Historical and cultural accounts prove the existence of various ancient languages. Historical linguistics, anthropology and other research studies led to several discoveries about these languages and their use in ancient cultures. While every language, ancient or modern, evolves with time, some of the world's ancient languages are still being used in the modern world. Although many of them became extinct or obsolete, they contributed to the development of the languages being used today.
The Greek language which is spoken to Cyprus to this day and constitutes a local dialect, contains a multitude of words and phrases which belong, without any changes, to the ancient Greek language of Homer.
The Alphabet: The Greeks were the first civilization to use an alphabet. The Greek alphabet had 27 letters and the word "alphabet" originates from the first 2 letters of the Greek alphabet; alpha, and beta. Today many letters especially vowels or combinations of phonetics of modern alphabets originate from the Greek alphabet such as the letters A, B, E,I, U and O etc.
West Greek East Greek
Doric AeolicArcado-Cypriot Attic-Ionic
· Ionic = main ingredient in the Homeric language
· Ionic an East Greek dialect
· Differences between West Greek and East Greek
West Greek East Greek
3rd person singular keeps τιτι > σι
plural article τοι οἱ
1st person plural μες μεν
athematic infinitive μεν ναι, εναι
1. H Eta for original long alpha
2. ν-mobile (ἔλυσεν)
3. Quantitative metathesis e.g. gen. sg. of a-stems: Epic Μενέλαος, Attic Μενέλεως
4. ἄν for κε
6. Imperfect of verb to be: ἤνhe was ἤσαν they were
1. Absence of Attic contraction
2. Compensatory lengthening (e.g. ξεῖνος, κούρη)
3. Psilotic e psilon y psilon
4. σσ for ττ
5. Diectasis Contract verbs show many peculiarities ἡγᾱασθε for ἡγᾱεσθε; μνᾱᾳ for μνᾱῃ
ὁροω for ὁραω; μνωοντο for μνᾱοντο; ἡβωωσα for ἡβᾱουσα
Variations not unusalegὁρεω
Vowel assimilation – cfἑτερος for ἁτερος?
Original form αἰταεσθαι develops to αἰτιᾱσθαι
ᾱ covers 3 morae – needs to be stretched = Ionic: ἀστυβωτην > ἀστυβοωτην Attic = ἀστυβοητην
The Greek Cypriot dialect is rich in consonants; it includes post alveolar consonants, which are lacking from Standard Greek, as well as palatal
consonants and a trill, which are present but non-contrastive in Standard Greek.
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