The field of linguistics thrives on empirical data, whether from languages, from psycholinguistic experiments, from sociolinguistic interviews, from typological surveys, or from historical investigations, to name just a few sources of data. At the same time, the field also thrives on theory, inasmuch as general theories of language structure, language use, language acquisition, and language change are essential to a full understanding of how the object of our investigations, natural human language, works. Theories provide a basis for testable claims about language, claims that can be tested and confirmed or disproved only by empirical considerations.
Empirical Approaches to Linguistic Theory (EALT) aims to publish high-quality works that are grounded in empirical data but at the same time advance theoretical goals. The relevant notion of 'theory' envisioned here is broad and eclectic, but also rigorous. The contributing empirical data is similarly broadly defined. The series includes single or co-authored monographs on a single topic or linguistic issue, state-of-the art reports and/or thematically coherent multi-authored volumes.
Prospective authors are invited to submit proposals for this series, to be vetted by the series editors, in which the particular theoretical constructs and/or claims to be examined are identified along with the empirical basis for the investigation.
A variety of Greek spoken once in Turkey that has not garnered the attention that other such varieties have, namely the Greek of Adrianoupolis, present-day Edirne, is the focus of this chapter, drawing on the rather remarkable lexicon produced by the French Orientalist Ronzevalle in 1911 (published in Journal Asiatique) as the primary source. The temporal focus is the Ottoman period, particularly late in that era, a time when Greek was the language of over a quarter of the city’s population. Ottoman-era Adrianoupolis Greek is a northern dialect but is noteworthy in the degree of influence it shows from its co-territorial language, Turkish. While at first glance, the effects seem to be purely lexical, a more careful consideration of the affected lexemes reveals a deep degree of contact, with words being borrowed that are in classes generally resistant to transfer across languages, such as pronouns and grammatical markers. The degree of penetration of Turkish into the lexicon of this variety is particularly striking and offers a means of reconstructing the nature of Greek-Turkish contact in that period in that place.