Greek, Vocabulary

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Summary

Greek (Modern Greek: "Greek", "Greek language") is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to the southern Balkans, the Aegean Islands, western Asia Minor and Cyprus. It has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Coptic, and many other writing systems.

Details

Greek is a language distinguished by an extensive vocabulary. The majority of the vocabulary of ancient Greek was inherited, but it does include a number of borrowings from the languages of the populations that inhabited Greece before the arrival of Proto-Greeks. Words of non-Indo-European origin can be traced into Greek from as early as Mycenaean times; they include a large number of Greek toponyms. The vast majority of Modern Greek vocabulary is directly inherited from ancient Greek, although in some cases words have changed meanings. Words of foreign origin have entered the language mainly from Latin, Venetian and Turkish. During older periods of the Greek language, loanwords into Greek acquired Greek inflections, thus leaving only a foreign root word. Modern borrowings (from the 20th century on), especially from French and English, are typically not inflected.

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External Links

  • WikipediaGreek LanguageThe Greek Language and Linguistics GatewayThe Greek Language PortalThe Perseus ProjectAncient Greek TutorialsLearn Greek

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