Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

The Greek language. From ancient to present.

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Qnzkid711 View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 10-Jan-2005
Location: Albania
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 60
  Quote Qnzkid711 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Greek language. From ancient to present.
    Posted: 03-Mar-2005 at 19:08
 Hello, I was wondering what has changed in the Greek language from the 4000 years that it has lived. What dilects have been created? What have died? How different is present day Greek to ancient one? Thank you.   

"Europe and Asia are finally mine. Woe to Chritendom. She has lost her sword and shield."
Ottoman Sultan after hearing of the death of Skenderbeg.
Back to Top
Yiannis View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Neutral Zone
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2329
  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Mar-2005 at 05:26

Very briefly:

Ancient Greek dialects were very distinct between them in the beggining but mutually undestandable (with many dificulties).

So we had 3-4 major dialects: Ionian, Dorian and Aeolian and many variations between each branch: Acarnanian, Cypriot, Boeotian, Arcadian, Magnesian, Attic, Epirotic etc, almost every district had a different variation.

As Athens became the center of the arts in ancient Greece, it's dialect became more and more widely used, especially from the upper classes all over the Greek world. With Alexander's globalization, it bacame the official language because it was mutually understadable by most Greeks. Actually it was even simplified a bit and the new version was called "Koine", meaning "Common". The New testament was written in Koine Greek.

Koine Greek was used in the Byzantine empire.

Later on, after the Ottoman conquest, another form started to appear deriving from Koine. That was the "Demotic" (from "Demos", people) Greek. That was an even more simplified form of Greek but similar to Koine. It spread quickly amongst the people since there was no significant Greek literature under the Ottomans and it was quite more simple in Grammar as well as Syntax.

After the libaration and the establishment of the Hellenic state, there was an effort to re-establish a form of Attic, called "Katharevousa" (pure). It was used mainly in literature and today it's much less used. So modern Greek is the "Demotic" variation.

Many people ask if I can understand ancient Greek. The answer is that although I never had ancient Greek classes, I can read ancient text, but I have trouble understanding the exact meaning because of the differences in grammar.

Here're some links with the history of Greek language:

http://www.greece.org/gr-lessons/gr-english/history.html

http://www.greek-language.com/historyofgreek/

 

 

The basis of a democratic state is liberty. Aristotle, Politics

Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
Back to Top
Qnzkid711 View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 10-Jan-2005
Location: Albania
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 60
  Quote Qnzkid711 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Mar-2005 at 17:36
Thank you!   

"Europe and Asia are finally mine. Woe to Chritendom. She has lost her sword and shield."
Ottoman Sultan after hearing of the death of Skenderbeg.
Back to Top
Maciek View Drop Down
Knight
Knight


Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Location: Poland
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 57
  Quote Maciek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Mar-2005 at 02:16

Hello Yannis!

I'd like to know what influence changed the sound of letter "" from B (read in ancient) to V (modern). I start to learn of ancient greek but had bought dictionary for modern greek and I found many differencies but this one was very strange beacause I know a little russian and there is B read like V. Anywhay the language is beautifull - I just finnished learning latin and I love to read ancient texts.

Well Yannis I hope You know what letter I mean because different languages are not shown in proper way like in edition mode.

 

 

 



Edited by Maciek
Back to Top
Yiannis View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Neutral Zone
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2329
  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Mar-2005 at 04:52

Hi Maciek, good to see you again!

The thing is that we don't really know for sure how ancient Greek actually sounded like. There's speculation that the letter B in ancient Greek sounded as modern day English "B" while in modern Greek the sound has changed to "V".

But this is not proven so don't take it for granted. If it's true however, then I simply don't know (and I'm not sure if anyone does!)

The basis of a democratic state is liberty. Aristotle, Politics

Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
Back to Top
Phallanx View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 07-Feb-2005
Location: Greece
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1283
  Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Mar-2005 at 18:08
If I understood this correctly you are refering to the difference in  pronounciation of letters and words between ancient and "modern" Hellinic.

The whole "mix up" begins from foreign (non-Hellinic) scholars insisting on  using the "Erasmic or Erasmian pronunciation" and insisting that ancient Hellinic is an almost dead language that has no connection to modern, all this simply because it is much easier for a non-Helline to pronounce all binary combinations of letters in the Erasmic manner.
Even though Erasmus did "introduce" (Note: it was developed by other scholars before him), it is a well known fact that he DID NOT use this pronounciation himself.
(Any kind of search will support this)

The basis for this "theory" is that words adopted by the Latin language were spelled differently from the way they were pronounced in Hellinic.Something that is actually ridiculous, since in half, if not in all the languages of the world we can find loan words, but they are almost never spelled exactly as they are pronounced.

In Hellas, when studying the classics at school and Universities, we are aware of the strife of foreign philologists to reconstruct ancient pronunciation or prosody, but we do not use it ourselves. We use the Reuchlin pronounciation, thus insisting on the modern greek pronunciation continuity. For a non-Hellin, to study ancient Hellinic is 'to study a dead language'. But to a Hellin, it is just studying a past version of his language.
It is a well known fact that it's much easier for a non-Hellin to pronounce all binary combinations of letters in erasmic manner. This is probably the reason they support this "theory".

Here you can see what ancient Hellinic was pronounce like:

Philoglossia Greek Alphabet Lessons by the Institute of Language and Speech Processing: ILSP of Thrace, GREECE

www.xanthi.ilsp.gr/filog/...r_comb.asp



Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.133 seconds.