Stylizing stylization: The case of Aigia Fuxia
SourceMultilingua-Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication
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This paper examines language stylization in Aigia Fuxia (The Fuchsia Goat'), a highly popular Greek Cypriot sitcom, where the (imagined) linguistic and socio-cultural 'self' of a dialect-speaking community is subjected to extreme and aberrant stylization. The overarching filmic and generic trademark of Aigia Fuxia is its consistent pinpointing of its intertextual relations to well-established Cypriot comedic media genres, in which the language and the lifestyle of the 'rural' part of the speech community is performed following specific generic and linguistic conventions. Aigia Fuxia dismantles these conventions through the artful deployment of a medley of content, generic, and filmic choices and, crucially, through extreme dialect stylization, ultimately a 'de-authenticizing' move, especially as it goes hand-in-hand with other linguistic choices, which are dissonant both in terms of genre and in terms of the series' baseline stylized dialect register. In this paper we show that such bricolage generates rich interpretive potential.. from a filmic perspective, the use of techniques which may befuddle viewer expectations regarding the genre cunningly pinpoint the processes whereby generic and narrative conventions are constructed; from a sociolinguistic perspective, the extreme stylization of the Cypriot Greek dialect may be seen as performative destabilizing of dominant folk linguistic constructs about standard language and dialect in a context of dialect leveling and emergent diglossia resolution.