The Greek Community of Melbourne presents an exclusive online lecture on Thursday June 15 at 7pm, focusing on the Albanian Diaspora in Greece.

Rexhina Ndoci, a PhD Candidate from The Ohio State University, will delve into the topic of ‘Language and Ethnic Identity: Constructing the Albanian Diaspora in Greece’ as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminar.

With expertise in sociolinguistics and language contact, Ms Ndoci brings a wealth of knowledge to the discussion. Currently pursuing her PhD in Linguistics at The Ohio State University, Ndoci’s research centres around the linguistic construction of Albanianness in Greece and the social perception of Albanian-accented Greek. Drawing on various research methodologies, including experimental and discourse analytic approaches, she sheds light on this intriguing topic.

During the lecture, Ndoci will present two interconnected studies. Firstly, an analysis of Greek internet memes concerning Albanian L2 Greek (AlbGrk) reveals the portrayal of Albanians, perpetuating stereotypes and reinforcing negative perceptions. These memes highlight distinctive phonological adaptations not present in Albanian and introduce the concept of “Mock Albanian Greek.”

Ndoci will discuss the deviation of this constructed representation from the authentic AlbGrk spoken by the diaspora.

More specifically, her research examines the social evaluations of AlbGrk through a perception experiment taking into consideration listeners’ sensitivity to phonological and lexical features when forming judgments about speakers.

The findings uncover an indexical field for AlbGrk features, encompassing associations with ruralness, negative social attributes, and xenophobic ideologies held by both ethnic groups.

By exploring the power of memes as a tool to understand public perceptions of linguistic features within migrant communities, Ndoci’s research offers valuable insights.

Memes, with their anonymous and unfiltered nature, can perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Additionally, her study contributes to the social speech perception literature, shedding light on listeners’ judgments and the underlying associations and dissociations they make.

The event will be held online via Facebook and YouTube.