12 Facts About Modern Greek


The end of the Medieval Greek period and the beginning of Modern Greek is often symbolically assigned to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, even though that date marks no clear linguistic boundary and many characteristic features of the modern language arose centuries earlier, beginning around the fourth century AD.

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Varieties of Modern Greek include Demotic, Katharevousa, Pontic, Cappadocian, Mariupolitan, Southern Italian, Yevanic, and Tsakonian.

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Strictly speaking, Demotic or Dimotiki, refers to all popular varieties of Modern Greek that followed a common evolutionary path from Koine and have retained a high degree of mutual intelligibility to the present.

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Demotic Modern Greek varieties are divided into two main groups, Northern and Southern.

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Demotic Modern Greek has officially been taught in monotonic Modern Greek script since 1982.

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Also, while Demotic Modern Greek contains loanwords from Turkish, Italian, Latin, and other languages, these have for the most part been purged from Katharevousa.

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Cappadocian Modern Greek diverged from the other Byzantine Modern Greek dialects earlier, beginning with the Turkish conquests of central Asia Minor in the 11th and 12th centuries, and so developed several radical features, such as the loss of the gender for nouns.

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Rumeika or Mariupolitan Modern Greek is a dialect spoken in about 17 villages around the northern coast of the Sea of Azov in southern Ukraine and Russia.

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Thereafter, the Crimean Modern Greek state continued to exist as the independent Modern Greek Principality of Theodoro.

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The Modern Greek-speaking inhabitants of Crimea were invited by Catherine the Great to resettle in the new city of Mariupol after the Russo-Turkish War to escape the then Muslim-dominated Crimea.

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Series of radical sound changes starting in Koine Greek has led to a phonological system in Modern Greek that is significantly different from that of Ancient Greek.

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Polytonic orthography, besides being used for older varieties of Modern Greek, is still used in book printing, especially for academic and belletristic purposes, and in everyday use by some conservative writers and elderly people.

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