History of Greek language
Lecturer(s): prof. dr. Kavčič Jerneja
The course is taught over a two-year cycle. Course outline:
1.Mycenian Greek and linear B. Greece in the 2nd millenium BC. The emergence of Minoan script and its adoption by Greeks. The signs and the orthograpy of linear B. Phonological and morphological properties of Mycenean Greek. The end of the Mycenean period, the retreat of linear B and its traces in Ancient Cyprus.
2. Homeric language and the language of epic poetry in general.
The emergence and the spread of epic poetry; the epic tradition after the end of the Mycenean period. The influence of the written form of Greek on the language of Homeric poems. Phonological and morphological phenomena resulting from metrical rules and dialectal characteristics of epic poetry. The syntax of epic poetry, particularly in terms of linguistic variation.
3. The emergence, the development and the spread of the Greek alphabet.
The Greek language in the »dark centuries«. The cultural revival and the colonization of the 8th/7th century BC and their consequences for the Greek language. The Phoenician writing system as a transition from syllabic to alphabetic script. The adaptation of the Phoenician script to the Greek language. Introduction of new letters. Variations of the Greek alphabet in Classical and earlier periods. The adaptation of the Greek alphabet to Latin and the creation of the Latin alphabet.
4. Dialectology of the Greek language in the archaic and classical period.
Population movements in the »dark centuries« as a basis for dialectal variety. The main dialect groups and their internal diversity. The main characteristics of each dialect group. The breakdown of Classical dialects in the 4th and in the 3rd century BC. The use of the dialects in Ancient Greek literature.
5. Hellenistic koine. The historical circumstances leading into its emergence. The sources for studying the spoken language of the Hellenistic/Roman period. Phonological, morphological and syntactical changes in Hellenistic/Roman Greek. The relation between Hellenistic, Byzantine and Modern Greek.
The course contains a seminary reading of an original Ancient Greek text.