Attic Greek is the Greek dialect of the ancient city-state of Athens. Of the ancient dialects, it is the most similar to Greek and is the standard form of the language, studied in ancient Greek language courses. Attic Greek is sometimes included in the Ionic dialect. Together and Ionic are the primary influences on Modern Greek. Greek is the primary member of the Hellenic branch of the Indo-European language family. In ancient times, Greek had come to exist in several dialects, one of, Attic; the earliest attestations of Greek, dating from the 16th to 11th centuries BC, are written in Linear B, an archaic writing system used by the Mycenaean Greeks in writing their language. Mycenaean Greek represents an early form of Eastern Greek, the group to which Attic belongs. Greek literature wrote about three main dialects: Aeolic and Ionic. "Old Attic" is used in reference to the dialect of Thucydides and the dramatists of 5th-century Athens whereas "New Attic" is used for the language of writers following conventionally the accession in 285 BC of Greek-speaking Ptolemy II to the throne of the Kingdom of Egypt.
Ruling from Alexandria, Ptolemy launched the Alexandrian period, during which the city of Alexandria and its expatriate Greek-medium scholars flourished. The original range of the spoken Attic dialect included Attica and a number of the central Cyclades islands; the texts of literary Attic were studied far beyond their homeland: first in the classical civilizations of the Mediterranean, including in Ancient Rome and the larger Hellenistic world, in the Muslim world and other parts of the world touched by those civilizations. The earliest Greek literature, attributed to Homer and is dated to the 8th or 7th centuries BC, is written in "Old Ionic" rather than Attic. Athens and its dialect remained obscure until the establishment of its democracy following the reforms of Solon in the 6th century BC: so began the classical period, one of great Athenian influence both in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean; the first extensive works of literature in Attic are the plays of the dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes dating from the 5th century BC.
The military exploits of the Athenians led to some universally read and admired history, as found in the works of Thucydides and Xenophon. Less known because they are more technical and legal are the orations by Antiphon, Lysias and many others; the Attic Greek of the philosophers Plato and his student Aristotle dates to the period of transition between Classical Attic and Koine. Students who learn Ancient Greek begin with the Attic dialect and continue, depending upon their interests, to the Koine of the New Testament and other early Christian writings, to the earlier Homeric Greek of Homer and Hesiod, or to the contemporaneous Ionic Greek of Herodotus and Hippocrates. Attic Greek, like other dialects, was written in a local variant of the Greek alphabet. According to the classification of archaic Greek alphabets, introduced by Adolf Kirchhoff, the old-Attic system belongs to the "eastern" or "blue" type, as it uses the letters Ψ and Χ with their classical values, unlike "western" or "red" alphabets, which used Χ for /ks/ and expressed /kʰ/ with Ψ.
In other respects, Old Attic shares many features with the neighbouring Euboean alphabet. Like the latter, it used an S-shaped variant of sigma, it lacked the consonant symbols xi for /ks/ and psi for /ps/, expressing these sound combinations with ΧΣ and ΦΣ respectively. Moreover, like most other mainland Greek dialects, Attic did not yet use omega and eta for the long vowels /ɔː/ and /ɛː/. Instead, it expressed the vowel phonemes /o, oː, ɔː/ with the letter Ο and /e, eː, ɛː/ with the letter Ε. Moreover, the letter Η was used as heta, with the consonantal value of /h/ rather than the vocalic value of /ɛː/. In the 5th century, Athenian writing switched from this local system to the more used Ionic alphabet, native to the eastern Aegean islands and Asia Minor. By the late 5th century, the concurrent use of elements of the Ionic system with the traditional local alphabet had become common in private writing, in 403 BC, it was decreed that public writing would switch to the new Ionic orthography, as part of the reform following the Thirty Tyrants.
This new system called the "Eucleidian" alphabet, after the name of the archon Eucleides, who oversaw the decision, was to become the Classical Greek alphabet throughout the Greek-speaking world. The classical works of Attic literature were subsequently handed down to posterity in the new Ionic spelling, it is the classical orthography in which they are read today. Proto-Greek long ā → Attic long ē, but ā after e, i, r. ⁓ Ionic ē in all positions. ⁓ Doric and Aeolic ā in all positions. Proto-Greek and Doric mātēr → Attic mētēr "mother" Attic chōrā ⁓ Ionic chōrē "place", "country"However, Proto-Greek ā → Attic ē after w, deleted by the Classical Period. Proto-Greek korwā → early Attic-Ionic *korwē → Attic korē Proto-Greek ă → Attic ě. ⁓ Doric: ă remains. Doric Artamis ⁓ Attic Artemis Compensatory lengthening
Cappadocian known as Cappadocian Greek or Asia Minor Greek, is a mixed language spoken in Cappadocia. The language diverged from the Medieval Greek of the Byzantine Empire following the Seljuq Turk victory at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071; as a result of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s, all Cappadocian Greeks were forced to emigrate to Greece where they were resettled in various locations to Central and Northern Greece. The Cappadocians shifted to Standard Modern Greek and their language was thought to be extinct since the 1960s. In June 2005, Mark Janse and Dimitris Papazachariou discovered Cappadocians in Central and Northern Greece who could still speak their ancestral language fluently. Many are middle-aged, third-generation speakers who take a positive attitude towards the language, as opposed to their parents and grandparents; the latter are much less inclined to speak Cappadocian and more than not switch to Standard Modern Greek. By the fifth century AD, the last of the Indo-European native languages of Asia Minor ceased to be spoken, replaced by Koine Greek.
At the same time, the communities of central Asia Minor were becoming involved in the affairs of the Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire, some Cappadocians, such as Maurice Tiberius and Heraclius, would rise to become Emperors. Cappadocian Greek first began to diverge from the Medieval Greek common language of the Eastern Roman Empire six centuries following the Byzantine's defeat at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071; this defeat allowed Turkish speakers to enter Asia Minor for the first time, severing Cappadocia from the rest of the Byzantine world. By the 20th century Cappadocian Greek would come to be influenced by Turkish, but unlike Standard Modern Greek, it would not be influenced by Venetian and French from the Frankokratia period, which followed the Fourth Crusade's sack of Constantinople in 1204; the earliest records of the language are in the macaronic poems of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, who lived in Iconium, some ghazals by his son Sultan Walad. Interpretation of the Greek language texts is difficult as they are written in Arabic script, in Rumi's case without vowel points.
By the early 20th century many Cappadocians had shifted to Turkish altogether. Where Greek was maintained, it became influenced by the surrounding Turkish. However, there are next to no written documents in Medieval or early Modern Cappadocian, as the language was, still is, a spoken language only; those educated to read and write, such as priests, would do so in the more classicising literary Greek. The earliest outside studies of spoken Cappadocian date from the 19th century, but are not accurate. One of the first documented studies was Modern Greek in Asia Minor: A study of dialect of Silly and Pharasa, by Richard MacGillivray Dawkins, the first Bywater and Sotheby Professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, based on fieldwork conducted by the author in Cappadocia in 1909–1911. After the population exchange, several Cappadocian dialects have been described by collaborators of the Center for Asia Minor Studies in Athens: Uluağaç, Aravan and Anaku, resulting in a series of grammars.
In recent years, the study of Cappadocian has seen a revival following the pioneering work on Language Contact and Genetic Linguistics by Sarah Grey Thomason and Terrence Kaufman, a series of publications on various aspects of Cappadocian linguistics by Mark Janse, professor at Roosevelt Academy, who has contributed a grammatical survey of Cappadocian to a forthcoming handbook on Modern Greek dialects edited by Christos Tzitzilis. The recent discovery of Cappadocian speakers by Janse and Papazachariou will result in the release of a new dictionary and a compilation of texts. Cappadocian Greek is well known from the linguistic literature as being one of the first well documented cases of language death, in particular the significant admixture of non-Indo-European linguistic features into an Indo-European language; this process was pronounced in South-Western Cappadocia, included the introduction of vowel harmony and verb-final word order. The Greek element in Cappadocian is to a large extent Byzantine, e.g. θír or tír "door" from Byzantine Greek θύρα, píka or épka "I did" from Byzantine Greek έποικα.
Other, pre-Byzantine, archaisms are the use of the possessive adjectives mó, só etc. from Ancient Greek εμός, σός etc. and the formation of the imperfect by means of the suffix -išk- from the Ancient Greek iterative suffix -sk-. Turkish influence appears at every level; the Cappadocian sound system includes the Turkish vowels ı, ö, ü, the Turkish consonants b, d, g, š, ž, tš, dž. Turkish vowel harmony is found in aor. 3sg düšǘntsü < düšǘntsi, from Turkish düşünmek, patišáxıs < patišáxis "king", from Turkish padişa
History of Greek
This article is an overview of the history of the Greek language. There are several theories about the origins of the Greek language. One theory suggests that it originated with a migration of proto-Greek speakers into the Greek peninsula, dated to any period between 3000 BC and 1700 BC. Another theory maintains that the migration into Greece occurred at a pre-proto-Greek stage, the characteristic Greek sound-changes occurred later; the first known script for writing Greek was the Linear B syllabary, used for the archaic Mycenaean dialect. Linear B was not deciphered until 1953. After the fall of the Mycenaean civilization during the Bronze Age collapse, there was a period of about five hundred years when writing was either not used or nothing has survived to the present day. Since early classical times, Greek has been written in the Greek alphabet. In the archaic and classical periods, there were three main dialects of the Greek language: Aeolic and Doric, corresponding to the three main tribes of the Greeks, the Aeolians, the Ionians, the Dorians.
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were written in a kind of literary Ionic with some loan words from the other dialects. Ionic, became the primary literary language of ancient Greece until the ascendancy of Athens in the late 5th century. Doric was standard for Greek lyric poetry, such as Pindar and the choral odes of the Greek tragedians. Attic Greek, a subdialect of Ionic, was for centuries the language of Athens. Most surviving classical Greek literature appears in Attic Greek, including the extant texts of Plato and Aristotle, which were passed down in written form from classical times. For centuries, the Greek language had existed in multiple dialects; as Greek culture under Alexander the Great and his successors spread from Asia Minor to Egypt and the border regions of India the Attic dialect became the basis of the Koiné. The language was learned by the inhabitants of the regions that Alexander conquered, turning Greek into a world language; the Greek language continued to thrive during the Hellenistic period.
During this period the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, appeared. For many centuries Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern half of the Roman Empire, it was during Roman times that the Greek New Testament appeared, Koiné Greek is called "New Testament Greek" after its most famous work of literature. Medieval Greek known as Byzantine Greek, is the stage of the Greek language between the beginning of the Middle Ages around 600 and the Ottoman conquest of the city of Constantinople in 1453; the latter date marked the end of the Middle Ages in Southeast Europe. From the 7th century onwards, Greek was the only language of administration and government in the Byzantine Empire; this former stage of language is thus described as Byzantine Greek. The study of the Medieval Greek language and literature is a branch of Byzantine Studies, or Byzantinology, the study of the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire; the beginning of Medieval Greek is dated back to as early as the 4th century, either to 330, when the political centre of the monarchy was moved to Constantinople, or to 395, the division of the Empire.
However, this approach is rather arbitrary as it is more an assumption of political as opposed to cultural and linguistic developments. It is only after the Eastern Roman-Byzantine culture was subjected to such massive change in the 7th century that a turning point in language development can be assumed. Medieval Greek is the link between the ancient and modern forms of the language because on the one hand, its literature is still influenced by Ancient Greek, while on the other hand, many linguistic features of Modern Greek were taking shape in the spoken language; the beginning of the "modern" period of the language is symbolically assigned to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 though that date marks no clear linguistic boundary and many characteristic modern features of the language had been present centuries earlier, from the 4th to the 15th century. During most of the period, the language existed in a situation of diglossia, with regional spoken dialects existing side by side with learned, archaic written forms.
After the establishment of Greece as an independent state in 1829, the Katharévusa form—Greek for "purified language"—was sanctioned as the official language of the state and the only acceptable form of Greek in Greece. The whole attempt led to a linguistic war, along with the creation of literary factions: the Dhimotikistés, who supported the common dialect, the Lóyii, or Katharevusyáni, who supported the "purified dialect". Up to that point, use of Dhimotikí in state affairs was frowned upon. Use of the Demotic dialect in state speech and paperwork was forbidden; the fall of the Junta of 1974 and the end of the era of Metapolítefsi 1974–1976 brought the acceptance of the Demotic dialect as both the de facto and de jure forms of the language for use by the Greek government, though the Katharevousa movement has left marks in the language. Today, standard modern Greek, based on Demotic, is the official language of both Cyprus. Greek is spoken today by 12–15 million people in Greece and Cyprus, but by minority and immigrant communities in many other countries.
Misthi or Misti, was a Greek city in the region of Cappadocia, in what is now Turkey. It was situated 82 kilometres southwest of the regional capital of Caesarea, nowadays Kayseri and belonged administratively to the nearby city of Nigde, 26 kilometres north-northwest and at an altitude of 1380 metres above sea level. «’Απ’ Μιστί ’μι, νά πάμ’ σ’ Μιστί» There exist multiple explanations as to the origins and establishment of the city as well as to the etymology of its name. For instance, according to Koimisoglou some sources trace the origin of Misthi to 401 BC when Greek mercenaries came to work for the Persian king Cyrus in the battle against his brother Artaxerxes II. A group of Greek soldiers was given the order to search for water; some of them settled down. They built a city there that became Misthi; this version of the city’s creation, although interesting, has not yet become scientifically verified. Another version is that of Anastasiades who argues that the city was built by Greek mercenaries that were part of Alexander the Great’s army.
Rizos, on the other hand, claims that the inhabitants of Misthi were from the Greek islands of Delos and Naxos while Carolides argues that the inhabitants of Misthi were Greeks from the lower port cities that came to Misthi to work as paid labour farmers. Kimisoglou provides an explanation as to the etymology of the city's name; the ancient Greek word for mercenary is Μίσθιος and in plural Μίσθιοι and in Modern Greek Μισθοφόροι or Μισθωτοί. Thus the name of the city he argues was a reflection of the inhabitants' original occupation. However, this is a non-verified explanation; as it happens, the connotation of the word ‘Misthii’, although meaning mercenary, transformed during Byzantine times to denote labour-work, i.e. paid labour. Thus some authors have been inclined to suggest that the name refers to the skilled church builders of the city who travelled far and took part in the constructing of churches; the city was inhabited purely by Greeks practicing the orthodox religion and wrongfully described as being turcophonic.
At closer scrutiny however, the Greek dialect spoken referred to as Misthiotica, is a dialect based on ancient Greek drawing on Byzantine Greek and with major influx of Turkish loan words. Misthiotica is a unique dialect linguistically belonging to the Greek Cappadocian group of languages. Misthiotica was a consequence of the isolation the inhabitants suffered from that of other Greek cities and villages. Misthiotica was, however spoken by inhabitants of the nearby villages of Tsaricli, Dila and Cavaclou because these villages were founded by Misthiotes. In reality Misthi ceased to exist after the exodus of the Misthiotes from Misthi which occurred following the population exchange according to the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 signed by Greece and Turkey. Many of the Misthiotes would not believe that they would be forced to leave their homeland and continued to conduct their daily duties as traders and handicraftsmen after the news had arrived. However, when Turkish authority officials entered the village and forced them to leave they had no choice.
In just two days, between Tuesday, 24 June and Wednesday, 25 June 1924, the population of Misthi comprising of 4400 people left Misthi and Cappadocia for Greece never to return again. They went by foot to the seaport of Mersina and embarked on the dangerous journey by sea to the port of Piraeus, Greece, they were received in Greece as Turks. The Mistiotes were among the last identified Greeks to leave Turkey, their exodus ended permanently a period of over 2500 consecutive years of Hellenic presence in Asia Minor; the Misthiotes settled down on the below following places in Greece but as their descendants have reached the fourth, in some cases the fifth and sixth generation, they are to be found predominantly in the larger cities of Greece such as Thessaloniki and Athens. List of settling places of the first generation Misthiotes in Greece: Ξηροχώρι Xirochori Νέο Αγιονέρι Neo Agioneri Μάνδρα Mandra Larissis Αμυγδαλέα Amygdalea Νεοχώρι Neochori Κόνιτσα Konitsa Ξάνθη Xanthi Διπόταμο Dipotamo Κομνηνά Komnina Άγιος Χαράλαμπος ² The name "Gördana" applied by the Misthiotes in their local dialect on current Xerochori seems most to be derived from the Bulgarian female name "Gordana".
This name is in turn derived from "Gordiana", the feminine form of the Latin "Gordianus". If true the Misthiotes arriving by foot in the 1920s adopted the name from the village's previous inhabitants which are known to have been of Slavic origin and forced to move north due to the various wars the region was faced with resulting in the territory becoming annexed by Greece. ³ The name "Tomai" applied by the Misthiotes on current Mandra seems most to be derived from the Serbian and Bulgarian form of the name "Thomas". As with the original name on Xerochori, if true it may indicate the ethnicity of the village's previous inhabitants; the city
Medieval Greek known as Byzantine Greek, is the stage of the Greek language between the end of Classical antiquity in the 5th–6th centuries and the end of the Middle Ages, conventionally dated to the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. From the 7th century onwards, Greek was the only language of administration and government in the Byzantine Empire; this stage of language is thus described as Byzantine Greek. The study of the Medieval Greek language and literature is a branch of Byzantine studies, the study of the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire; the beginning of Medieval Greek is dated back to as early as the 4th century, either to 330 AD, when the political centre of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople, or to 395 AD, the division of the Empire. However, this approach is rather arbitrary as it is more an assumption of political, as opposed to cultural and linguistic, developments. Indeed, by this time the spoken language pronunciation, had shifted towards modern forms.
The conquests of Alexander the Great, the ensuing Hellenistic period, had caused Greek to spread to peoples throughout Anatolia and the Eastern Mediterranean, altering the spoken language's pronunciation and structure. Medieval Greek is the link between this vernacular, known as Koine Greek, Modern Greek. Though Byzantine Greek literature was still influenced by Attic Greek, it was influenced by vernacular Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament and the liturgical language of the Greek Orthodox Church. Constantine moved to Byzantium in 330; the city, though a major imperial residence like other cities such as Trier and Sirmium, was not a capital until 359. Nonetheless the imperial court resided there and the city was the political centre of the eastern parts of the Roman Empire where Greek was the dominant language. At first, Latin remained the language of the army, it was used for official documents. From the beginning of the 6th century, amendments to the law were written in Greek. Furthermore, parts of the Roman Corpus Iuris Civilis were translated into Greek.
Under the rule of Emperor Heraclius, who assumed the Greek title Basileus in 629, Greek became the official language of the Eastern Roman Empire. This was in spite of the fact that the inhabitants of the empire still considered themselves Rhomaioi until its end in 1453, as they saw their State as the perpetuation of Roman rule. Despite the absence of reliable demographic figures, it has been estimated that less than one third of the inhabitants of the Eastern Roman Empire, around eight million people, were native speakers of Greek; the number of those who were able to communicate in Greek may have been far higher. The native Greek speakers consisted of many of the inhabitants of the southern Balkan Peninsula, south of the Jireček Line, all of the inhabitants of Asia Minor, where the native tongues, except Armenian in the east, had become extinct, replaced by Greek, by the 5th century. In any case, all cities of the Eastern Roman Empire were influenced by the Greek language. In the period between 603 and 619, the southern and eastern parts of the empire were occupied by Persian Sassanids and, after being recaptured by Heraclius in the years 622 to 628, they were conquered by the Arabs in the course of the Muslim conquests a few years later.
Alexandria, a center of Greek culture and language, fell to the Arabs in 642. During the seventh and eighth centuries, Greek was replaced by Arabic as an official language in conquered territories such as Egypt; as more people gained a knowledge of Arabic. Thus, the use of Greek declined early on in Egypt; the invasion of the Slavs into the Balkan peninsula reduced the area where Greek was spoken and Latin. Sicily and parts of Magna Graecia, Asia Minor and more Anatolia, parts of the Crimean Peninsula remained Greek-speaking; the southern Balkans which would henceforth be contested between Byzantium and various Slavic kingdoms or empires. The Greek language spoken by one-third of the population of Sicily at the time of the Norman conquest 1060-90 remained vibrant for more than a century, but died out to a deliberate policy of Latinization in language and religion from the mid-1160s. From the late 11th century onwards, the interior of Anatolia was invaded by Seljuq Turks, who advanced westwards.
With the Ottoman conquests of Constantinople in 1453, the Peloponnese in 1459/1460, the Empire of Trebizond in 1461, Athens in 1465, two centuries the Duchy of Candia in 1669, the Greek language lost its status as a national language until the emergence of modern Greece in the year 1821. Language varieties after 1453 are referred to as Modern Greek; as early as in the Hellenistic period, there was a tendency towards a state of diglossia between the Attic literary language and the developing vernacular Koiné. By late antiquity, the gap had become impossible to ignore. In the Byzantine era, written Greek manifested itself in a whole spectrum of divergent registers, all of which were consciously archaic in comparison with the contemporary spoken vernacular, but in different degrees, they ranged from a moderately archaic style employed for most every-day writing and based on the written Koiné of the Bible and early Christian literature, to a artificial learned style, employed by authors with higher literary ambitions and imitating the model of classical Attic, in continuation of the movement of Atticism
Cyprus the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, southeast of Greece. The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC; as a strategic location in the Middle East, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878.
Cyprus was placed under the UK's administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and was formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders and Turkey in the 1950s. Turkish leaders for a period advocated the annexation of Cyprus to Turkey as Cyprus was considered an "extension of Anatolia" by them. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960; the crisis of 1963–64 brought further intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, which displaced more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots into enclaves and brought the end of Turkish Cypriot representation in the republic. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis, the incorporation of Cyprus into Greece; this action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus in the following month, after a ceasefire collapsed, the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots.
A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute; the Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the entire island, including its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, with the exception of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which remain under the UK's control according to the London and Zürich Agreements. However, the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic, located in the south and west, comprising about 59% of the island's area. Another nearly 4% of the island's area is covered by the UN buffer zone; the international community considers the northern part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union.
Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean. With an advanced, high-income economy and a high Human Development Index, the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. On 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone; the earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek, ku-pi-ri-jo, meaning "Cypriot", written in Linear B syllabic script. The classical Greek form of the name is Κύπρος; the etymology of the name is unknown. Suggestions include: the Greek word for the Mediterranean cypress tree, κυπάρισσος the Greek name of the henna tree, κύπρος an Eteocypriot word for copper, it has been suggested, for example, that it has roots in the Sumerian word for copper or for bronze, from the large deposits of copper ore found on the island. Through overseas trade, the island has given its name to the Classical Latin word for copper through the phrase aes Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus" shortened to Cuprum.
The standard demonym relating to Cyprus or its people or culture is Cypriot. The terms Cypriote and Cyprian are used, though less frequently; the earliest confirmed site of human activity on Cyprus is Aetokremnos, situated on the south coast, indicating that hunter-gatherers were active on the island from around 10,000 BC, with settled village communities dating from 8200 BC. The arrival of the first humans correlates with the extinction of the dwarf hippos and dwarf elephants. Water wells discovered by archaeologists in western Cyprus are believed to be among the oldest in the world, dated at 9,000 to 10,500 years old. Remains of an 8-month-old cat were discovered buried with a human body at a separate Neolithic site in Cyprus; the grave is estimated to be 9,500 years old, predating ancient Egyptian civilisation and pushing back the ear
Istanbul Greek dialect
The Istanbul Greek dialect is the endangered Greek dialect spoken by the millennia-old Greek community in Istanbul, which has now shrunk to a couple thousand individuals. It is differentiated from Standard Greek due to a number of internal divergent developments, preservation of characteristics of Ancient Greek that are absent from Standard Greek, Language contact, most notably with Turkish, French and Armenian. Various characteristics of Istanbul Greek are said to have parallels in Old Athenian Greek, as well as Tsakonian; the idiom is spoken in Istanbul, among the Istanbul Greek emigre community in Athens. The Istanbul Greek idiom derives from the speech of Istanbul's indigenous Greek community, having comprised 35% of the city's population at the turn of the 20th century, has now shrunk to 0.01% of Istanbul's population, or 2000 individuals. One of the pivotal moments in the shrinkage of the community was the deportation of tens of thousand of Istanbul Greeks who held Greek passports in 1964.
The features of the dialect have heen shaped through a history of interaction with Turks, Italians, Franco-Levantines, as well as the maintenance of contact with Standard Greek. Structural changes induced by contact with non-Greek idioms have occurred. Loanwords in the Istanbul idiom do not tend to be adjusted to typical Greek phonology to the same degree as in Standard Greek. At the same time, Istanbul Greek preserves characteristics that have since been lost in most other Greek dialects; the current Istanbul Greek youth have an identity, described as "neither Greek nor Turk". Among modern Greek dialects, Istanbul Greek displays characteristics associated with Northern Greek, rather than Southern Greek, dialects. Istanbul Greek has been ignored in traditional Greek dialectology, or erroneously portrayed as "identical" to Standard Greek because of Constantinople's historical role; as has been demonstrated from articulatory and acoustic analyses, the back vowels in Istanbul Greek are further back than they are in Standard Greek.
This resembles the articulation of back vowels in Turkish, is due to a language contact effect arising from the long running contact between Greek and Turkish in the city, dating back to at least 1450. Attributed to Turkish contact are the presence of dark L in the dialect, as well as the postalveolar affricates /t͡ʃ/ and /d͡ʒ/. Both features are held to be indexical of Istanbul Greek speech, velar L being more so than /t͡ʃ/; the postalveolar affricate does occur in other Greek dialects, such as Cypriot Greek. The velarized lateral is a characteristic of Northern Greek speech before back round vowels /o/ and /u/, but not before front vowels, whereas it has been shown to extend to front vowels in the Istanbul dialect. Among the community of Istanbul Greeks who have moved to Athens, the velar lateral has attained a negative stigmatization as it varies markedly from Standard Greek, thus many speakers have stopped using it, although the same has not occurred with /t͡ʃ/. In Istanbul itself, meanwhile, /t͡ʃ/ is being lost as a distinct phoneme, it is not considered to be indexical of Istanbul Greek identity.
The lexicon of Istanbul Greek differs from Standard Greek in the preservation of words associated with Ancient Greek more so than the modern form, as well as a wealth of loans from various foreign languages, most notably Turkish, Armenian and English. The lexicon of the dialect is characterized by a much higher rate of borrowing; the Istanbul Greek dialect is a symbol of Istanbul Greek identity, may be used as a symbol of community pride. It is a differentiating factor from the Turkish surroundings of its speakers, but from the Standard Greek they are exposed to; as the Istanbul Greek community has contracted, the community has been exposed to more and more Standard Greek via broadcasts. Certain aspects of the dialect have become indexical of this identity; this is the case with the dark L, absent from Standard Greek and viewed as a peculiar characteristic of the speech of Greeks from Istanbul. Various language ideologies may influence its use or non-use today. In Istanbul, the usage of dark L has consciously become associated with community pride.
On the other hand, those who try to avoid using it may say they do so in order to preserve the "homogeneity" or unity of the Greek ethnos. Among communities of Istanbul Greek origin in Greece, the use of dark L has been stigmatized and is avoided; this is less the case with the postalveolar affricate, a development, shared with various other Greek dialects. In Istanbul community members have been wary due to the vast decrease in the size of the community over the last century, as well as political pressures present today. At the same time, they are proud to use a dialect associated with their community's long history; some Istanbul Greeks may assert that their dialect is "