French Loan Words in Cypriot Revisited: A New Etymological Approach

Erma Vassiliou


This is a part of a larger work in progress on the etymology of borrowed words from French into Cypriot, from the three hundred years of Frankish presence on the island (1192-1489 A.D.). The data came from years of studying, and as they developed it became apparent that additional discussion was necessary. The introduction was therefore expanded to include a more general approach together with the preliminary form and the earlier version of the work.

As such the approach owes much to recent accounts of the etymology of a significant number of French-derived words into Cypriot presented by wellknown and prominent Cypriot linguists, namely the late Kyriakos Hadjiioannou and the prolific Konstantinos Yiangoullis, whose works are the backbone of (or to) any future etymological approach to Cypriot. With the present work, however, I wish to pick up on some marked as “of unknown provenance”, words, men - tioned in Greek as

αγν. (αγνοείται) ετυμ. (η ετυμολογία ) (the etymology is not known) in the works of these prominent scholars and add, with the present study, what looks to complement what may be missing from theirs. I propose here a new inter pre tation of the etymology of some lemmata and moreover I suggest they be assigned as French borrowings, bearing also in mind that “etymology is a noto - riously speculative and slippery science” (Simon Ricther).

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