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Difference Between Ancient and Modern Greek

Ancient vs Modern Greek

Greek is a language that is widely spoken in Greece. An ancient language, Greek has undergone many transformations. Moreover, Greek is considered a classical language.
Greek belongs to the Indo-European language family.

Modern Greek is also known as Romaic or Neo-Hellenic. It was after the decline of Byzantine Empire in 1453 that Modern Greek got popularized. Though it is said so, the traces of modern features in the language could be seen even from third century. Modern Greek is basically based on Demotic.

Ancient Greek was a language that was in vogue during the Archaic, classic and the Hellenistic periods. It can be said that ancient Greek can be traced to the second century BC. Ancient Greek was the classical language of the Athenians.

The Ancient Greek had a rich vowel system. On the other hand, Modern Greek has only a simple system consisting of five vowels.

In ancient Greek, there was a clear length distinction in vowels and consonants. On the other hand, Modern Greek has not conserved this. Ancient Greek had voiced and aspirated voiceless plosives where as the Ancient Greek just has only two sequence of fricatives

In Modern Greek, it has given up the optative mood, dative class, dual number and infinitive that were prevalent in ancient Greek. When compared to Ancient Greek, the modern version has adopted gerund. Unlike the Ancient Greek, the Modern Greek had accepted the future and the conditional tenses. In Modern Greek, the auxiliary verb was also newly introduced.

Summary

  1. Greek is considered a classical language. It belongs to the Indo-European language family.
  2. It was after the decline of Byzantine Empire in 1453 that Modern Greek got popularized. Though it is said so, the traces of modern features in the language could be seen even from third century.
  3. Ancient Greek was a language that was in vogue during the Archaic, classic and the Hellenistic periods. It can be said that ancient Greek can be traced to the second century BC.
  4. Ancient Greek was the classical language of the Athenians. Modern Greek is basically based on Demotic.
  5. In ancient Greek, there was a clear length distinction in vowels and consonants. On the other hand, Modern Greek has not conserved this.
  6. In Modern Greek, it has given up the optative mood, dative class, dual number and infinitive that were prevalent in ancient Greek.

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1 Comment

  1. The article says “It can be said that ancient Greek can be traced to the second century BC”. This is an obvious problem unless we are willing to forget Plato and Socrates ever existed!

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