Talk:Greek language

Latest comment: 3 months ago by in topic etymology of the name "Greek"?

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment edit

  This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Catearmi. Peer reviewers: Zoe1117.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 22:42, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

Catastrophic edit

What does catastrophic mean? (talk) 02:10, 18 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

Disastrous, ruinous, or pertaining to a catastrophe. 2A02:AB04:2AB:700:4DA:D150:51F7:3110 (talk) 09:11, 19 March 2022 (UTC)Reply

Infinitive of verbs edit

There is no mention of the infinitive forms of verbs in Ancient Greek, which were very important as they could be used as nouns, with the singular definite article in the various cases. The form seems to have vanished in Modern Greek. Esedowns (talk) 16:51, 3 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

The Ancient Greek infinitive is mentioned twice in the article, and also its disappearance. –Austronesier (talk) 18:32, 3 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

Graeco-Phrygian edit

@Future Perfect at Sunrise: About this[1]: IMHO, it looks as if at least Graeco-Phrygian has become mainstream in the last decades. While there are of course its specialist proponents like Brixhe or Obrador-Cursach, I have also found two matter-of-factish statements in recently published volumes that are the kind of sources we usually consult to establish where the mainstream lies:

  • Phrygian is most closely related to Greek. The two languages share a few unique innovation [...] It is therefore very likely that both languages emerged from a single language, which was spoken in the Balkans at the end of the third millennium BCE. Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics
  • Greek is clearly more closely related to Phrygian than to any of the main branches of Indo-European: there are shared phonological, morphological and lexical innovations. This close correspondence is all the more remarkable given the fragmentary attestation of Phrygian [...] Notwithstanding the fragmentary attestation of Macedonian and Phrygian, it seems likely that their ancestors formed a linguistic unity with (pre-)Proto-Greek in the late third and early second millennium BCE. The Indo-European Language Family: A Phylogenetic Perspective

Austronesier (talk) 20:07, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply

  • The case of Phrygian-Greek is similar to the case of Messapic-Albanian. We have to do with a language that continues to be spoken to this day and another language that ceased to exist at least 1500 years ago. The latter is attested only in some inscriptions which do not allow for an in-depth analysis of grammar structure, phonetic evolution, vocabulary etc. Hence although it is clear Greek and Phrygian were similar, one can't prove what was the degree and reason of the similarities. Not to mention that some linguists such as Matzinger think that "Phrygian" was an umbrella term used to refer to several languages that had similarities with each other; if so Phrygian was not even a language on its own. Ktrimi991 (talk) 20:45, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply
    Not entirely similar. Early attested stages of Greek are contemporaneous with the Phrygian record whereas the temporal gap between Messapic and Albanian spans one and a half millenia. Anyway, I don't want to comment over the validity of the evidence; that's not our job here. I have just noticed that two major handbooks published in the last five years agree in their assessment of the Graeco-Phrygian proposal. There will always be divergent specialist opinions (for an extreme case see the pathetic struggle against Balto-Slavic), but then how many of them are actually reflected and supported in high-quality overview sources? –Austronesier (talk) 21:41, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply

Let me start by saying that, aside from the question of whether Graeco-Phrygian is an accepted subgroup within the Indo-European language family or not, FPaS' removals were in line with MOS:INFOBOXPURPOSE. The purpose of an infobox is to summarize – and not supplant – key facts that appear in the article. In our case, § Classification – which discusses the topic – doesn't make it clear to the reader that the Graeco-Phrygian subgroup is in fact generally accepted today, in contrast to other proposed higher-order subgroups, and thus we are not giving undue weight to it. Therefore, this section needs to be updated first, before any potential reinstatement in the infobox. A mere wikilink to the already updated Phrygian language article, is not enough; this relates to WP:CIRCULAR. Recent books focusing on the subject, such as the ones mentioned above, are the ones we should ultimately consult; thus, i do agree with Austronesier, whose rationale is in line with WP:CONTEXTMATTERS. I should also emphasize that, support for the Graeco-Phrygian subgroup isn't limited to these books. Furthermore, i want to highlight that even proponents of other – debated – subgroups, don't necessarily disagree with the phylogenetic unity of Greek and Phrygian. From The Indo-European Language Family: A Phylogenetic Perspective (2022), i would also like to add the following:

  • p. 14: The mutual relationship between the "Balkanic" languages – Greek (Chapter 11), Armenian (Chapter 12), Albanian (Chapter 13) as well as scantily attested languages such as Phrygian and Messapic – is evaluated differently by the authors of this book. While Greek is thought to constitute a phylogenetic unit together with Phrygian in all three chapters, the hypothesis of a Graeco-Armenian subgroup is given a negative appraisal by van Beek (Chapter 11), while Olsen and Thorsø (Chapter 12) are positive. A third position is taken by Hyllested and Joseph (Chapter 13), who argue that Greek forms a subgroup with the notoriously difficult Albanian. – Thomas Olander
    Note: The last time i was active, i included a reference to the above quotation in the Phrygian language article (diff).

Regarding the removal of Paleo-Balkan from the infobox, i personally don't disagree; it's certainly more debatable than Graeco-Phrygian. Even the terms Palaeo-Balkan, Balkan, Balkanic, etc. – used for the group – are somewhat misleading.

  • p. 252: The so-called Balkan Indo-European languages have been shown to relate to each other in various ways. [...] This widely used term is admittedly somewhat misleading. There is no direct evidence placing all of these languages or their hypothetical common ancestor on the Balkan peninsula itself.Rasmus Thorsø (2020)

Furthermore, according to the recent genetic study by Lazaridis et al. (2022), the Armenian language – which is hypothesized to be a member of the group – can be traced back to a Yamnaya expansion that crossed the Caucasus directly from the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Therefore, the higher-order group we are looking for, could simply be the final stage of PIE; especially if we also consider the following tweet by Lazaridis:

  • And 99% of Indo-European speakers stem from Corded Ware ancestors. It is only three small groups: Greeks, Armenians, Albanians who go up to the Yamnaya not via Corded Ware intermediaries. Many others were wiped out linguistically, e.g. Tocharians and most Paleo-Balkan speakersIosif Lazaridis @iosif_lazaridis (25 August 2022)

Furthermore, in The Indo-European Language Family: A Phylogenetic Perspective (2022), Lucien van Beek favors a relatively late departure of Graeco-Phrygian from the PIE homeland:

  • pp. 196–197: The further position of Graeco-Phrygian in the family tree is not easy to determine. It is customary, and indeed plausible, to include Greek in a putative group of "Central" Indo-European languages (including Armenian, Indo-Iranian, and probably other satem languages) that remained in the homeland after the departure of Anatolian, Tocharian, Italo-Celtic, and perhaps Germanic. [...] In sum, from a qualitative angle it remains uncertain when exactly Greek (Graeco-Phrygian) branched off from Nuclear PIE. There are no indications for an early separation (which would require demonstrating a common innovation of most other branches that Proto-Greek did not undergo). A relatively late departure therefore seems likely, but the evidence for this is mainly lexical. – Lucien van Beek

Regardless of the above, the same book includes a number of phonological, morphological, and lexical isoglosses as evidence, and further states that Greek is central to the group. For example:

  • p. 216: However, the closest known relative of Phrygian is undoubtedly Greek (Chapter 11), and while both Armenian and Phrygian may be attributed to the Balkan group of Indo-European of which Greek seems to be the central member, there are no exclusive isoglosses between the two. [...] In Matzinger's treatments of the question (2005b: 382; 2012), Greek has the central position within the Balkanic group with direct relations to Phrygian, Armenian, Albanian and perhaps – surprisingly – Tocharian. Evidence for the inclusion of Tocharian is extremely weak, however, and it is generally considered an entirely separate branch of Indo-European (see Chapter 6). Evidence for the Balkanic group is found at all levels, phonology, morphology and lexicon, and can be summarized as follows: [...] – Birgit Anette Olsen & Rasmus Thorsø
  • p. 228: Considering the large number of shared innovations between Albanian and Greek on the one hand (Section 13.4.7) and between Greek and Armenian on the other (Section 12.4.1), it is perhaps surprising how few can be found between Albanian and Armenian only. This does not speak against a Palaeo-Balkanic subgroup encompassing all three since it may simply reflect the fact that Greek preserves so much more IE lexical material, including Balkanic innovations, than the other two. – Adam Hyllested & Brian D. Joseph
  • p. 237: A Palaeo-Balkanic Group?: Evidence for a broader Balkanic group consisting of Albanian, Greek, and Armenian, as well as Phrygian, is presented in Section 12.4.1 and (mainly) Section 12.5. To this we can add [...] – Adam Hyllested & Brian D. Joseph
  • p. 239: An ancient Balkan group, including Armenian, Albanian, and Greek, appears like a potpourri, making up a third unit which initially kept all original stop distinctions; various developments in its individual sub-branches subsequently obscured this basic retention, [...] – Adam Hyllested & Brian D. Joseph
  • p. 241: Ultimately, though, as indicated, the preponderance of evidence favours a close connection between Albanian and Greek, possibly as a subset within a "Palaeo-Balkanic" group with Armenian and Greek, as well as Phrygian, Messapic, and other fragmentarily attested languages (see Figure 13.1). – Adam Hyllested & Brian D. Joseph

Regarding the Greek-Phrygian and Messapic-Albanian parallelization above, i agree with the arguments raised by Austronesier. Furthermore, although admittedly, Phrygian and Messapic are both fragmentarily attested languages, the latter is more scantily attested.

  • pp. 165–166: Fairly recently it has become customary in Indo­‑European linguistics to speak of a Balkan Indo­‑European (Balkanindogermanisch) grouping of "central" Indo­‑European languages – Ancient Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Phrygian and the more scantily attested Kleincorpussprachen like Thracian, Illyrian or Messapian. Whether Tocharian should also be a part of this grouping is doubtful.Dariusz R. Piwowarczyk (2014)

I should also add that the Messapic inscriptions date between the 6th and 2nd centuries BCE, while the Phrygian inscriptions date between the 8th century BCE and the 3rd century CE, and attest to different stages of the language. By the way, i am not aware of the view attributed to Matzinger; Ktrimi, can you share a quotation? Even if there were several closely related Phrygian languages, i don't see how this affects the validity of the Graeco-Phrygian subgroup; besides, the epigraphic material attests to the existence of a single Phrygian language. Personally, i am only aware of the following quotation by a different scholar:

  • pp. 82–83: In other words, Ḫartapus can be identified as an early Phrygian king – with the proviso that 'Phrygian', as used by the Greek authors, is an umbrella term for a vast ethnocultural complex found predominantly in the central parts of Anatolia rather than a name of a single 'people' or 'tribe'. Its ethnolinguistic homogeneity cannot be taken for granted.Rostislav Oreshko (2022)

Demetrios1993 (talk) 03:42, 9 February 2023 (UTC)Reply

I propose the following update for § Classification, which is based on the existing content under it; albeit rephrased per the above.

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. The ancient language most closely related to it may be ancient Macedonian, which most scholars suggest may have been a dialect of Greek itself, but is poorly attested and is difficult to conclude. Aside of the Macedonian question, current consensus regards Phrygian as the closest relative of Greek. The two languages share a number of phonological, morphological and lexical isoglosses, with some being exclusive between them; thus, scholars have proposed a Graeco-Phrygian subgroup out of which Greek and Phrygian originated.

Among living languages, some Indo-Europeanists suggest that Greek may be most closely related to Armenian (see Graeco-Armenian) or the Indo-Iranian languages (see Graeco-Aryan), but little definitive evidence has been found. In addition, Albanian has also been considered somewhat related to Greek and Armenian, and it has been proposed that they all form a higher-order subgroup along with other extinct languages of the ancient Balkans; this higher-order subgroup is usually termed Palaeo-Balkan, and Greek has a central position in it.

If there are no objections, i also propose the reinstatement of Graeco-Phrygian (?) in the infobox; again, per what was discussed above.
By the way, take note of the Italo-Celtic subgroup, which is more debatable; nevertheless, it is included in the infoboxes of Italic and Celtic.
From the Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics – Volume 3 (2018):
  • p. 2030: In addition to this contact, there is a longstanding hypothesis that the Italic and Celtic languages shared a prehistoric linguistic unity (i.e. an "Italo-Celtic" subgroup in the Indo-European family tree. [...]). However, unlike some other Indo-European subgroups such as Indo-Iranian or Balto-Slavic, the existence of Italo-Celtic has never reached the status of established fact. Compare, for example, Ringe, Warnow, and Taylor (2002), who posit an Italo-Celtic subgroup (although they admit the evidence is slender), with the criticisms of Isaac (2004: 54 ff.), who calls the Italo-Celtic hypothesis obsolete. – Nicholas Zair
  • p. 2035: This concludes the possible cases of Italo-Celtic isoglosses. Despite the continuing debate, the question of whether there was ever a single Italo-Celtic language family remains open. Although there are a number of apparent similarities, very few can be shown reliably to reflect shared innovations. [...] Whether this is enough to posit an Italo-Celtic subgroup is uncertain; if such a family did exist, it may best be seen as a "drowned" subgroup, the result of "a rather short period of common development followed by a long period of divergence" (Cowgill 1970: 114). – Nicholas Zair
From The Indo-European Language Family: A Phylogenetic Perspective (2022):
  • p. 102: Many scholars have noted similarities between Italic (Chapter 8) and Celtic (Chapter 9). Schleicher (1858) was the first to posit an Italo-Celtic node between Proto-Indo-European and Celtic and Italic. But in the 1920s Carl Marstrander and Giacomo Devoto questioned the validity of this subgrouping. Scholarly opinion has varied ever since. It would be fair to say that Italo-Celtic is more debatable than any other higher order subgrouping, certainly much more so than Balto-Slavic. [...] Many features once cited in favor of Italo-Celtic unity are now seen to be archaisms. – Michael Weiss
  • p. 108: Whether one recognizes an Italo-Celtic node or not, the fact remains that Italic shares more innovative features with Celtic than with any other branch. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that both Italic and Celtic individually and in common share many features with Germanic. This connection is not surprising given their geographical positions (see Weiss 2020a: 500–1). Somewhat more surprising are some striking agreements between Italic and/or Celtic and Indo-Iranian, famously highlighted by Vendryes. The phylogenetic import of these agreements is still unclear (see Weiss 2020b). – Michael Weiss
Demetrios1993 (talk) 04:09, 24 February 2023 (UTC)Reply
I support the proposed change. If no one objects in the next days with substantial non-digressive arguments based on reliable sources, let's just boldly go for it. –Austronesier (talk) 12:56, 25 February 2023 (UTC)Reply

etymology of the name "Greek"? edit

should there be such a section here? (talk) 20:51, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply