"Katharevousa was not so much a language," professor Mackridge explained, "as a tendency, a process, a purifying mechanism that expunged many non-Greek features from the language and enriched it with thousands of newly coined words based on Ancient Greek. Funny. It seems that in the last three years interest in the language has been stimulated by the successful Athens Olympics of 2004 and also by Greece's enhanced role in southeastern Europe. As most of you know, even though a native English speaker, I grew up in Greece. Katharevousa synonyms, Katharevousa pronunciation, Katharevousa translation, English dictionary definition of Katharevousa. The Colonels had supported wholeheartedly Katharevousa, despite the fact that the vast majority of people preferred Demotiki. At the same time, Greek was spoken differently in various parts of the country. This was one of those little known (outside of Greece, obviously) historical items that I love to learn. Demotic refers particularly to the form of the language that evolved naturally from Ancient Greek, in opposition to the artificially archaic Katharevousa, which was the official standard until 1976. I found it fascinating, though sorry to hear some of it ended with people dying. 1st century BC; Medieval Greek is the language of the Byzantine Empire and Modern Greek is Demotiki as spoken since the 19th century. The association between the hated junta and Katharevousa proved to be the final stroke against it, and the Socialists (PASOK) were able to pass a series of laws collectively referred to as “linguistic reformation” in favour of using Demotiki as the state’s official language. Koine eventually was separated into two groups: literary Koine and popular Koine. Part of this reformation referred to the use of a single dot above vowels to indicate intonation (monotonic), replacing the Hellenistic usage of half a dozen different signs (polytonic). . What a succinct explanation of the two Greek forms. Katharevousa (Καθαρεύουσα, literally "purifying [language]") is a conservative form of the Modern Greek language conceived in the late 18th century as a compromise between Ancient Greek and the Demotic Greek of the time. Scholars and laymen interested in this issue are anticipating with some trepidation a book currently being prepared by an academic who is a consummate speaker, writer and student of Modern Greek: Peter Mackridge, professor emeritus of Modern Greek at Oxford University. Also, the Koine is fairly similar to Katharevousa, as Korais based the latter on it. Korais and the rest of the so-called archaists solved this conundrum by creating a hybrid language called Katharevousa (“Clean”). Thank you. Georgios Mistriotis regularly referred to katharevousa in 1908 as a bastion resisting external invasions and an anchor holding Greece steady, thus using metaphors of immobility, while the demoticists depicted the Greeks as thinking freely, dynamic and eager for action. I was thinking of you when I was writing it, and your fascinating posts on Irish history and mythology. The language had changed even more in the years leading to Alexander’s Hellenistic period, when Greek picked a number of words used in Alexander’s empire. Katharevousa (Greek: Καθαρεύουσα, (Modern Greek: /kaθaˈrevusa/, lit. A typical example is the army and the clergy, who use specific words and acronyms. Predictably, Katharevousa became the formal language of the new state. Please read my Privacy Policy to find out how this may be used.This website includes affiliate links. So interesting how language is a tool to separate “us” from “them.” Nothing new and unfortunately still alive and well on our planet. We don’t even say Merry Christmas anymore because newcomers are offended or can be because it is contrary to their religious beliefs. Also, some dates for anyone not familiar with these: Homeric Greek is circa 9th century BC; Classical Greek is the Athenian Greek of 5th century BC; Hellenistic Greek was ca. I hate spammers as much as you and only send an email once a month tops, always filled with news of genuine interest. The Homeric language, on the other hand, is a really tough nut to crack, at least for me. Demotic Greek (uncountable) The Modern Greek vernacular language. Seriously??? Some linguists think that Greek is the basis of Latin, therefore the foundation for most Southern-European languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian). But the language itself had changed significantly through the ages: 9th-century BC Homeric Greek was quite different from the 5th-century language Pericles used. Maybe it’s an indicator of a rift between aristocrats and the public. I’ve been honored with your choice to let me read Runaway Smile early on and I can vouch for its delightful story and the utterly sweet ending. This is the language as it had been shaped by the centuries, acknowledging and accepting the various influences, from the Byzantine to the Ottoman empire. Katharevousa. The two complemented each other in a typical example of diglossia until the resolution of the Greek language question in favour of Demotic. Biggus Dickus (from Life of Brian) comes to mind… . The common version has a more impressive name, but it escapes me at the moment. Sorry! Legally displaced in Greece in 1976 by Demotic Greek. The long history of Greek was bound to generate problems for its users. Edit: forgot to clarify. Now someone has written that there are four formal Greek languages. It was thus that "Greek cultural leaders decided that the unity of the national language should be not only synchronic (geographical) but also diachronic (historical)". During the 400-year-long Ottoman occupation, the language picked up a number of Turkish words. The last two are more easy to read and to understand general the meaning. Thanks for the comment and welcome! ", There was more to this controversy than met the linguist's eye. How very interesting, Nicholas. The Anglo-Saxon languages originated as Germanic ones, of course, but also have been heavily influenced by Latin. Demotic Greek (Greek: δημοτική [γλώσσα] [ðimotiˈci], "[language] of the people") or dimotiki is the modern vernacular form of the Greek language.The term has been in use since 1818. Your email address will not be published. It’s also the one Katharevousa was largely based on. Demotic refers particularly to the form of the language that evolved naturally from Ancient Greek, in opposition to the artificially archaic Katharevousa, which was the official standard until 1976. The learned registers employed grammatical and lexical forms in imitation of classical Attic Greek (). , Actually, it’s more common a mistake than you might think. A learned, archaising form of Modern Greek, the artificial Greek language based on Classical Greek, used for formal and official purposes, primarily written but not used for conversation. I’m worried that a fifth Greek got lost in the lists. Of course, Germanic languages are cousins to Greek as well (also Persian and Indian and Slavic languages — which latter also borrowed a lot from Greek — and a bunch more). ''The topic of my lecture," he said, "is also the subject of a book that I am preparing, entitled Language and National Identity in Greece since the 18th Century. Church documents also use it on an everyday basis, complete with the Hellenistic spelling. Absoloutely you need higher level of education. And the Byzantine era had further changed Greek. Ever since Hellenistic times when the language started to change perceptibly, there have always been those trying to promote a 'purist' form of Greek (which is what katharevousa means) and to combat linguist 'degradation', as they saw it. Thanks! . Following Greece’s 1821 war of independence, a number of scholars led by Adamantios Korais rejected these influences and argued in favor of a return to a more classical language. Originally, it was widely used both for literary and official purposes, though seldom in daily language. In Katharevousa Greek it's Hellas as well, and people generally may use Hellas or Ellas as well in Demotic Greek. Because you’re absolutely right – I, too, mentioned the Koine (aka Hellenistic) in my reply to him. I would add Hellenistic Greek to this list; the language in which the Gospels were written. Tensions ebbed and flowed throughout the 20th century. , Hi Nicholas, In it he argued that unless Greece became a modern nation rooted in contemporary reality instead of indulging in ancestor worship she would never be able to free the Greeks from still living under Ottoman rule. Greek is a highly inflected language and belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. . BTW: if Google translates gets it wrong, it’s not my fault! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Good detail for world-building. You will probably enjoy this post: https://www.cracked.com/article_17123_the-5-most-retarded-wars-ever-fought.html , with its list of five weird excuses for going to war. Use of the Demotic dialect in state speech and paperwork was forbidden. share. It also introduced periods and capitalization, thus making it easier to learn the language. I vividly remember the fiery reaction against this, especially by the Church, as I was a highschool student at the time – and had finally managed to master the old spelling…. The picture below dates from November 8th, 1901, when 11 people died and 80 were injured during street fights for and against the translation of the Gospels into Demotiko. This militant scholar of the Greek Enlightenment believed fervently that the mother tongue of the Greeks had been corrupted by the many Turkish, Italian and Slav accretions that had been infesting it for centuries. Demotic is often thought to be the same as the modern Greek language, but these two terms are not completely synonymous. On one hand, you had the ruling classes (conservatives, royalists and the Church) who favoured Katharevousa. Whose country is it again? Yes, of course. One thing rather delighted me – I’ve not met anyone yet with the name of Lorelei so I had no idea it was a common Greek name. Greek studies departments are being set up in countries such as Uzbekistan, Jordan and Tunisia. I find it quite similar to the Classical one, at least as spoken by Lysias. In the 1976 education act, demotiki was finally established as the language of education, while civil servants were trained how to use it in official documents. A priest cast with its own language, perhaps? It’s great that you know so much about our language, Mihran! I learned there was formal Latin, clergy Latin, and common Latin. Thanks for liking it – and thanks in advance for sharing! He thought, professor Mackridge pointed out, that Greek needed "correcting" according to the rules of Ancient Greek rather than according to its own internal rules. ", The controversy went on until the Colonels' junta took over the country on 21 April 1967 and finally turned Greeks off of the ridiculous barrack­room katharevousa they were harangued with day and night. 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Modem Greek state Latin at school your blog can not share posts by.! Send an email once a month tops, always filled with news of genuine interest have with language!

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