Modern Greek Study Group

An area with study groups for various languages. Group members help each other, share resources and experience. Study groups are permanent but the members rotate and change.
Dragon27
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby Dragon27 » Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:47 am

Polytonic notation was abandoned in 1982 when the new (monotonic) orthography was imposed by law. Monotonic orthography has only acute accents to denote stressed syllables and diaeresis to differentiate sequences of vowel from digraphs (i.e. αι is pronounced as /e/, while αϊ is pronounced as /ai/). Breathings were removed as well. In short, things are made simpler (and closer to actual phonology of the language), although Greeks may decry the move on the basis that polytonic convention provided a link to the past. Some individuals and institutions still use the polytonic system on this basis.
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kanewai
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby kanewai » Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:03 am

Language patzer wrote:Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you.
You can't possibly confuse me more than I am right now!

The FSI course is from 1967, and in the introduction they stress the importance of pitch accent & how we must absolutely pay attention to them. However, the pdf is so blurry that the markers all look like smudges above the words, and they haven't mentioned them again in the first four lessons.

There is also this interesting bit from the introduction:

As far as the press is concerned the conservative newspapers are in katharevuss; those oriented towards the center, in kathomilumeni; and those of the extreme left in the extreme and sometimes even somewhat artificial dhimotiki.

The Greek described in the Course is representative of the kathomilumeni variety, i.e. that of the 'standard' speech of educated Greeks. As the influence from the other styles of Greek on the natural speech of an educated person vary according to the speaker and thus create a great variety of 'correct' utterances, both the most common dhimotiki and kathaversus forms are represented in the Basic Dialogues and Grammatical Notes. At the same time the use of extreme dhimotiki or 'overpure' katharevuss is carefully avoided.


It was dhimotiki that won out, right?

Assimil Le Grec, as of Lesson 46, hasn't mentioned these variations at all.
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby Agorima » Thu Mar 11, 2021 5:05 pm

kanewai wrote:
Language patzer wrote:Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you.
You can't possibly confuse me more than I am right now!

The FSI course is from 1967, and in the introduction they stress the importance of pitch accent & how we must absolutely pay attention to them. However, the pdf is so blurry that the markers all look like smudges above the words, and they haven't mentioned them again in the first four lessons.

There is also this interesting bit from the introduction:

As far as the press is concerned the conservative newspapers are in katharevuss; those oriented towards the center, in kathomilumeni; and those of the extreme left in the extreme and sometimes even somewhat artificial dhimotiki.

The Greek described in the Course is representative of the kathomilumeni variety, i.e. that of the 'standard' speech of educated Greeks. As the influence from the other styles of Greek on the natural speech of an educated person vary according to the speaker and thus create a great variety of 'correct' utterances, both the most common dhimotiki and kathaversus forms are represented in the Basic Dialogues and Grammatical Notes. At the same time the use of extreme dhimotiki or 'overpure' katharevuss is carefully avoided.


It was dhimotiki that won out, right?

Assimil Le Grec, as of Lesson 46, hasn't mentioned these variations at all.


dhimotiki won out, but NOT the "extreme" form.
Let's say that over the last century, until 1976, the dhimotiki was influenced by the ancient katharevusa, so words coined during that era are still common today, like πανεπιστήμιο (university), αστυνομία (police) and so on.
The pitch accents are no longer relevant, so you can read the text with the normal, "monotonic" pronunciation.
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Language patzer
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby Language patzer » Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:45 am

All of this information is correct, but it's only historical knowledge nowadays. The so called γλωσσικό ζήτημα, or γλωσσικός διχασμός is over now. Yes, δημοτική won a very fierce battle (I am not being dramatic, believe it or not!).

You can hear the two extremes in public speece these days as well, but it's very rare and very unpopular.

The polytonic system is very nice to know, but even if you don't it's ok. Very few people use it these days, and the public texts are monotonic anyway.


All I'm trying to say is that the issue of the language has been a rabbit hole for the greeks, don't let it confuse you.
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Dragon27
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby Dragon27 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:40 am

kanewai wrote:The FSI course is from 1967, and in the introduction they stress the importance of pitch accent & how we must absolutely pay attention to them.

Agorima wrote:The pitch accents are no longer relevant, so you can read the text with the normal, "monotonic" pronunciation.

I'm a little confused by what you guys mean by pitch accent. The diacritics themselves are just an orthographical (written) phenomenon, pitch accent (i.e., actual pronunciation of stressed syllables with different tones in a meaningful way) in Greek has disappeared by 4th century AD (linguists believe), so I'm not sure how it can be "important" (if you're not actually learning Ancient Greek).
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kanewai
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby kanewai » Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:50 pm

Dragon27 wrote:I'm a little confused by what you guys mean by pitch accent. The diacritics themselves are just an orthographical (written) phenomenon, pitch accent (i.e., actual pronunciation of stressed syllables with different tones in a meaningful way) in Greek has disappeared by 4th century AD (linguists believe), so I'm not sure how it can be "important" (if you're not actually learning Ancient Greek).


FSI (1967) creates their own transcription system (and not just for Greek; their Arabic course did the same). They note that it's not used in English or Greek ordinary spelling. Specifically, a comma indicates that "the intonation pattern preceding it is characterized by a raised pitch of the last stressed syllable," period for a falling pitch, and a questions mark for a rising pitch in questions.

Note: I ignore all the markers, and just focus on imitating the speaker. I'm passing this on just because I find the discussion interesting.

Also from FSI:

Since the 2nd century B.C. the Greeks have disputed among themselves about their language. At that time literary men scorned colloquial usage, consciously imitating the classical style in their works. The schism has continued to our days.

On a lighter note: Assimil has introduced us to the song Μπάρμπα Γιάννης Κανατάς. The lesson was spoken, and we were instructed to search the web to listen to the various performances. This one was cute, though the kids don't sing the last part about asking Papa John to fill up their wine jugs:

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Dragon27
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby Dragon27 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:09 am

kanewai wrote:FSI (1967) creates their own transcription system (and not just for Greek; their Arabic course did the same). They note that it's not used in English or Greek ordinary spelling. Specifically, a comma indicates that "the intonation pattern preceding it is characterized by a raised pitch of the last stressed syllable," period for a falling pitch, and a questions mark for a rising pitch in questions.

Ah, I see. Just a way to denote intonation patterns of sentences (or clauses) as a whole (something all languages have, whether they have pitch accent like Ancient Greek, or stress accent like Modern Greek).
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby MaHu » Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:02 pm

Hi everyone, happy to see there is a group for Modern Greek. I'm currently studying at level A2 after about a year and a half of self study plus about 5 months of online classes.

Self study:

Free: Duolingo, Memrise, Language Transfer

Paying: Rosetta Stone, Lydia, Harry Potter in Greek, Netflix in Greek

Online classes: Ελληνικά Α (currently lesson 12)
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