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primary stressEdit

I think the stress on Katharevousa is on the epsilon, i.e. Katharévousa. User:wathiik

you are right. if you notice similar mistakes leave a comment on my talk page since i am greek and I can correct them easily. Optim 15:07, 9 Jan 2004 (UTC)
where did you see the mistake? I cant find it, everything is correct. Do you talk about the English transliteration (Katharevousa) or the originl Greek text? (καθαρεύουσα). In the original Greek, the stress is NOT on epsilon but on u following the epsilon. Optim 15:12, 9 Jan 2004 (UTC)
The IPA suggests the stress is on the syllable beginning with /r/. There is no convention in English transliterations, but I guess an acute accent on the vowel would do. I see Optim above suggesting that the stress is on the U so maybe the IPA's wrong.

the Greek spelling is correct. sorry about that. maybe it would be a good idea to spell the Latinized version as Katharévousa though. User:Wathiik

I'm wondering whether the terms "καθαρεύουσα" and "δημοτική" are spelled differently in Katharevousa or in fact both words were used back then. Also, which part of speech is each word? Noun or adjective? What gender if they are nouns? How do they decline?

Which brings me to a bigger question, was the grammar of Katharevousa also between the ancient/classical and the demotic. Every discussion I see only talks about the politics and the spelling and accentuation but completely ignores the grammar. — Hippietrail 00:45, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

As critics often pointed out, Katharevousa did not have a stable grammar, since it was defined in opposition to Demotic. It was usually a compromise however; for instance, it used a mediaeval formation for the future tense, rather than either the Ancient or the Modern (θέλω λύσει, rather than λύσω or θα λύσω). Usage or not of the dative varied greatly. Opoudjis 10:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Soon after the Second World War a long-lasting political debate became associated with the language issue, with the communists and leftists supporting Modern Greek while the conservative right supported Katharevousa.

I'm not sure it has always been so in Greece's recent history. Etz Haim 03:26, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC).

nope. afaik, there was debate and political stryfe about the subject long before the civil war. Project2501a 21:03, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
That comment above by me was made long time ago. In the meanwhile, I had to opportunity to check my sources, and now I'm SURE that a) Metaxas was pro-Demotic b) Rizospastis, the official KKE newspaper was once written in Katharevousa, etc. Etz Haim 23:22, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
so, what do you wanna do? Project2501a 00:48, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Purpose of the creation of KatharevousaEdit

The purpose of its creation was to mediate the struggle between the 'archaists' and the 'modernists'.

I'm not so sure the creation was to mediate the struggle. I'm pretty sure the creation of the language was what caused the literary strife, that transcended into a political struggle. Comments?

Project2501a 20:10, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Not so -- there really was advocacy of the full restoration of Attic as a literary language, which Corais worked against. Of course, once Katharevousa became the state language, and the archaists were marginalised or coopted, the battle became between demotic and puristic. Opoudjis 10:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Maybe what we are missing here is that at the time of Corais and until at least World War II there was not a common modern Greek language. In that respect the Demotic was as unnatural as Katharevousa, at least for the majority of the Greek speaking population. My grandparents generation (excluding those who hapenned to live in an area with a dialect form close enough to the Demotic) were not speaking anything like Demotic. For a native speaker of the Cretan or the Pontic dialect learning formalized Katharevousa at school wouldn't be any different from learning formalized Demotic. My parents (whose generation was completely confused by the continuous changes in the language taught at school) remember how their schoolmates of Pontic background were performing better than the rest in Classic Greek courses. For the reason that there was not a very strong advantage in adopting any of the two flavours of the Modern Greek language, I think that it was used as a way to emphasize existing political differences. Also, I think that what heated the struggle even more was that the Demotic proposed by its early supporters was nothing like the Demotic spoken today (fortunately!). In their Dictionaries of Modern Greek (I have one of the latest ones, by professor Andriotis from the 1950s) any Greek (educated or not) will find more unknown words than in a Dictionary of Classic Greek. Ulixes 18:41, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

This may not make sense to an outsider; the story is that Demotic is itself a literary language, based on rural dialect and *itself* long defined in opposition to Puristic. (Peter Mackridge has written about this.) The reason early Demotic sounds strange to modern speakers is that Puristic has since permeated the language, but also because the literary model was rural dialect, whereas the contemporary standard is purely urban -- hence the plethora of words unfamiliar to Ulixes. Not that i share his glee in the demise of dialect words.... :-( Opoudjis 10:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

A diglossic situation is normal in many countries, but the authorities may have been responsible for creating a formal one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alcock (talkcontribs) 08:02, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


Are there any dictionaries of the Katharevousa language/dialect/style available in the internet?


While I don't think it is impossible that Slavic has influenced Greek, could I have a look at one of the many sources Filip mentions here [1], please. Turkish has certainly influenced Greek (for example the Turkish suffix -lik appears in modern Greek to some extent, and some varieties of Greek even have vowel harmony from Turkish). Could an example of Slavic influence be cited if possible because at the moment all I can think of is the word vodka. Thanks. //Dirak 11:41, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Not many; dompros "honest", glava "noggin", sanos "hay"... Opoudjis 08:56, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
How about ρούχο (piece of clothing) -- a very common word! --Macrakis 20:18, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

influence on demoticEdit

This is described too elaborately. It seems that katharevousa influenced demotic, making the latter's vocabulary and grammar more archaic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


Since this article is in English and since dimotiki has an English equivalent, I suggest demotic is used with dimotiki appearing just once when the subject is introduced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

The story is not so simpleEdit

Katharevousa is an a evolution of the scholar language. Of course Korais tried to make compromisation but as you can read in Francisco Adrados' Book "Historia de la Lengua Griega" (History of the greek language) [1999] the diglossic situation is very old. Since hellenistic times two parallel forms of Greek language exist: The conservative scholar, and the everyday popular greek language. Even Byzantine schools were teaching the homer epics. Homer's language was quite different from the Byzantine Greek. Today Greeks are able to understand some byzantine texts, they can understand some classical ancient Greek phrases, but they are able to recognize just some words of Homeric texts. So since Byzantium already existed two Greek languages. And this situation remains during ottoman occupation and stands until now. "Katharevousa" succeeded the scholar Greek language. Of course was processed by Korais but it was not constructed de novo. Korais tried to unify the scholars language, in the same manner demotic (Koine NeoElliniki) unified hundreds of popular greek dialects. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vardos (talkcontribs) 02:29, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

I would rather not start a new subheading on "Kathareuousa conceived", so I append something to this subheading, for consideration in the precise wording. What was perhaps conceived with independence was the term Kathareuousa and the desire for a standardised form of Greek for the new state, e.g. for laws, the Constitution, etc. As a style, it was not created, it was a conservative form generally used for written documents and in liturgy. Ottoman and Venetian rule over most of Greece in the early modern era meant that few new written documents were being produced. The style was marginalised by the circumstances, and "conceived" as Kathareuousa only in name. There is additionally some unwillingness to recognise that until relatively recently there was not a single standard form of the vernacular.Skamnelis (talk) 15:21, 13 May 2014 (UTC)


The transcription writes eta as long e when in Greek in would be i. Is Katharevousa using ita or eta??Domsta333 (talk) 02:11, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Transliteration of given samples in Dimotiki and KatharevousaEdit

Hello, I think it's not accurate at all to transliterate the samples in Greek to Latin using the ancient Greek pronunciation. For example, "hē" (ἡ) would be pronounced like this in ancient and Koine Greek, however in Katharevousa it's pronounced just "i", despite the mark above the letter and its ancient pronunciation.

The words should depict the modern pronunciation and not the ancient. If you think it's a good idea to transliterate the samples in the Latin alphabet in modern pronunciation, here's what I would do:

(Katharevousa) Ἡ δ' ἀπὸ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἀποδημία του ἐγένετο πρόξενος πολλῶν ἀδίκων κρίσεων περὶ προσώπων καὶ πραγμάτων καὶ πρῶτα πρῶτα τῆς περὶ ἧς ἀνωτέρω ἔγινε λόγος πρὸς τὸν κλῆρον συμπεριφορᾶς του.

(Transliteration in original text) Hē d' apò tē̂s Helládos apodēmía tou egéneto próxenos pollō̂n adíkōn kríseōn perì prosṓpōn kaì pragmátōn kaì prō̂ta prō̂ta tē̂s perì hē̂s anōtérō égine lógos pròs tòn klē̂ron symperiphorâs tou.

(Correct transliteration) I d' apó tis Eládos apodimía tu egéneto próxenos polón adíkon kríseon perí prosópon ke pragmáton ke próta próta tis perí is anotéro égine lógos pros ton klíron simberiforás tu. (closer to actual pronunciation)

  • Or*

I d' apó tis Elládos apodimía tou egéneto próxenos pollón adíkon kríseon perí prosópon kai pragmáton kai próta próta tis perí is anotéro égine lógos pros ton klíron symperiforás tou. (same as above, but keeping the double letters and vowel diphthongs)

Apogeotou (talk) 20:04, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. I'm pretty sure that even in past centuries the most puristic users of Katharevousa didn't pronounce the written Katharevousa differently than their Dimotiki counterparts when they read Katharevousa text aloud, for example. At least in contemporary use no Greek does. Your second transliteration also matches the official transliteration style of Greek place names on traffic signs. I will rewrite the transliteration accordingly in the article. -- marilyn.hanson (talk) 18:30, 24 May 2020 (UTC)