Greek: A History of the Language and Its Speakers (Longman Linguistics Library)

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9780582307094: Greek: A History of the Language and Its Speakers (Longman Linguistics Library)

The outstanding intellectual achievements of the Greeks

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From the Back Cover:

Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers traces the trajectory of the Greek language from the Mycenaean period of the second millennium BC to the current day. Widely celebrated upon its original release, this greatly expanded Second Edition explores the evolution of the Greek language in its regional and social heterogeneity and in both its spoken and written forms.

Beginning in the ancient world with the emergence and dominance of the Attic dialect in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, the book goes on to examine the subsequent development of the language during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The text explores the tension between written varieties and evolving forms of the vernacular -- and the resultant 2000 years of diglossia -- the ever-growing gulf between what was said and what was written, and the linguistic consequences of attitudes toward language. Other topics addressed include the ancient Greek dialects, epigraphic and literary; the impact of the adoption of Greek by the Macedonians, Romans, and as a lingua franca in the East; the role of Greek in the development of Latin and modern European languages; and the position of different forms of Greek in the medieval Byzantine state. Finally, more recent problems of establishing a standard language and education system in the independent Greek state that emerged in the early 19th century are revealed, as well as the ongoing legacy of diglossia into the 1970s.

Unmatched in breadth of material and scholarly rigor, Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers, Second Edition, remains the essential resource on the development of the Greek language.

About the Author:

Geoffrey Horrocks is Professor of Comparative Philology at the University of Cambridge, UK, and Fellow of St. John's College. He is the author of many articles on the history and structure of the Greek language and has co-edited several volumes on themes and issues in modern Greek syntax. His previous books include Space and Time in Homer (1981), Generative Grammar (1987), Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers (1997), and The Blackwell History of the Latin Languge (with James Clackson, 2007).

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