Melbourne seminar to focus on the Albanian diasporic identity in Greece

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The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) will present an online-only lecture about the Albanian Diaspora in Greece on June 15 at 7pm.

Join Rexhina Ndoci, a PhD Candidate from The Ohio State University, for an engaging talk on “Language and Ethnic Identity: Constructing the Albanian Diaspora in Greece.”

This lecture is part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars and will be delivered online via Facebook and YouTube, ensuring widespread accessibility for all attendees.

Rexhina Ndoci is specialising in sociolinguistics and language contact. With a strong background in English and Greek Languages and Literatures from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Linguistics at The Ohio State University.

Ndoci’s research focuses on the linguistic construction of Albanianness in Greece and the social perception of Albanian-accented Greek. She employs various research methodologies, including experimental, discourse analytic, and ethnographically informed methods. Furthermore, Ndoci serves as a teaching assistant for undergraduate linguistics courses and as a Research Assistant at the Laboratory for Greek Dialectology, working under the guidance of Dr Brian D. Joseph. She also collaborates with Dr Petros Karatsareas from the University of Westminster to examine the linguistic repertoires of Albanian onward migrants in the UK.

In this captivating lecture, Ndoci will discuss two interconnected studies: an analysis of Greek internet memes about Albanian L2 Greek (AlbGrk) and a perception experiment examining the social evaluations of the same variety. The analysis of 98 memes collected from Greek websites and social media platforms sheds light on the portrayal of Albanians, perpetuating stereotypes and reinforcing negative perceptions. The distinctive features of AlbGrk depicted in the memes are primarily phonological adaptations not found in Albanian.

Ndoci introduces the concept of “Mock Albanian Greek” to describe the constructed representation of AlbGrk in these memes, highlighting its deviation from the authentic AlbGrk spoken by the diaspora.

Ndoci emphasises the significance of memes as a valuable tool to explore public perceptions of linguistic features associated with migrant communities. Memes, with their anonymous and unrestricted nature, can perpetuate harmful stereotypes about vulnerable groups such as migrants.

Additionally, her research contributes to the social speech perception literature, shedding light on listeners’ sensitivity to phonological and lexical features when making judgments about speakers. The judgments reveal an indexical field for AlbGrk features, encompassing associations with ruralness and negative social attributes, as well as dissociations from positive attributes. The study also uncovers overt and covert xenophobic ideologies of the two ethnic groups towards speakers of the ethnic variety.

When: 15 June 2023. Time: 7:00 pm Platform: Facebook/Youtube.

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