came back fromthe church
22. to ra dhen hore vume dhen ga nume
now we dont dance we dont do (things)
23. ha lase o ko zmos to ra, u-hala s panjij| ri nan|
the world has deteriorated now, the feast has deteriorated now
24. ske mi panij| r, ne

ke | shte ko zmi a| paleo che ish

we dont have the feast, there are no people like the old ones that used to be
25. ne ve je mi bastardhu e misho kje misho
we are bastardized half and half
26. le me ta Rome ika le me kje tArvan| tika
we speak in Greek and we (also) speak in Arvan| tika
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I will not focus here on the intricacies of the narrators code-switching. This
extract is characterized by what Hill (1998) calls a nostalgic ideology.
Arvan| tika is projected not simply as part of an earlier state of aairs, that is,
as a synecdoche, but as the totality of this past. It is both indexable by and
indexical of the social order. This is what I call indexical totality, which allows
a traditionalist authoritative discourse to surface. This past order is viewed
through erasure, and, hence, through misrecognition, as admitting of no
fractures or interference fromother voices.
True, since the shift was already underway in earlier times, the narrator
makes a concession by admitting that her parents used Greek to address young-
sters (lines 9, 10) and that children were speaking Greek among themselves
(line 14). But everything else was understood as intrinsically related to Arvan| -
tika. Agricultural activities, physical suering and endurance, good health, and
adequate or inadequate subsistence along with respect for social order appear
as a module (lines 1^8), and are construed as indexed by the use of Arvan| tika
which also marks local festivities and religious conduct as emblems of an earlier
order (lines18^21). This is sharplycontrasted to more recent times whenthe lan-
guage is no longer a totality (through hybridization and syncretismwith Greek)
and the social order has morally deteriorated (lines 22^26).
Aquestion related to that raised inconnectionwith Extract 3 above, that is,
how typical or representative of local voices Extract 4 is, is relevant here too.
We can answer this by providing a richer contextualization for the example.
The narrators projected social self recapitulates and foregrounds the author-
itative word of the community as its legitimate representative. This authority
is not locally invested in just anybody, but crucially in those individuals
whose age and social background make them good and reliable spokes-
persons for the communities wisdom and collective ideology.
What is
meant by social background is a constellation of features including bio-
graphical characteristics of the speakers as well as historical conditions
shaping these characteristics which allow them to produce the word of tradi-
tional authority. The narrator of Extract 4 has undergone and felt the major
stages of the, still ongoing, linguistic shift, and oers here an expository,
historical account of the social and linguistic changes. She combines
this exposition with her ideological, evaluative reading of a social world
dominated by the authority of Arvan| tika. At line 19 she prexes her nostal-
gic discourse about the longed for (and now perceived as decreasing in
authenticity) local festivities with the use of the aectionate, exclamatory
particle oh dramatically reduplicated. This memory management by the
speaker foregrounds for her audience the word of tradition.
We turn now to another narrative case that is not so strongly ideological in
nature. Nevertheless, some of the nuclei, as I have called them, which express
speakers basic concepts and ideas showup here too. The surfacing of linguistic
ideology (language ideologies can be either explicit focusing on the surface
features of structure, Silverstein 1981, or implicit and non-propositional)
# Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004
crucially depends on a combination of factors such as social background, his-
tory, and participant structures, as already suggested above. Incidentally a
view that takes account of all these factors corroborates a position expressed
by critics that not all discourse should be considered as ideological. Eagleton
(1991), for example, in a critique, argues that Foucault, through the concept of
discours, trivializes the notion of ideology since, if it explains everything, it
explains nothing. The following extract is from a conversational narrative by
the same participants as in Extract 3 above:
Extract 5
Ms Gar.: 1. kamdjelm ke ta e me zhdo nje n me mir na me m
I am surrounded by these children who take care of me better than
(their own) mother
2. pred| a, ura tze n te Kr| shtit edhe She rmer| s te ken
my God, the blessing of Jesus and Holy Mother may they have
Ms Argh.: 3. jam ke tu , katuna re, u jam nu se e hu aj
I am here, a villager, I ama foreign daughter-in-law
Ms Gar.: 4. e kaloshko nj me dre nje n djeljm shum
and I have a good time children care for me a lot
5. nu kamparapon| , enen| nda epta ate

nuk e kto nem

I dont complain, ninety-seven (years old) those (things) I dont
6. te rro nje n dje ljme t u ke tu rronj
I wish a long life to the children, I live here
7. ne hor kamva tur jo nAth| n
Ive been to the city not toAthens
8. mos me ne mdhen mboro na z| so
wishing me a long life is a curse I am not able to live
9. jat| ta podha rja mu tsak| san to fos mu p| re
since my legs are weak my sight gone
10. mos me ne m, ala du a te vdes che u-vare she s
dont curse me, I want to die since I ambored
11. dhen to the lo to zo| mu egho ?
dont I want my life?
12. me vwa me vdikj, kam kakoshku ar
my brother died, Ive had a hard time
13. [ta mam jet]
[you speak well]
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14. edhe kjo glju ha e mir (lowering her voice)
and this language (Arvan| tika) (is) good
15. kakoshko va u-martu ash mo ra kte burr
I had a hard time I got married I took this man
16. nuk be

ra fam| lje me ke te

I didnt make a family with this man
17. nu ku k| she mt ha im
we didnt have enough food supplies
18. si mos i kto nem!
I do not remember these (old) things!
19. [je chahpe

n dhe mos jesh]

[you are quite smart for a person who is not (Arvanitis)]
20. na z| sis hro nja pola san kje me na
may you live a long life like me
Turns at talk by the speakers of Extract 5 are extracted from a much
longer text, which exhibits a high degree of repetitiveness. It must be
mentioned that Extracts 4 and 5 are speech tokens with minimum prompting
by the ethnographer. In Extract 5, for instance, we notice loose cohesive
ties among the various statements by Ms Gar. (line 5, for example, in which
statements are not hypotactically connected and have unrelated referents).
This is only partly due to my own selection of fragments from the longer
discourse. Self-repair is conspicuously absent from these and the majority of
Arvan| tika narratives and conversations, and in those rare cases in which it
shows up, self-repair seems to be limited to extremely factual information.
One could tentatively claim here that this serves as an index of the lack of
formal speech contexts.
Comparing Extracts 5 and 4 above we notice the following: audiences and
speech event structures are almost identical in the two cases. Dierences
show up with regard to speakers goals and their social biographies. Extract 5
is an autobiographical narrative by a very old, but not senile, speaker. But so is
Extract 4 to a great extent. In Extract 5, in lines 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, the speaker
makes the usual statements expected (at least to a large extent) in elderly dis-
course concerning her life with children, blessings and wishes to children
(see also Extract 3 above) and disclaimers of memory, an almost stereotypical
performance feature. At line 7, the speaker identies anunnamed urbancenter
and adds the caveat that this is not Athens: hor*hora (a Greek loanword) refers
to any town or city that functions as an administrative point of reference.
Athens (the capital city) is still outside the horizon of the speakers everyday
dealings. Lines 8, 9, 10, 11and 12, with the exception of 14, continue the enu-
meration of personal facts, as well as hardships similar to the ones mentioned
# Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004
in Extract 4, and so do the lines of the rest of her narrative, accompanied by
various wishes.
Line14 mentions Arvan| tika language but in a lower voice. Both the intona-
tion and the context of the speakers other statements suggest that the
language issue is not topicalized here. No heightened awareness of an indexi-
cal relation between a language and social order is foregrounded in Extract 5
as against Extract 4. The word that takes Arvan| tika to be linked to an unfrag-
mented traditional order is severely weakened in Extract 5. The narrative por-
tion cited here as Extract 5 is a shadow of an authoritative discourse. Since
language issues are only an aside vis-a' -vis the main focus of the narrative, no
authoritative pronouncements are to be read in the narrators views. This
speaker, very little touched by the linguistic shift, is not functioning as a propo-
nent of a certain kind of ideology. Politically speaking, she is not an interested
agent. On the basis of the preceding analysis I call this narrative extract a
shadow of authoritative discourse since only a slight trace of the Arvan| tika
language authority can be detected in the speakers narration. Looking again
at lines 14 and15, we notice that these two lines stand out of the rest of the text
as the only ones that relate language to earlier conditions of life at the societal
level. Thus, the presence of the ideological nuclei, matching language with an
extralinguistic reality in speakers views, is very tiny in comparison with
Extract 4.
The lines of the elderly speaker of Extract 5 are full of confessional details
combined with formulaic expressions (such as line 17 mentioning poverty)
which show up again and again in Arvan| tika narratives of uent speakers,
diering slightly among themselves in their wording (for a discussion of
the subject of formulaic expressions, see Tsitsipis 1989). The confessional
structure of the major part of the narrative argues for a spontaneous
discourse of a kind that makes the possibility that the speaker is framing her
words as a make-believe strategy seemvery remote. At the time of the interview
this woman was already a non-active member of the communitys life, and
thus least endowed with the power to represent the authority of tradition.
What the speaker does is to make a portion of her private life available to the
public gaze.
The examples above suggest that the authority of the Greek standard is
progressively replacing the authoritative discourse of tradition. The latter
perceives the earlier condition as dominated by an almost monolingual
Arvan| tika cultural world. An interesting variation shows up: not all speakers
are equally inclined to produce this ideology even though they may accept it
passively most of the time. This is a kind of subtle variation not easily suscepti-
ble to statistical analysis. In addition to the conclusions reached on the basis
of this variation in the particular empirical case, what speakers say about
their linguistic practice, the dialectic between discourse and metadiscourse,
pragmatics versus metapragmatics, stands as a public feature of almost all cul-
tural worlds (Urban1991).
# Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004
Since we have two historically attested authoritative discourses which derive
their respective power fromthe ways social agents are related throughexternal
social forces, where does internally persuasive discourse come from and how
does it surface? The meaning of the internally persuasive word is not as trans-
parent as that of the authoritative word. Whether the object of this word is
nally accepted or not, it nevertheless becomes the locus of contestation. The
best way to operationalize it, therefore, is to view it as an ideology that upholds
something and questions it at the same time, that is, as a struggle of voices.
The hegemony of the Greek state apparatuses does not leave much room for
strongly felt anti-hegemonic discourses. One reason for this is that the social
and economic structures of modernization have forced the material conditions
of the local communities to radically change, not least, the potential for their
reproduction in anything like their previous state. This is better grasped if we
also take into account the powerful forces of reexivity of late modernity as
analyzed by Giddens (1991). The massive productionand circulationof descrip-
tive and ideological discourses through electronic and other media reaches
local communities, which in turn react and adjust accordingly. A similar situ-
ation is described by Eagleton (1976: 55^56) for the genesis of English as a
national language, as well as for its dominance in Ireland. However, it must be
added here that the phenomenon of social reproduction of the powerful variety
(Bourdieu1991), is not universal (seeWoolard1985, for a discussionof this issue).
But this historical situation should not blind us to the fact that we are
not dealing with a smooth succession of one authoritative discourse, the
traditionalist, by another, the state hegemonic. Even though Greek symbolic
domination seems unquestionable, since this condition is being constantly
reinforced by the operation of schooling and bureaucracy, elements of hetero-
glossia, that is, the viewing of one language through the eyes of the other
(Bakhtin1981), showup inthe ideological-linguistic statements of the commu-
nity members. At the local level, the symbolic dominance of Greek is fragile
and fraught with contradictions. Speakers, in their naturally produced narra-
tives, simultaneously accept and reject the role of the Greek language. Else-
where I have called this (Tsitsipis 1998: 119^132) contradictory discourse. A
kind of ideology that shifts from praising Arvan| tika to viewing it in negative
terms coexists with congruent linguistic ideology that faithfully reproduces
the dominant discourse. It is this kind of linguistic ideology that I call intern-
ally persuasive discourse. This discourse captures the whole situation as a
process and not just as a static condition, as is frequently the case with contra-
dictory discourse. In simple contradictions something is an A and its existen-
tial negation at the same time. In persuasiveness, one starts somewhere in
order to reach a dierent point.
Sociolinguistically, internally persuasive ideology characterizes both major
speaker categories: uent and low-prociency speakers. In various narrative and
# Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004
conversational contexts they question the authority of Greek, but without restor-
ing Arvan| tika to a pure and ideologically uncontaminated state. Such discursive
moments argue in favor of a thin hegemony of the national standard (Scott 1990),
if not as a constant feature of the relations between the two languages and their
respective speakers, at least, as atransitoryone. And we have well-attested ethno-
graphic cases inwhich linguistic contestationprevails (Gal 1993).
Greek authoritative discourse, operating by erasure, claims for itself a kind of
loyalty that resists anyquestioningor undermining byexternal sources. Internally
persuasive discourse, therefore, by putting this authority under a light of
doubt, questions its totalizing nature. Here is an extract in which an internally
persuasive discourse in the form of contradictory ideology surfaces in the
speakers pronouncements. The speaker, G., anelderly man fromKiriaki, is actively
and reexively responding to the conditions and consequences of the shift:
Extract 6
G.: 1. em| s spe dhe a ta theoru me afu jen| thikam sti mitrikj| ghlo sa
we consider it (Arvan| tika) important since weve been born with this as a
native tongue
2. troma ksam na ma thume ta Elinika
we had a hard time to learn Greek
3. sas pro| pa o ti pa o na mil| so me sas kje anakate vome
I told you before that when I try to speak withyou I get confused
4. dhe mboro na mil| so kathara
I cannot speak clearly
5. mu tohun pi kja li: es| dhen |se apto Kirja ki
others have also told me: you dont come from Kiria ki
6. a ma mil| so me nan dhikjigho ro, se nan pu | ne evrope os, i stin Ath| na
if I speak with an attorney, to somebody who is European, or in Athens
7. le i: es|s dhen mja zeste ja Arvan|tes
says: you dont look likeArvan|tes
8. ala i simberifora mu fe nete me pene vun
but my conduct seems to be such (that) they praise me
Inthis narrative portion, which is oered entirely in Greek by the speaker, a slid-
ing or contradictory type of explicit linguistic ideology shows up. The narrator
starts out at line 1 by praising Arvan| tika, but ends up with pronouncements
describing his diculties in dealing communicatively with a world in which the
use of Arvan| tika has become a negative symbolic capital: that is, interference
of the local variety with Greek becomes detrimental to his image. It is inthe pro-
gression of this brief but dramatic narrative, that one can detect the foreground-
ing of internally persuasive discourse. The alien word, that of bureaucracy and
# Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004
the state, is both espoused and contradicted. No closure appears of the sort we
expect to nd in the authoritative word. As the narrator approaches the rst
clash of voices (lines 5 and 6), his speech is rendered momentarily dysuent.
The dysuency occurs exactly at the point where the speaker embarks upon his
rst quotation. The conjunctive connection also, and of line 5 with preceding
line 4 shatters the cohesive ties that one expects from the mutual logical adjust-
ment of the speakers turns. Something like but would be appropriate here.
However, in this context, the alien voice disrupts the local view of Arvan| tika.
The speakers reporting frame anticipates the viewof his reported interlocutors.
This discursive context actualizes what Voloshinov (1973: 135) calls anticipated
and disseminated reported speech. The narrators quotation does not simply
reproduce the other voice. It struggles withit byanticipating it and byallowing it
to aect his own voice. A mutual infectiousness of voices occurs here. The fact
that, in this and in other similar speech tokens, the idea of examining them in
the light of the internally persuasive word had not occurred to me, has deprived
analysis of potential tools helping sociolinguistics penetrate more deeply into
the problem of contradictions concerning linguistic ideologies.
An analysis is
never complete unless all crucial aspects of the phenomenon, here the word of
authorityand the questioningof this authority, are takenintoaccount.
My discussion of linguistic ideology with the use of two central Bakhtinian
concepts, authoritative and internally persuasive discourse, oers a basis for a
more complex viewof the eld of observation. There is no doubt that linguistic
ideologies have been central to early and classical work in sociolinguistics
under various labels such as attitudes, subjective responses, etc. Labovs
(1972: 314^317) indicators, markers, and stereotypes try to grasp such
stances towards linguistic forms entailing various degrees of conscious
awareness. Even the dialectic between evaluative attitudes and linguistic
change is given signicant emphasis in these early works (for a more recent
theoretical elaboration of the dialectic of structure, use, and ideology, see
But traditional sociolinguistic work has primarily focused on isolated vari-
ables susceptible to statistical analysis. To the contrary, concepts such as those
derived from Bakhtin, take whole communities as their points of reference
along with their historical and sociological characteristics, as immersed in
power relations. One of the dierences between what we may call a positivistic
sociolinguistics and this approach lies in the fact that notions such as author-
ity, heteroglossia, persuasiveness, dialogue, etc. require simultaneously a
focus on both correlational facts which are the social background, historical
information and the like, as well as interactional ones such as the emerging
actualities of the speech events.
# Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004
Sociolinguists should not be faulted for not having discovered Bakhtin
before the appearance of his thought on the western academic scene. Neither
should they be criticized for not choosing to focus on his work. And howthings
would have shaped in regard to sociolinguistic theory, particularly in the
1960s, the formative years of the sociolinguistic paradigm, had Bakhtin been
better known, remains a question for counterfactual historians with linguistic
and sociological interests to study (for virtual history, see Ferguson 1998).
This is a task worth undertaking for its own sake but not appropriate for the
present article.
I mentioned above that a Bakhtinian perspective focuses on whole commu-
nities rather than on isolated variables. There is some support for this view
coming from other quarters of sociolinguistic and pragmatic theory. Mey
(1985: 341^349), proposing a distinction between traditional and critical
sociolinguistics (and here critical discourse analysis should also be included),
suggests that sociolinguistics, if it is to be a truly social science, must consider
peoples societal activities as a whole . . . (1985: 342). Mey criticizes the isola-
tion of supercial variables assigned to rigidly separated political, social, eco-
nomic, cultural, religious, linguistic and other spheres. Here a distinction
between theory and method comes immediately to mind. Methodologically
speaking, the isolation of variables by researchers working in the mainstream
of the sociolinguistic tradition has produced admirable and emulable results.
But, in theory, building a focus on peoples societal activities as a whole has
escaped researchers interests or attention.
A similarly critical and sophisticated view is oered by Coupland (2001)
who, building on Giddens and Bakhtin, discusses the concept of therelational
self which anchors communication at the heart of agents interactions
rather than on variables abstracted from their deeper, in Meys sense,
class-determined, societal conditions. Coupland (2001: 197) further observes
that Bakhtins work is still text-focused which invites a readjustment of his
thinking to sociolinguistic realities outside the literary text. And this is
correct onobservational grounds. But, I would add inthe context of the present
analysis, that by being textual Bakhtins work does not pre-empt later socio-
linguistic research by oering yet another variability-oriented analytical grid
withthe well-knownmechanical sortingout of (frequently) supercial dimensions.
My approach in this paper has been, therefore, the reverse of ideological
erasure by which the eld of observation is simplied. Both analysts and local
community members frequently fall prey to such erasing abstractions and
generalizations. Traditional structuralist logic and logical positivism have
emphasized the binary pattern of argumentation in which something is either
there or is not. Thus, hegemony is viewed as either prevailing ina certain social
eld or is not. The analysis above argues that, in addition to all-encompassing
and authoritative discourses, contradictions show up making Dauenhauer and
Dauenhauers (1998, see above) call for ideological clarication in language-
shift conditions a rather dicult matter. Analytic observers often recongure
# Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004
local ideologies according to what they themselves are prepared to see or
tolerate. As Kroskrity (1998: 115) notes, [L]inguistic ideology oers an ethno-
linguistic account that provides an insightful microcultural complement to
recent ethnographic and ethnohistorical eorts to rethink the sociocultural
order. . . In fact, Bakhtinianconcepts make sucha rethinking of inherited inter-
pretive orders and schemata possible.
1. This paper stems from a presentation made at the Third International Crossroads in
Cultural Studies Conference, 21^25 June, 2000, which took place in Birmingham,
U.K., and particularly from a series of sessions on Bakhtins work. I would like to
thank the conference participants for some useful initial comments, and this jour-
nals editors Nikolas Coupland and Allan Bell. Both editors have oered substantial
help, support, and critical comments on earlier drafts of this piece in order to bring
it to publication. I am also grateful to my anthropologist colleague and friend from
the Universityof Thessaly, Greece, Penelope Papailias, who has given her time gener-
ously to correct style and provide signicant insights in regard to theory and con-
tent. The lecturer of our department Panagiotis Arvanitis has been very helpful in
setting part of the electronic format of this paper. Susan K. Shaw, the journals copy
editor, has been quite instrumental in giving the article its nal shape. Last but not
least the critical comments by two of the journals anonymous reviewers have con-
tributed important guidelines for the improvement of the paper. I remain the only
one responsible for any shortcomings that have crept into the nal product.
2. Brandist (2000) is anexample. But this scholar and other participants inthe Bakhtin
sessions of theThird International Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference derive
their basic argumentation from critical, literary theory, not sociolinguistics or
linguistic anthropology, and, as Urban (1991: 24) has cogently argued, linguistic
anthropology and literary theory are not expected to make an identical use of
certain concepts. Aword of caution concerning the interdisciplinary application of
certain notions is always therefore a prerequisite for a serious analysis.
3. See Hill (1985, 1995). It should be noticed that Hills major concern has beenwith the
operationalization of voice. However, a fruitful line of investigation has been
broached inthese works.
4. Some of the examples discussed in this paper have been analyzed in other works too
as suggested in references in the main text. The reason is that certain theoretical
and methodological views focusing on the examples cannot be adequately
exhausted in one article. New theoretical insights oer the possibility of further
interpretive depth to the texts.
5. This condition is interestingly similar to some of Benjamins ([1973] 1992: 107)
observations about the storyteller in his celebrated essay: [T]he storyteller joins
the ranks of the teachers and sages. He has counsel ^ not for a few situations, as
the proverb does, but for many, like the sage. For it is granted to him to reach
back to a whole lifetime (a life, incidentally, that comprises not only his own experi-
ence but no little of the experience of others; what the storyteller knows from hear-
say is added to his own) (emphasis added). Benjamin speaks here to a condition
# Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004
almost identical to the one presented in this paper: the traditional-ancestral
word of authority that has gone unquestioned for some time, till the dawn of a
new era comprising technologies, state apparatuses, and ocial languages trans-
mitted through mechanical means and the print industry.
6. History does not proceed byleaps, that is, fromone pure state to the next. Sucha posi-
tion could be adopted only by evolutionists with little or no regard for the historicity
of events (see Silverstein1996: 302, for remarks on historicity in the social and bio-
logical sciences; also Holquist 1990: 25, on Bakhtins view of event which, in his
philosophical writings, is understood as being always inconjunctionwiththe notion
of being, that is, being as an event). This simplistic view would provide little room for
heteroglossia (struggle of voices), since ideology is not always congruent but also
of a contradictory nature.
7. One of this papers anonymous reviewers has raised a thoughtful questionconcern-
ing the possibility of an alternative interpretation for Extract 6. Says this scholar:
. . . could it also be that the speaker feels bad for his mixed up Greek, so he quotes
other peoples perceptions of his good Greek to establish himself as better sound-
ing than he has just admitted? This is a very plausible query that I cannot rule out.
I do submit, however, that a sidelong glance (in Bakhtins sense) at the other (here
dominant) voice is quite consistent with the overall interpretation of this narrative
segment as expressing conict, tension, and insecurity: all being major features of
internally persuasive discourse. These characteristics are expected to show up as
soon as we step out of the connes (and the protection) of the word of authority:
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For ease of printing and reading, the data cited here are not transcribed in the
IPA. I have chosena transcriptionthat overlaps with the Albanianalphabet.
. e stands for the schwawhich enjoys a phonemic status inthe output of uent
Arvan| tika speakers
. h stands for the Albanian velar fricative which is more or less systematically
pronounced by uent speakers, and shows up also intheir Greek
. rr is also phonemic even though its trilled nature is not always heard clearly
inthe tape (hence the parenthesized rendering of r in line 2 of Extract 4)
. kj, gj, lj, nj, sh etc. represent palatal sounds, both stops and fricatives
. Apostrophes, in the original utterances and in the glosses, indicate the
omission of certain sounds in fast speech
. Accent marks are placed over the relevant syllables of non-monosyllabic
Arvan| tika and Greek words to make the reading of these items easier and
closer to actual pronunciation
. Parentheses, in general, are used either for clarication or for the insertion
of omitted lexical material
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. Brackets enclosing dots stand for unclear items in the tape
. Bracketed utterances constitute speakersasides inaddressing themselves to
the investigator where relevant
. A series of dots at the beginning of Extract 5 indicates that the cited text has
been extracted froma longer speech segment
. Bold letters are used for the transcription of the Greek utterances, unless
the whole text is in Greek, whereas Greek loanwords in Arvan| tika, as mor-
phologically and phonologically adapted by speakers, are left unmarked
. Italics are used in Extract 3 to represent words discussed citationally by the
consultants and myself, and in Extract 6 to represent quoted-reported
speech by the speaker
Given the relaxed attitudes towards the minority language, and hence the lack
of corrective pressures (an outcome of the hegemony of the standard), and
also the constant intergenerational inuences, even uent speakers do not
render phonemic distinctions in a systematic manner all the time. This also
holds true for some of uent-speaker grammar. For instance, verb forms requir-
ing past morphology are not rendered consistently since they should follow
the paradigm of the past [imperfect] tense marking. I have supplied the past
tense semantics in the glosses. Certain grammatical dysuencies (particularly
those concerning grammatical gender distinctions) in speakers Greek are not
marked inthe texts.
Address for correspondence:
Lukas D. Tsitsipis
Department of French, Faculty of Philosophy
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki 54124
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