Author Topic: Γείτονες;  (Read 2278 times)

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Online Gryzor

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Re: Γείτονες;
« Reply #25 on: 09:19, 29 May 15 »
Really? I wouldn't think "Balkan" languages share anything, mostly because Greek is completely separate from the Slavik family of languages hence, apart from some common words (population overlapping etc) grammar is mostly unique in different places... Not that I'm an expert or anything, but it sounds strange!

Offline MaV

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Re: Γείτονες;
« Reply #26 on: 15:01, 29 May 15 »
Really? I wouldn't think "Balkan" languages share anything, mostly because Greek is completely separate from the Slavik family of languages hence, apart from some common words (population overlapping etc) grammar is mostly unique in different places... Not that I'm an expert or anything, but it sounds strange!
Yes, it does sound strange, but there is a linguistical term for it, since there's more places on earth where this happens:
Balkan sprachbund - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sprachbund - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The thing is, close contact of cultures with different languages (because of trade or marriages for example) leads to a convergence of speech patterns which ultimately result in a change of grammar.
No language in such a sprachbund shows all patterns and none of them show the same patterns, but every language there shares some of them with the other languages.

Here's three patterns that originated in Greek:

loss of dative - Remember when we talked about the Apple of Discord -> Old Greek καλλίστῃ is a dative case (to the fairest/most beautiful). Macedonian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Albanian also lost the dative case and supplemented it with a construction similar to Greek. No other slavic language has done that.

replacement of infinitive by subjunctive constructions - In the above text I wrote μπορώ να έρθω. Now, I'm not sure if this would be actually said like this but the construction itself is common, and would literally be translated as "I can (that) I come". Since New Greek lost the infinitive it needed to supplement it, and did it by setting both verbs in the first person with a particle "na" in the middle for clarification. Note: Katharevousa had an infinitive but it is not in use and even then the infinitive was understood as a verbal noun (είναι = originally to be, later as a noun "the act of being, being")
The other Balkan languages do this as well with Serbian as a special case having retained both the Slavic infinitive and using the Greek construction. The dialects give us a clearer picture of this. Serbian dialects in the south use the Greek construction while northern dialects use a mixture of both. Croatian (which to me still is part of the same Croatian/Serbian language, never mind the political efforts to picture them as completely different languages, which is ridiculous) does not use the construction at all and relies on the infinitive only. So there's a clear south to north transition. Other Balkan languages do it like this as well.

formation of future with auxiliary verb "to want" - Again New Greek supplemented the old future tense with this. The Slavic languages on the Balkan also use "want" as an auxiliary verb, while other Slavic languages use other methods to indicate the future tense. If not by another auxiliary verb then not by tense but by aspect. The other Balkan languages also do it exactly like New Greek.

The sprachbund is interesting exactly because of the fact that the languages are not directly related to each other but still show signs of confluence.
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Re: Γείτονες;
« Reply #27 on: 18:24, 29 May 15 »
Macedonian,


Dude, seriously? :D


That being out of the way, very interesting read. I had forgotten all about the Sprachbund theory. If I recall correctly as a theory it is contested, and more so in the Balkan framework. But, it does sound pretty plausible, especially given all the mingling that took place during the Byzantium and Ottoman eras.


It's a pity the language lost the dative and the infinitive use;I don't even know why they were dropped, and when. Katharevousa, though, was nothing but an artificial construction and you can't really discuss it in this context.


Thanks for the very interesting read, gave me some food for thought. What is it that you do, again? :)

Offline MaV

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Re: Γείτονες;
« Reply #28 on: 15:39, 01 June 15 »
Dude, seriously? :D
Well, for lack of a better name, I chose the one that is commonly in use. No, I don't think they are heirs to anything historically older than about a thousand years. The thought is ridiculous. The dispute was started by a very young nation desperately in search of an identity. Just look at the current government's efforts to erect partly golden statues of historical figures in the main plaza of Skopje. This is disputed even within the country, and causes other nation to shake heads and wonder if they have no more serious problems.

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It's a pity the language lost the dative and the infinitive use;I don't even know why they were dropped, and when. Katharevousa, though, was nothing but an artificial construction and you can't really discuss it in this context.
The "why they were dropped" is difficult to answer even in contemporary languages unless you have a lot of evidence on a yearly basis from various locations.
The "when" is much easier and can be estimated by researching the text corpus. The most interesting literature for language changes are errors in writing which indicate that the writer - mostly some pupil at school - uses the vernacular instead of the literary languages he was being taught at that moment; mistakes that were perceived as errors at that time. Those writings can be dated quite accurately. With more of those scraps and the subsequent acceptance of such changes a generation (or two) later in formal documents you can get a good picture when such a process began and how long it took.
From what I read, it was sometime in the middle ages (i.e. during the Byzantine empire), but can't remember the more exact period given.

It's true that Katharevousa is not a good example. But as the last effort to introduce older grammar it can be mentioned in that case I guess.


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Thanks for the very interesting read, gave me some food for thought. What is it that you do, again? :)
You're welcome. :) Um, I'm working in IT.  :-\
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Offline Velktron

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Re: Γείτονες;
« Reply #29 on: 12:07, 07 September 15 »
It's a pity the language lost the dative and the infinitive use;I don't even know why they were dropped, and when. Katharevousa, though, was nothing but an artificial construction and you can't really discuss it in this context. :)


The dative case in particular was all but lost from the Greek vernacular from the early Byzantium years, at least, and before that, cases such as ablative, instrumental, locative etc. had already merged into other cases. In general, there's a historical tendency for languages to simplify their grammar and lose inflection, as they move towards syncretic forms. Those that don't or resist are considered more "conservative" languages.


For example, almost all Germanic languages (except German and Icelandic) have lost the old inflectional case system, as did Romance languages (with the partial exception of Romanian). Among Slavic languages, Bulgarian and "Macedonian" are unique for having completely lost the complex Slavic case system. When learning German, I was surprised to find out it still retains a (somewhat simplified, compared to Greek) inflectional system, the use of dative, and that some phrases and sentence structure resembled more Ancient Greek than Modern Greek itself  :o