I have not explored Nicosia yet, but I’ve already got a preview of the broader play of diglossia in this Country through the local James Corden knockoff, Louis Patsalidis.
I am told Patsalidis is from my ancestral village of Kalopanayiotis. I don’t know that is something for Kalopanayiotis to take pride in, he’s just about as unfunny as James Corden. And his shtick, show clips from TV, and say how silly it all is, has been done to death.
But it’s pretty noticeable that every single clip he commented on (almost all of them morning gossip TV from his own channel) are in Standard Greek. And it is utterly inevitable that his own snarking is in dialect. If he’s going to make fun of TV, he has to distance himself from its officialese voice, and buddy up to his audience as someone more authentic and cynical. The basilect is how you do that, just as you do in any true diglossia.
Here, that means dialect, complete with repeated interjections of the Venetian survival sior (Standard Italian signor, “sir”—in the case of Cypriot, think more Shakespearean English “sirrah”: sior is not meant to be respectful.)
Of course, The Louis Night Show is not subverting Alpha TV’s morning offerings; the pretend subversion is baked in to the whole package in mass media. (And usually it’s executed funnier than my fellow Kalopanayiotite’s offerings.)
TV is going to be instructive about how language play works in Cyprus. It would be more instructive, if there was more made-in-Cyprus TV here; but the Greece Greek channels that have set up shop here (including my aunt and uncle’s default of Alpha) do show a lot of their Greece Greek programming.