This project aims to explore the history and language of Greek immigrants in Canada and elucidate their connection to the social and cultural history of the country. It contributes to the study of Greek transatlantic immigration and to the understanding of ethnic diversity in the Canadian society.
The project is also an attempt to develop interdisciplinarity among historical, sociological and linguistic research in order to fill this gap in Greek and Canadian history and provide a fully-fledged analysis of both the historical and sociolinguistic characteristics of Greek Canadian communities.
The major goal of socio-historical and socio-linguistic research will be to investigate the degree of adaptation of Greek immigrants, i.e. whether full assimilation has taken place, involving the full acceptance of social, cultural and linguistic norms, or whether an integration process has occurred where various socio-cultural and linguistic identity traits are preserved and creatively used. As for the purely linguistic part of the research, the project proposes the examination of how the Greek language and its dialectal variation have evolved in a language-contact situation, where English and/or French is the donor language and Greek the recipient. Interestingly, it constitutes the first attempt to conduct a thorough and systematic research on language contact on the basis of data drawn from immigrants in Canada, in an area geographically remote from Greece.
The present project attempts to move a step beyond the standard practice in linguistic and historical research by producing ground-breaking deliverables in connection with the development of digital humanities that will ensure the sustainability of the results. In this vein, new technologies will be used in the collection of data in order to make them easily accessible to anyone interested in exploring the different historical, social and linguistic aspects of Greek-Canadian communities. The deliverables of the project are expected to raise public interest in Greek-Canadian history and provide a long-lasting point of reference for educational and social purposes.