Language and National Identity in Greece, 1766-1976 by Peter MackridgeLanguage and National Identity in Greece, 1766-1976 by Peter Mackridge

Language and National Identity in Greece, 1766-1976

byPeter Mackridge

Paperback | December 18, 2010

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This is a history of the great language controversy that has occupied and empassioned Greeks - sometimes with fatal results - for over two hundred years. It begins in the late eighteenth-century when a group of Greek intellectuals sought to develop a new, Hellenic, national identity alongsidethe traditional identity supplied by Orthodox Christianity. The ensuing controversy focused on the language, fuelled on the one hand by a desire to develop a form of Greek that expressed the Greeks' relationship to the ancients, and on the other by the different groups' contrasting notions of whatthe national image so embodied should be. The purists wanted a written language close to the ancient. The vernacularists - later known as demoticists - sought to match written language to spoken, claiming the latter to be the product of the unbroken development of Greek since the time of Homer. Peter Mackridge explores the political, social, and linguistic causes and effects of the controversy in its many manifestations. Drawing on a wide range of evidence from literature, language, history, and anthropology, he traces its effects on spoken and written varieties of Greek and shows itsimpact on those in use today. He describes the efforts of linguistic elites and the state to achieve language standardization and independence from languages such as Turkish, Albanian, Vlach, and Slavonic. This is a timely book. The sense of national and linguistic identity that has been inculcated into generations of Greeks since the start of the War of Independence in 1821 has, in the last 25 years, received blows from which it may not recover. Immigration from Eastern Europe and elsewhere hasintroduced new populations whose religions, languages, and cultures are transforming Greece into a country quite different from what it has been and to what it once aspired to be.
Peter Mackridge is Emeritus Professor of Modern Greek at Oxford, where he taught modern Greek language, literature, and culture from 1981, and Visiting Professor of Modern Greek at King's College London. He is the author of The Modern Greek Language (OUP 1985), and co-author of Greek: a Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language (Ro...
Title:Language and National Identity in Greece, 1766-1976Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pagesPublished:December 18, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019959905X

ISBN - 13:9780199599059

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Table of Contents

PrefaceTransliteration from Greek and pronunciation of Greek WordsMaps and illustrationsAcknowledgements1. Theoretical background2. The preconditions for the Greek language controversy3. The early stages of the controversy, 1766-18044. Adamantios Korais as language reformer5. Alternative proposals to Korais' project, 1804-18306. Language in the two Greek states, 1830-18807. The beginning of the demoticist campaign, 1880-18978. Educational demoticism and political reform, 1897-19229. The political polarization of the language question, 1922-197610. EpilogueGlossaryBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Despite its methodological foundation in linguistics and social sciences, the study has a great scholarly accomplishment that is basically historical...Peter Mackridge's book should be read by all students in all the social sciences." --Anna Frangoudaki, The Athens Review of Books 12/03/2010