Among the Indo-European languages, its date of earliest written attestation is matched only by the now-extinct Anatolian languages. [34] It is basically a syllabary, which was finally deciphered by Michael Ventris and John Chadwick in the 1950s (its precursor, Linear A, has not been deciphered and most likely encodes a non-Greek language). Among the Indo-European languages, its date of earliest written attestation is matched only by the now-extinct Anatolian languages. [9] The earliest written evidence is a Linear B clay tablet found in Messenia that dates to between 1450 and 1350 BC,[10] making Greek the world's oldest recorded living language. There is an Ancient phase, subdivided into a Mycenaean period (texts in syllabic script attested from the 14th to the 13th century bce) and Archaic and Classical periods (beginning with the adoption of the alphabet, from the 8th to … Loanwords (words of foreign origin) have entered the language, mainly from Latin, Venetian, and Turkish. The inflectional categories of the Greek verb have likewise remained largely the same over the course of the language's history but with significant changes in the number of distinctions within each category and their morphological expression. Moreover, Greek words and word elements continue to be productive as a basis for coinages: anthropology, photography, telephony, isomer, biomechanics, cinematography, etc. Illumination or More Moths to the Flame? Here is a brief history of the Greek language to help us understand its changes and its evolution. If you want a shorter and less formal history of Greek, I suggest Wendy Moleas "the Development of the Greek Language". The designation Hellas derives from Hellen, the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha who feature prominently in Ovid's tale of the Great Flood in his Metamorphoses. [40], For the Greek language used during particular eras; see, Indo-European language of Greece, Cyprus and other regions. Greek words have been widely borrowed into other languages, including English: mathematics, physics, astronomy, democracy, philosophy, athletics, theatre, rhetoric, baptism, evangelist, etc. The struggle between the proponents of Dimotiki and Katharevoussa raised various social attitudes and political positions. [25][26], Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. Although Greek has undergone morphological and phonological changes comparable to those seen in other languages, never since classical antiquity has its cultural, literary, and orthographic tradition been interrupted to the extent that one can speak of a new language emerging. The same happened among Epirote Muslims in Ioannina. If proven and recognized, the three languages would form a new Balkan sub-branch with other dead European languages. The question was the choice of language used in administration and education. The ancient language most closely related to it may be ancient Macedonian,[27] which most scholars suggest may have been a dialect of Greek itself,[28][29][30] but it is poorly attested and it is difficult to conclude. In the 20th century, the Greek language debate took a huge political significance: academics were sacked for using Dimotiki, riots were taking place in the streets and a lot of people were claiming that Katharevoussa was being used as an instrument of denying access to education to the common people. This language was developed all through Byzantine times. In addition, Greek root words are part of many English words, and knowing the meanings of these root words can help you expand your English vocabulary. We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience and to analyze site traffic. This language is known as Linear A and it has not been fully decoded till today. Greek language, Indo-European language spoken primarily in Greece. Greek Language History and Origin Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. [2] A small Greek-speaking community is also found in Bulgaria near the Greek-Bulgarian border. Deucalion and Pyrrha repopulate the land once t… He spread the language so far east that it was adapted by most of the ancient world as a second language. The Cypriot syllabary is attested in Cyprus from the 11th century BC until its gradual abandonment in the late Classical period, in favor of the standard Greek alphabet.[35]. [19] Furthermore, Greek is officially recognized as official in Dropull and Himara (Albania), and as a minority language all over Albania,[20] as well as in parts of Italy, Armenia, Romania, and Ukraine as a regional or minority language in the framework of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In the late 9th and early 8th century BC, the language found was based on the Phoenician syllabary, written from left to right and back again. Pronouns show distinctions in person (1st, 2nd, and 3rd), number (singular, dual, and plural in the ancient language; singular and plural alone in later stages), and gender (masculine, feminine, and neuter), and decline for case (from six cases in the earliest forms attested to four in the modern language). During the older periods of Greek, loanwords into Greek acquired Greek inflections, thus leaving only a foreign root word. Independently of the Macedonian question, some scholars have grouped Greek into Graeco-Phrygian, as Greek and the extinct Phrygian share features that are not found in other Indo-European languages. The earliest texts are written in a script called Linear B. In Greek, the question mark is written as the English semicolon, while the functions of the colon and semicolon are performed by a raised point (•), known as the ano teleia (άνω τελεία). In the 12th century BC, a new language started to develop, called Linear B, where each drawing symbol is a consonant-vowel combination. Greek is one of the oldest Indo-European languages and is usually divided into Ancient Greek (often thought of as a dead language) and Modern Greek. Greek is also spoken worldwide by the sizable Greek diaspora which as notable communities in the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and throughout the European Union, especially in Germany. In Mycenaean times the carriers of West Greek (ancestors of the Dorians and of their relatives) were still living around the Pindus Mountains. D., Part 1, Art. This is longer than any other Indo-European language spoken today. Greek verbs have synthetic inflectional forms for: Many aspects of the syntax of Greek have remained constant: verbs agree with their subject only, the use of the surviving cases is largely intact (nominative for subjects and predicates, accusative for objects of most verbs and many prepositions, genitive for possessors), articles precede nouns, adpositions are largely prepositional, relative clauses follow the noun they modify and relative pronouns are clause-initial. From the first written language to the language used in the 20th century. Read reviews about our services. The Greek alphabet consists of 24 letters, each with an uppercase (majuscule) and lowercase (minuscule) form. 3", "The EU at a Glance – Languages in the EU", "List of Declarations Made with Respect to Treaty No. After the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization (around 1200 BCE) writing disappeared from Greece. to the present. The verbal system has lost the infinitive, the synthetically-formed future, and perfect tenses and the optative mood. Greek language encompasses a very strong Greek literature of which the history runs back approximately to 4th century BC. With the creation of the modern Greek State in 1829, the question of the language, as an important part of the nation-building process, had to be resolved. Do you like In classical Greek, as in classical Latin, only upper-case letters existed. . The first documents proving its existence are Linear tablets from the 14th – 15th Century BC. It has been spoken on the Balkan Peninsula since the 9th Century BC, this period being considered the beginning of the Greek language’s history. In Greek the comma also functions as a silent letter in a handful of Greek words, principally distinguishing ό,τι (ó,ti, 'whatever') from ότι (óti, 'that').[36]. [34], Another similar system used to write the Greek language was the Cypriot syllabary (also a descendant of Linear A via the intermediate Cypro-Minoan syllabary), which is closely related to Linear B but uses somewhat different syllabic conventions to represent phoneme sequences. The Yevanic dialect was written by Romaniote and Constantinopolitan Karaite Jews using the Hebrew Alphabet. [31] Among living languages, some Indo-Europeanists suggest that Greek may be most closely related to Armenian (see Graeco-Armenian) or the Indo-Iranian languages (see Graeco-Aryan), but little definitive evidence has been found for grouping the living branches of the family. Hebrew language, Semitic language of the Northern Central group. The variant of the alphabet in use today is essentially the late Ionic variant, introduced for writing classical Attic in 403 BC. Greek has been written in the Greek alphabet since approximately the 9th century BC. The first written Greek letters were found on baked mud tablets, in the remains of the Minoan Knossos Palace of Crete island. Greek language - Greek language - Linguistic characteristics: The phonological systems of Ancient Greek differ noticeably from one period to another and from one dialect to another. It really does give plenty of detail for every period of Greek, with historical sections to give background to linguistic changes, with the only part somewhat missing being the Modern Greek of the 19th and 20th centuries, which has only one chapter dedicated to it. Ancient Greek and Latin are very important languages. The division into conventional periods is, as with all such periodizations, relatively arbitrary, especially because at all periods, Ancient Greek has enjoyed high prestige, and the literate borrowed heavily from it. View Greek Names for Girls at Baby Names Pedia - Page 4 - with concise name meanings, origins, pronunciation, and charts! Ancient Greek is a language that is still alive and well, especially when you consider the many English words derived from Greek. Additionally, the term Greeklish is often used when the Greek language is written in a Latin script in online communications.[38]. The term Frankolevantinika / Φραγκολεβαντίνικα applies when the Latin script is used to write Greek in the cultural ambit of Catholicism (because Frankos / Φράγκος is an older Greek term for West-European dating to when most of (Roman Catholic Christian) West Europe was under the control of the Frankish Empire). Greek is one of the oldest written languages on the earth, one of the first Indo-European languages ever written, and the language with the longest history of alphabetic graphology on the planet. Greek has been spoken in the Balkan peninsula since around the 3rd millennium BC, or possibly earlier. The dative/locative of Ancient Greek disappeared in the late Hellenistic period, and the instrumental case of Mycenaean Greek disappeared in the Archaic period. And more? European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, foundation of international scientific and technical vocabulary, List of medical roots, suffixes and prefixes, "Ancient Tablet Found: Oldest Readable Writing in Europe", "The Constitution of Cyprus, App. 1997) does not use it and calls certain traditionally-'subjunctive' forms 'dependent'. Greek is spoken today by at least 13 million people, principally in Greece and Cyprus along with a sizable Greek-speaking minority in Albania near the Greek-Albanian border. Dimotiki language was adopted in education and administration and it has been kept since then as the formal language of modern Greece. It holds the distinction for being the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. is called "Classical Greek." Since language constitutes one of the most important elements of Greek culture and its best transmitter, it is interesting to see, in brief, how the Greeks speak today, how the Ancient Greek language became the modern one known today. Greek is also recognized as a minority language in certain regions of … The four cases that are found in all stages of Greek are the nominative, genitive, accusative, and vocative. The last thing worth mentioning is that most regions in Greece have their local oral dialects, never used as writing means. This suggestion was accepted and the katharevoussa (meaning purified language) was created. During the Classical period (6th-4th century BC), the territory of Greece was divided into numerous states and each one had its own dialect. Historically, significant Greek-speaking communities and regions were found throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, in what are today Southern Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and Libya; in the area of the Black Sea, in what are today Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; and, to a lesser extent, in the Western Mediterranean in and around colonies such as Massalia, Monoikos, and Mainake. 148", "Πόσο "ελληνικές" είναι οι ξένες γλώσσες", "Recent Research in the Ancient Macedonian Dialect: Consolidation and New Perspectives", "Yevanic alphabet, pronunciation and language", population exchange between Greece and Turkey, "Chapter 8: How Old is the Indo-European Language Family? Greek has an unbroken history of being a written language for over 3,000 years. Before the population exchange in 1923, there were Greek-speaking communities in Turkey (Pontus and Cappadocia). Where to eat? However, the morphological changes also have their counterparts in the syntax, and there are also significant differences between the syntax of the ancient and that of the modern form of the language. During antiquity, Greek was a widely spoken lingua franca in the Mediterranean world. In 1976, Dimotiki was declared the official language of Greece, having incorporated features of Katharevousa and giving birth to Standard Modern Greek, which is used today for all official purposes and in education. After the expeditions of Alexander the Great, Attic dialect was also expanded in the depths of the East and it was spoken by millions of people. The lower-case Greek letters were developed much later by medieval scribes to permit a faster, more convenient cursive writing style with the use of ink and quill. call Proto-hellenic. vernacular borrowings, transmitted orally through Vulgar Latin directly into Old English, e.g., 'butter' (butere, from Latin butyrum < βούτυρον), or through French, e.g., 'ochre'. Greek language - Greek language - Modern Greek: Modern Greek derives from the Koine via the local varieties that presumably arose during the Byzantine period and is the mother tongue of the inhabitants of Greece and of the Greek population of the island of Cyprus. Are you studying Greek? One theory suggests that it originated with a migration of proto-Greek speakers into the Greek peninsula, which is dated to any period between 3000 BC and 1700 BC. The Greek language has contributed to the English vocabulary in five main ways: . It was also used as a liturgical language in Christian Nubian kingdom of Makuria which was in modern day Sudan. The Greek language is conventionally divided into the following periods: In the modern era, the Greek language entered a state of diglossia: the coexistence of vernacular and archaizing written forms of the language. There are many English words of Greek origin. [34] The language of the Linear B texts, Mycenaean Greek, is the earliest known form of Greek. The form and meaning of many words have evolved. The years 330-1453 are called medieval Greek because that's the time of the Byzantine Empire. There are several theories about the origins of the Greek language. [2] Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. Across its history, the syllabic structure of Greek has varied little: Greek shows a mixed syllable structure, permitting complex syllabic onsets but very restricted codas. Greek is also the language in which many of the foundational texts in science and philosophy are composed. The traditional system, now called the polytonic orthography (or polytonic system), is still used internationally for the writing of Ancient Greek. Still earlier, Germanic was just a dialect (the ancestors of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit were three other such dialects) of a language conventionally designated Indo-European, and thus English is just one relatively young member of an ancient family of languages whose descendants cover a fair portion of the globe. Till today accusative, and perfect tenses and the Katharevoussa ( meaning 'Catholic Chiot ' ) alludes to English... The Yevanic dialect was written by Romaniote and Constantinopolitan Karaite Jews using the Hebrew alphabet of letters! 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