Talk:Ancient Macedonian language

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Shame on us all[edit]

Ever since this [1] edit, in May 2005 (!), and even more so after series of edits by 157.* last year [2], our treatment of the Greek and non-Greek hypotheses has been on the basis of plagiarised text. Passages like:

  • "... Those who favour a purely Greek nature of Macedonian as a northern Greek dialect are numerous and include early scholars ... "
  • ... Those who look towards "Thraco-Phrygian" (as I. I. Russu, 1938) do so sometimes, at the cost of unwarranted segmentations ... "

are taken verbatim from Masson. There must be others. The plagiarised and the legitimate parts are now so intimately intertwined that it will be difficult to pull them apart, but some spots really still stick out like a sore thumb.

Someone will have to rewrite this article from scratch sooner or later. It's in very poor shape anyway. Fut.Perf. 11:25, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Distortion of sources[edit]

Just saw this [3] outrageously distorting edit.

For the record: The LinguistList tree shows a structure that looks like this [4]:

Hellenic
|_ Greek
|_ Macedonian

further expanded to:

Hellenic
|_ Greek
   |_ Greek, Ancient
   |_ Mycenean Greek
   |_ Attic
   |_ Doric
|_ Macedonian
   |_ Ancient Macedonian

So, the only correct way to describe this is indeed: "Hellenic" as a subfamily uniting Macedonian and "Greek proper". "Macedonian and the other Greek dialects" is a patent falsification of what this tree means.

The same is true for the wording of the B. Joseph quote that's referenced in the same context: "Macedonian and Greek would be the two subbranches of a group within Indo-European which could more properly be called Hellenic." [5] The sole point of this statement is to describe a model where XMK was not "another Greek dialect". Fut.Perf. 08:52, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

blah blah blah. you are distorting the sources mr hero. it's called Hellenic. for a reason. deal with it. --150.140.231.61 (talk) 01:33, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Splitting the article[edit]

I propose to split the article. The Ancient Macedonian article should have language rules and interpretations while Glossary section should have another article, maybe renaming to Ancient Macedonian Inscriptions article. I don't see the sense of having all that kind of vocabulary and inscriptions here. This section from Woodard describing even the much debated topics could be used here [6], while this article should have the competing hypothesis and Ancient Macedonian language rules, just like any other language article. What do you think? Aigest (talk) 11:34, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

the article isindeed getting a tad long, but article length will also be the only rationale for possible WP:SS splitting. There is no "Ancient Macedonian language rules, just like any other language article", because, doh, xmk is a fragmentarily attested language, so its discussion will be a discussion of fragments, not a discussion of a full-fledged grammar. --dab (𒁳) 14:17, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Indeed. The one problem I currently have with the long glossary lists is that they seem to be unsourced. Lots of sourcing of course about the primary sources, but none to the secondary literature that discusses their relevance, import, etymologies, etc. Any idea where this came from in the first place? Fut.Perf. 14:29, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

If there are not many rules than we can focus more in competing hypothesis (each one should have its due space with its arguments) and historical sources just like Woodard article, which is way better than a presentation of a long list of words which adds nothing important to the topic. If they were to remain the proper place is Ancient Macedonians Inscriptions article, right here they are more confusing than helpful. Aigest (talk) 14:50, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

These glossaries are not from inscriptions but from texts given as Macedonian, such as Hesychius. Your idea on inscriptions though is very interesting and merits further notice. I am also not eager to keep these lists in this article as long as a proper article is created and properly linked. GK1973 (talk) 15:48, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Uhm, small correction, there are no "texts given as Macedonian". Hesychius only lists isolated words. And the word lists in the article are partly from Hesychius, but partly from inscriptions, but whoever added them didn't tell us what secondary sources they were working from. Fut.Perf. 16:35, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
All the various classification theories are given due weight. There is no need to give even more weight to one of them just because Aigest wants to. As for the vocab list, it is indeed long, but the problem is not so much that, but that it is unsourced, as Future says. I don't see any other language articles split in this fashion. Nice try, though, Aiget. Boy, you must be REALLY mad about Origin of the Albanians. --Athenean (talk) 16:56, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Fut can you create a template to work with without affecting the article. If it reaches a more elegant (and of course consensual) form than we can replace with this one. What do you think? Aigest (talk) 06:18, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

@Athenean could you stop personal attacks and be more constructive? Aigest (talk) 06:18, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean by a "template"? Fut.Perf. 07:11, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

I am not familiar with wiki templates. I remember reading somewhere that there are templates or something like that which you can build an article upon until you feel ready to put it online, some kind of Special:MyPage/Ancient Macedonian Language? The trick here is to have it available for all contributors not for just one, or if we can't do it let one of the editors have this page and he can notify other users to contribute there until the article is finished. Hope I was clear, was I? Aigest (talk) 13:29, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Possible misleading use of the word "texts"?[edit]

I was surprised this week when a student came to me and said that there is nothing written for sure in XMK. He based this opinion on the wording found here: "Knowledge of the language is very limited because there are no surviving texts that are indisputably written in the language[citation needed]" (don't know if he read further...). This is worrisome to me. Clearly we don't intend to suggest that the many inscriptions found have the status of Incan quipus or something (which I've heard only unseriously suggested as representing ancient Quechua "texts"). Perhaps what was intended was a more expansive meaning for "text", meaning something that had at least one complete sentence in it? In any case, the epigraphic evidence is commonly assumed to be in XMK (otherwise, it's a strange endeavor indeed), and these are, if admittedly limited, texts. (Epigraphs can be shorter than a single word, of course; still a "text", though.) I'd hazard a rewording myself, but find myself leaning toward just having "Knowledge of the language is very limited." as a lead-in to the third paragraph, with the rest of the second cut entirely. Would this bother anyone? Mundart (talk) 02:03, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with a shortening. However, in my understanding, the issue is not about the word "texts", it's about the word "indisputably". The "epigraphic evidence" consists of essentially one single text, the Pella curse tablet – and it is indeed not "indisputable" whether the language represented in this text is in fact the same language as the one previously referred to as Macedonian in the relevant linguistic discussions, or whether it is just a form of Greek that was spoken side by side with Macedonian proper. (The other set of evidence, the glosses – which are indeed not "texts" written "in" Macedonian, but indirect evidence "of" Macedonian – attest to linguistic properties such as voiced plosives for aspirates which are crucially missing from the Pella tablet.) Fut.Perf. 06:53, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Greetings Future. Trying to provide a solution to Mundart's concerns, I've found a source for the passage in question. I've added it to the article removing the unsourced sentence. Is this more acceptable now for you Mundart? Shadowmorph ^"^ 08:30, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, I can live with a wording along those lines. I think we can do better about the sourcing though. This is the kind of random hit you get by google-searching. Not that Michael Clyne isn't a reliable author, of course – he's a prominent researcher working on the sociolinguistics of modern multilingual societies, especially the language communities of Australia. But he's not an expert on ancient languages and Macedonian (the only context I can imagine him writing about this would be in some kind of disambiguating footnote while dealing with modern Greek and Macedonian communities.) I'd feel better if we stuck to the more specialist literature. Fut.Perf. 08:38, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
He cites Lockwood 1972:6, maybe that helps. Shadowmorph ^"^ 08:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Also Borza has a saying on the status of the epigraphical evidence in Pg.93 in the source used for the first paragraph. Shadowmorph ^"^ 09:06, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, all. I reworded a tiny bit from the modified version. I understand how a student could focus on the Pella tablet and conclude from the controversy there that there were no indisputable "texts". But I'd remind them that words or parts of words on coins etc are also epigraphic evidence, a kind of text also, and are not disputed, so there was clearly some room for disambiguation. Mundart (talk) 21:32, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Cletagore and Cleiona[edit]

New findings in the necropolis of Aiani, near Kozani, include epigraphical evidence of two female names: Κλεταγόρη and Κλειόνα.
http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=11386&subid=2&pubid=10584971
http://www.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathremote_1_08/03/2010_326966
http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_ell_1_09/03/2010_393515
50 burials from Aiani, which include the Cletagore and Cleiona epigraphical findings, are presented in the 23rd Thessaloniki Archaeological Meeting (March 11-13, 2010), and date from the archaic and classical eras. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.254.50.189 (talk) 13:47, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

The only problem is that there doesn't seem to be any English sources for the names. Do you know of any? Thanks. Gingervlad (talk) 15:41, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
It makes me wonder: someone interested in editing articles on linguistics surely should be fluent in Greek, right? Anyway I cannot bother to locate English sources, Google Translate will have to do for the time being. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.254.51.51 (talk) 16:46, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
It shouldn't make you wonder at all....this is the English wikipedia, people who would come to this article (and I always advise them to read the talk pages) are quite very likely not fluent in Ancient Greek, or modern Greek. However they may want to know about the language of Ancient Macedonia. Tossing out one sentence and posting three links in Greek doesn't help them at all. Do you see my point? I wasn't being rude, I just was asking you if you know of any English language links. Gingervlad (talk) 19:06, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

To the propagandists spreading the notion in wikipedia that Greeks attempt to 'steal' Ancient Macedonian as their own[edit]

Thracian language. In Thracian language you don't see greeks fighting to call it greek even if a large part of Ancient Thrace is now Greece. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.1.24.49 (talk) 20:04, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Full family tree[edit]

I added the full family tree of ancient Macedonian as officially listed here [7]. GK 19:51, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

There is nothing "official" about that site, and as has been discussed here innumerable times, that tree version is purely conjectural, and the concept of "Hellenic", as used in it, too open to misunderstanding to be used in a box all on its own. Out with the box; leave such things to the text to clarify. Nothing about XMK is simple and straightforward enough to be boxed, nothing at all, not even the idea that it existed in the first place. Fut.Perf. 20:47, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Although I think that this list is as official as it can get and certainly a most properly academic source, I have no problem with no infobox given. Should the community though think that there should be one (as is common practice), then it should be properly done and fully given. GK 16:34, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, indeed, it is exactly "as official as it can get". Namely: not at all. There can be no such thing as "official" in this domain: genetic relationships between languages are a topic of free academic debate, not a topic about which any institution on earth, be it ever so reputed, could possibly be in the business of making "official" pronouncements. The idea of this "Hellenic" grouping is a tentative suggestion that has been made in the literature in a few places, which we cite in the text (among them is Brian Joseph, who is indeed an extremely influential voice in the field, and no doubt the anonymous compilers at Linguistlist got the idea from him, in the absence of anything more specific being proposed elsewhere.) By the way, note that if we were to decide unilaterally upon following this scheme, this would be a heavy POV blow against the view favoured by your fellow countrymen: the one and only point in calling the branch "Hellenic", in this context, is to distinguish it from "Greek" itself. In linguistics, genetic names in "X-ic" are systematically used to denote families that prototypically contain language X, but also related languages that are outside X proper. Just like "Germanic" contains German plus other languages that aren't German; "Japonic" contains Japanese plus other languages that aren't Japanese, etc. If you read Joseph, that is precisely the meaning he is giving the term here. If you think the tree branching in the way you quoted it implied that XMK was Greek, you didn't understand the tree; and if we were to print it in a way that would suggest such a thing to the unaware reader, it would be deeply misleading. Fut.Perf. 17:03, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I actually am not Greek, although I live in Greece, but that does not matter. I don't really mind with Hellenic being a broader group in this list than Greek, no matter what my personal beliefs are and I am all too clear on that matter. I just want the infobox to be properly presented and this (Hellenic?) or avoidance thereof is just awkward. Hellenic is OK with me if we prefer to have an infobox. Don't worry FTP, I completely understand this list... GK 17:14, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Oops, sorry for making mistaken assumptions about your nationality. BTW, would you mind going back to a normally formatted signature, with a link to your user or talk page? Cheers, -- Fut.Perf. 18:54, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Lead[edit]

Right now the version "Ancient Macedonian was the Indo-European language or Greek dialect of the ancient Macedonians" doesn't make much sense. Greek Language with all of her dialects belongs to the group of Indo-European languages. It is like saying that "It was mammal or human"!?. Can we make the first sentence more simple like "Ancient Macedonian refers to the language of the ancient Macedonians. It was spoken in Macedonia during the 1st millennium BC and it belongs to (or is classified as)...." the next words clarify its position. What do you think? Aigest (talk) 09:51, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Would be fine with me. Fut.Perf. 10:02, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

The same goes for "Ancient Macedonian refers to the language of the ancient Macedonians". Like many suggest it can be simply a dialect of Greek and not a different language. I would suggest: "Ancient Macedonian was the language or the dialect of Greek spoken by ancient Macedonians" OR "Ancient Macedonian refers to the language or the Greek dialect of the ancient Macedonians". I think with the second, you include all information the initial phrase had, without making it confusing. After that you can explain it is clearly an IE language. FKITSELIS —Preceding undated comment added 14:01, 30 June 2010 (UTC).

"Ancient Macedonian refers to the language of the ancient Macedonians" is silly. It is ludicrous to have an article on ancient Macedonians separate from ancient Macedonia in the first place. We only ever get this sort of thing for groups people are obsessing about for reasons of their own national identity. I suggest that the link is redundant in the lead. It isn't worth to repeat "Macedonian" four times over in the first sentence just so that we can link to all conceivable spin-off articles that have been created on the topic. --dab (𒁳) 09:22, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

This isn' a matter of what people feel or trying to wave away any point they don't agree with as "nationalism". It's a fact that there are divisions among experts as to whether it was a distinct language or simple a dialect of Greek.
"The evidence for the language of the Macedonians has been reviewed and discussed by Kalleris and Hammond, Griffith, and many others, all contending that it was a dialect of Greek. The increasing volume of surviving public and private inscriptions makes it quite clear that there was no written language but Greek. There may be room for argument over spoken forms, or at least over local survivals of earlier occupancy, but it is hard to imagine what kind of authority might sustain that. There is no evidence for a different "Macedonian" language that cannot be as easily explained in terms of dialect or accent."

- Cambridge Ancient Histories", Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.66.131.168 (talk) 18:47, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

The current wording "was the language of …" doesn't even imply that it was a "separate language". "was the language of X" simply means nothing else but "was whatever X spoke". It comprises both the separate-language and the dialect scenario. Your proposed "was the language or dialect of" is nonsensical, because it implies a dichotomy between two terms that aren't even on the same logical level. Fut.Perf. 19:59, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Update: according to IP and geolocation data, the above anon user is most likely banned user Crossthets (talk · contribs), evading his ban. He can be reverted on sight without regard to the 3RR. Fut.Perf. 20:08, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Lead[edit]

Made some copyedits and also changed "Macedonia" to "kingdom of Macedon", I think some disambiguation is in order here. I'm also not sure why "Most of them are similar to standard Greek, while some have been interpreted as pointing to a separate lineage from Indo-European." was removed [8], as no rationale is provided. Athenean (talk) 03:57, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I did not think it lead-worthy. Also, there was no "standard Greek" in the 5th century BC. --dab (𒁳) 21:08, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

You are correct that the there is no "standard Greek" in the 5th century BC, but that can be easily fixed. However, considering just about every sub-section in the article discusses the possible relation of anc. Macedonian with Greek, I feel it is lead-worthy. Besides, if that is not lead-worthy, then how is "A body of words has been assembled from ancient sources, mainly from coin inscriptions, and from the 5th century lexicon of Hesychius of Alexandria, amounting to about 150 words and 200 proper names. " lead worthy? How does one decide what is lead-worthy anyway? Athenean (talk) 21:52, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Suggestions[edit]

Introductory Material[edit]

I'm sure you'll agree that a significant amount of users don't go beyond the introductory material. So it should be pristine, even when the whole article needs rewriting. The greek-related approaches are somewhat undertoned and poorly quoted (further down in the article in Classification, several more references claim a clear connection), while the "agnostic" approach is much more prominent and impacting, and this does introduce some POV. Noblivion (talk) 17:40, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Names[edit]

Macedonian names (Alexander, Philippe, Bucephalus, etc) may give important insight on XMK. Shouldn't they be included in the article? Noblivion (talk) 17:41, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Coins[edit]

If coins have been found, and any writing is on them, that may also give some insight on XMK. Yet hardly mentioned. Noblivion (talk) 17:41, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Request for source analysis on G. Bonfante[edit]

Could someone give details on what Bonfante wrote about the subject in 1987? There's never been a reference on his views and I believe whoever added him on the list meant his views back in the 40s not 1987. Pardon me in case I have missed something, I just need some clarification on this.

Update: I think that "A Grammar of Modern Indo-European" 2011 edition mentions this, but I cannot find any publication of Bonfante on the issue from 1987 Fkitselis (talk) 08:32, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

I suspect the whole passage with that list of summaries was taken over more or less directly from the single source given just above (fn.6), i.e. Mallory & Adams in Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, without checking the individual authors referred to. The Bonfante entry might refer to Giuliano Bonfante (1987) “The Relative Position of the Indo-European Languages”, Journal of Indo-European Studies 15.1/2:77—80 (which would seem to be pertinent to the topic, but unfortunately I haven't got access to it), or to some older article re-published in his collected works (Scritti scelti). It has to be said that sourcing in this article is generally poor, as large parts of it have essentially been plagiarized from sources referring to others second-hand. Fut.Perf. 09:24, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
BTW, "A Grammar of Modern Indo-European" isn't a reliable source; it's essentially a layman's compilation of information taken from Wikipedia. Fut.Perf. 09:36, 23 August 2011 (UTC)



Thank you very much for the clarification. I will have a look to see if I can find the article and let you know about its context. I have earlier views from Bonfante, but they are mere assumptions, not in depth analysis (that's why I raised my question). As for the Grammar of Modern Indo-European I know, that's why I am not sure if their date is correct. Now, if you compare this article with other linguistic articles it is much more complete when it comes to references. I'll get back to you on the issue in case of success. Fkitselis (talk) 09:41, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Question mark[edit]

From the moment that all relevant sources of the article is justified (or verified) in Greek (property, phonology, morfology etc) I do not understand or see the usefulness and the existence of this question mark Notesenses (talk) 14:27, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

I have no idea what "all relevant sources of the article is justified (or verified) in Greek (property, phonology, morfology etc)" is supposed to mean. Fut.Perf. 14:43, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Is there any official confirmation here that the Macedonian language is not derived from the Greek? Notesenses (talk) 14:52, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

That doesn't make any sense even as a question. Fut.Perf. 15:36, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

First of all lets avoid personal insults. The classification Hellenic is a suggestion made by only few scholars. It is an assumption where even the term is uncertain, if it equals Greek or a maternal language to both. It could be proto-Greek instead in the place of Hellenic or it could be something else. I don't see why Future Perfect's question mark should bother us. On the other hand, since there are many sources in regard to Greek, I see an unbalance between the various views. It is stressed a lot that ancient Macedonian could be a different language without giving as much weight on any evidence as it is done for the view that it was Greek. Scepticism should be applied on the same terms. For example how can someone not make criticism on the view it was an Illyrian dialect when we know almost nothing about Illyrian and when the author who stated it, during that period, made everything Illyrian (even the Palestinoi!!! - See Who Were the Philistines, American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 50, 1946). What I want to say, as a summary, if you need 10 lines of evidence to prove Anc. Macedonian was Greek, then you should need as much evidence to prove it was something else. You can't put in equal terms a well presented view and a view that is a mere assumption on scarce or doubtful evidence. Fkitselis (talk) 17:44, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

There is no evidedence, either way. There is a very clear consensus about Ancient Macedonian in virtually all the reliable scholarship on the topic: that consensus is that we don't know what it was, and likely never will. The article should say nothing more than that, period. Fut.Perf. 20:49, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry but there are scholars that are definite on their views. Usually, the ones skeptical to Greek say they do not know exactly what it was. You can not say you will likely never know, because the region of Macedonia is archeologically rich. Only in the last 20-25 years inscriptions have been found that decline from the standard Attic dialect was adopted in Macedon. When many of these scholars expressed their views they didn't have the same data we have today (See how O. Masson made a 180 degrees turn in his views). In archeology and linguistics you can never take for granted that you will never find a solution. One find can be enough as we know from numerous examples within historical linguistics. In fact you have writing different from Greek in Macedon (Carian and unknown alphabetic scripts), but it is obviously either from merchants (in the case of Carian) or on objects brought by the Persian armies during the Persian invasion of Greece.
Last but not least my point was that some views have been passed without much criticism on the subject. I will remind you how Georgiev treated Etruscan back in the days. His theory has no validity nowadays, no matter how reliable scholar he is. In other wiki articles when views are enumerated, people mind to mention if those have received criticism. We should do the same here.

Fkitselis (talk) 07:28, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Fkitelis: Be WP:BOLD. If your additions are solid, they will be kept. Either way there is nothing to lose, the article is in awful shape (mostly a list of words at this point). I agree that the whole "Illyrian" view is a bit dated and that needs to be mentioned somehow. Athenean (talk) 15:57, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

editorializing ?[edit]

Why was the phrase about "simplistic approaches and unfounded assumptions" removed FP? Would you like me to rephrase the sentence? I would like to know why you classified it as "Editorializing" and how you expect it to be written? Fkitselis (talk) 08:41, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

It was taking over a value judgment from a source, without (a) hedging it appropriately and (b) saying what those "simplistic approaches and unfounded assumptions" actually were. In effect, it was just merely a vague signal of disparagement about the whole preceding section, without any actual information value. Incidentally, the telltale "it should be noted" is listed at WP:EDITORIALIZING just because it so often crops up when people do exactly this. Fut.Perf. 08:58, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Ok, you have a point. Thanks! I will collect several source saying the same thing and put it up together in a more appropriate way. The fact is that we need issue cautions while including outdated views. That was my initial purpose even though it was not an addition that can be considered complete. Fkitselis (talk) 09:25, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Ancient Macedonian as Hellenic language[edit]

There is not enough evidence to claim that Ancient Macedonian was a Doric language. There isn't even enough evidence to definitively claim that Ancient Macedonian was Hellenic, although what evidence there is tends to point in that direction. --Taivo (talk) 06:52, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

All though there may be not enough for satisfaction there still is evedence from what there is. Regarding the question mark, on the page Hellenic Launguages, there is a map, showing the relation of each Hellenic dialect. The map reveals that Ancient Macedonian is a Hellenic dialect but not of one of Ancient Greek incase you and other users where confused by the Hellenic/Greek meanings. Also, from what evidence there is it shows Doric influence within the Ancient Macedonian launguage. Therefore, I have a proposal which would satisfy both parties who are on opposite sides of the problem. The proposal is as following: 1) No question mark on Hellenic, but a question mark on Doric Greek. This would reflect the relation with Hellenic and also the questioned Doric influenced that the limited evidence claims. Itisonlyone (talk) 00:24, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, Itisonlyone, but you're still not correct. There is simply not enough evidence for actual linguists to definitively say that Ancient Macedonian was Hellenic. There is not enough data. While the data are suggestive (that's why we list Ancient Macedonian in the Hellenic article), the data are still not definitive. You're just going to have to live with that. Read the section of this very article on "Classification" and you will see several are proposals by prominent historical linguists to place Ancient Macedonian outside Hellenic. Despite your desire to prove that the Ancient Macedonians were in all ways Greek, your politics simply must take a back seat to the historical facts. --Taivo (talk) 00:34, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, in Wikipedia, we already take the middle ground in listing Ancient Macedonian as a probably Hellenic language. There are three positions: Ancient Macedonian is not Hellenic, Ancient Macedonian is non-Greek Hellenic, Ancient Macedonian is Greek. The middle ground is definitely not your proposal, which is just another "Greek dialect" variant, the middle ground is where we actually are--Ancient Macedonian was probably (although not definitively) a non-Greek Hellenic language. --Taivo (talk) 00:43, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
The issue is partly, or even mainly, a matter of definition. Herodotus defined Doric and Macedonian as of the same ethnos. He is the ultimate authority as a historian, and in that sense Macedonian must be grouped with Doric (the type of Macedonian we know from inscriptions). If we instead, as is currently in vogue, redefine ancient Macedonian as a potential linguistic substrate, then the question becomes was the substrate non-Doric, non-Greek, non-Hellenic? With that change in definition and with the assumption that there had been a special linguistic substrate, the middle ground is possibly Hellenic. What we may never know and indeed seems not likely, is whether the substrate, assuming it can be understood and that it had a significant influence and that it was substantially different from other pre-Hellenic substrates, considered themselves Macedonians. Skamnelis (talk) 14:09, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Which is my point. There is archiological evidence that do support the influence of Doric Greek within the ancient Macedonian language. Archiology is history as you seem apparently, according to your statments seem to disregard it. From what has been found,shows Doric traces, so from the evidence that is available I am sure you will find the next change satifieing. Should show a neutral point of view by showing there may be an influence but not enough evedence, according to what you are stating. Itisonlyone (talk) 06:12, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

You don't know what linguistic classification means. If there is "traces" of something, it's not linguistic descent. Putting "traces" into that tree is a contradiction in terms. Fut.Perf. 06:39, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

It was merely a compromise to show it is of Doric influence but to users who have different views on the subject that it may not be as certain.I still stand strong on the proposal of adding Doric with the question mark. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Itisonlyone (talkcontribs) 07:14, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

No, No, No, you don't know linguistics if you think that "archeological evidence" has any relevance here. Read WP:CONSENSUS before you edit here again. You must build a consensus for your changes and you have totally failed to do so. --Taivo (talk) 20:56, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

No, you have failed to make a concensus, I have offerd multiple proposals for a consensus.You only reject them not giving a valid reason behind why you claim it is not acceptable.Instead, you keep going on that Ido not know linguistics. That is your only reason.This is not concensus, which you claim to want. I am starting to have my suspision. Itisonlyone (talk) 04:11, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

You are no linguist and clearly don't understand what linguistics is. "Doric influence" does NOT mean that Ancient Macedonian was genetically Doric. English has French influence, but we don't list Romance as a genetic ancestor of English. You simply don't understand what you are writing about. Prove your case, sir, or stop inserting this non-linguistic material. Where are your sources? You have offered not a single, solitary reliable linguistic source that unequivocally states that Ancient Macedonian was a Doric language. --Taivo (talk) 11:45, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Second, you obviously don't know at all what a "compromise" position is. As I clearly explained to you above, when given three options, A, B, and C, the compromise position is B. But you continue to push for C with the absolutely incomprehensible assertion that "C is a compromise". B (that Ancient Macedonian was probably, but not definitively Hellenic without mention of "Doric") is the compromise position, not your assertion. No matter how many times you say it, your position is no compromise and you have built no consensus for your extreme position. --Taivo (talk) 11:51, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes and the English language also has Greek influence but no one is stating that English is a Greek language. Instead of claiming that you know linguistics which I belive you do, put your words to action and then EXLPAIN why it is not a Hellenic language. Saying that that there is not enough proof is not acceptable. There are conclusuions the the proof that is already available to us. Itisonlyone (talk) 23:28, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

While there are some linguists who think the available evidence is sufficient, there are many more who feel that the evidence, while suggestive, is not conclusive. --Taivo (talk) 00:25, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Slavic and Ancient Macedonian[edit]

Slavic languages, including modern Macedonian, are not "unrelated" to Hellenic languages, including Ancient Macedonian. The most neutral wording for the hatnote is plain and simple, "For the Slavic language see". It's plain, it's simple, it's NPOV. No one is going to be confused that they are the same language except for people who are willfully confused to push their POV. --Taivo (talk) 05:26, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Yep. The problem here is that people keep mixing up two logically unrelated concepts of "relatedness": a generic concept of historical-cultural continuity (according to which, indeed, the two languages are pretty much as unrelated as it gets), and the technical concept in genetic linguistics (according to which, as you rightly say, the two languages are related, albeit distantly). POV-motivated editors apparently can't abstract away from their overwhelming desire to foreground their central message, which involves just this "unrelatedness" idea, and want to push it into all sorts of places, including the hatnote, where it doesn't belong. But since this is a linguistics article, I agree we must insist that the term "related" will be used in its linguistic sense, if at all, and in that sense it just has no useful function in the hatnote at all. Fut.Perf. 07:56, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Lets not be paranoid. Many authors make the distinction clear. What could be used instead of the relative term "unrelated" is "...not to be confused with Modern Macedonian...". Fkitselis (talk) 21:41, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Shall we reorganize the classification section?[edit]

I feel the classification section ended up to be a bit messy. Maybe we should reorganise it a bit. Also, I believe that some of the theories mentioned are obsolete. There are references that date back to the 19th or early 20th century and that have been treated or updated accordingly since then. Fkitselis (talk) 11:27, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, really, the whole page "θέλει γενικάν επισευάν και πέταμα" (pardon my Macedonian ;-) The classification section isn't really the worst part, but it's part of the wider problem I pointed out four years ago (see top of this page) and that was never really fixed. The problem is not so much that the theories are outdated; the problem is that most of it is quoted second-hand and none of us has actually checked what the originals say. Fut.Perf. 12:24, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I fully understand the problem. It is difficult to rewrite a whole wiki article at once. Basically, I noticed that many are second hand quotes and I earlier raised a question about Bonfante, on which I never found anything mentioned. I did find a single line quote from him, which is not an analysis on the issue, but an assumption. Also, about outdated theories I think that e.g neither Hoffmans nor Kretschmers theories are valid today. Contrary, the current views of Adrados, Horrocks, Colvin, Dosuna and Crespo are not even mentioned. What we could do, slowly but methodically is to collect material in the discussion pages and make the corrections slowly. I am trying to find Bader's book (seems it is a rare print) which has C. Brixhe's (1994) contribution on the issue and then I believe I have quite much first hand quotes about all POV to contribute with. Btw, if you think this article is a mess and for "πέταμα" then you have not seen the Swedish version of it... :) Fkitselis (talk) 10:47, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree, this kind of source review is probably the best way forward. I've seen the Bader volume and could get it again in our library (in a few days). It's probably the most substantial contribution to the issue to date, after Katicic, but it's the kind of complicated academic French that I read only with some effort. Fut.Perf. 15:25, 31 December 2012 (UTC)g
Really? That would be great! I have been looking for the book but it is not in stock anywhere. I have to struggle with the French too, but it will be a good training. As soon as, I have some time I will start posting paragraphs (not quotes) from first hand sources I have. Fkitselis (talk) 09:53, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Views of various linguists[edit]

Ok, we can start posting the POV of linguists (strictly) on this section. It is important that we include longer texts and not just quotes, so that everyone can read and agree with the context. There are many cases where selective quoting is practiced, that gives a different perspective on the view of the scholar, than what it actually is.

Remember, we're out for material coming from scholars who are linguists. A historian is usually NOT a linguist (with few exceptions).

Be also careful with speculative views. Just because someone says something in a single line, doesn't make him/her a representative on the valid views on Anc. Macedonian. The same happens if someone expresses an opinion based on others views. E.g if I agree with Brixhe or Kretschmer, it doesn't mean I am an authority on the field nor that my statement should be within the list of scholars representing a POV.

Another issue is the burden of proof. The arguments put forward on various POV are NOT always of "equal weight". One can support his/her view by providing a lot of arguments and evidence, meanwhile, I may express my view based on scepticism and assumptions but without much evidence to support it.

If you have anything to add to this, please do so. Fkitselis (talk) 10:55, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Although I am still not finished, I would like to make some comments about things we should think of when we update this article. The Thracian and Illyrian theories are outdated. Period! I don't see how Thracian and Illyrian can be a good argument without receiving heavy scepticism. Like if Macedon had no inhabitants until Illyrians and Thracians arrived in the Balkans. I believe we should keep any Thracian and Illyrian theories as legacy theories of the early 20th century and not as the main line of modern linguistics. We have the theories of uncertainty (because of the lack of material), the various views of Macedonian being a Greek dialect, the adstratum views and the common Indo-European descendant theory. From what I see, the only modern competitive adstratum/co-stratum theory currently presented is that of Phrygian, which is by far more convincing than both Illyrian and Thracian, without that meaning that neither of those groups being present in Macedon. However, Thracians are easily recognizable from their personal names, while assimilated Phrygians would be camouflaged with names of common Greek & Phrygian origin, making them very hard to trace. Fkitselis (talk) 22:07, 8 March 2013 (UTC)


Vladimir Georgiev[edit]

Source: "The Genesis of the Balkan Peoples", The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 44, No. 103 (Jul., 1966), pp. 285-297

The original region of the ancient Macedonians was the basin of the river Haliakmon. The oldest toponyms here are very similar to the Greek ones. Numerous isoglosses connect the Macedonian language with different Greek dialects. This fact attests the genetic identity of Macedonian and Greek. However, there is an essential difference between Macedonian and all other Greek dialects. This is the change of IE ma into ta in Greek which was completed before the epoch of the Mycenaean documents. In Macedonian IE ma changed into m. This difference which separates Macedonian from all other Greek dialects is therefore very old. There are also other differences. In the present writer's opinion, ancient Macedonian is closely related to Greek, and Macedonian and Greek are descended from a common Greek-Macedonian idiom that was spoken till about the second half of the third millennium B.C.

Comment: AFAIK, Georgiev hasn't changed his view. If anyone has a newer publication than this, please add it. If anyone want to validate the context, please contact me and we can arrange it. Fkitselis (talk) 10:55, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Agree this is a useful and pertinent citation. When we use it in the article, we will need to find a good way to clarify the meanings of his abbreviations (evidently, "ma" = aspirated mediae, "ta" = aspirated tenues, etc.). Fut.Perf. 12:13, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you're right! The average wikipedia reader would never understand them.Fkitselis (talk) 12:29, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Btw, do you believe we should include each view in detail within the wiki article? I thought that the citations put here are internal, in order for us to improve the article's quality. Would this mean that we would make a summary of each scholars vuew? What are your thoughts?Fkitselis (talk) 12:35, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I'd say we just continue collecting this stuff here and then see how to proceed further. I guess the level of detail we devote to each author will depend on how much stuff and of what quality we end up with. As I said, I believe the most detailed overview treatments are still Katicic and Brixhe/Panayotou (at least those are the ones I usually see cited in the literature, by authors who just touch on the topic in passing and use them as a general state-of-the-art reference), so it might be proper to devote somewhat more space to them. Fut.Perf. 13:46, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Great! Lets do so! Also, let me add J. M. Dosuna (2012) who goes through all views and analyses them, before making his own points. I am going to include his statements later, since they need to be summarised carefully. Fkitselis (talk) 14:07, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Would that be Méndez Dosuna, Julián (2012): "Macedonian", in: G. Giannakis et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics? Thanks for the hint; sounds like another valuable resource. Unfortunately our library doesn't seem to have it yet. (BTW, just for later reference, "Méndez" seems to be part of the last name.) Fut.Perf. 20:03, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
From which year is it? The one I have is from "Ancient Greek Dialects of vital importance for the continuity of the Greek language and the cultural tradition", 2012. It could be that it is exactly the same contibution, within two different publications. In any case, I will post things from him here. The only problem is that it is a huge amount of data and has to be summarized somehow. Fkitselis (talk) 21:25, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
"Ancient Greek Dialects of vital importance for the continuity of the Greek language and the cultural tradition"? Are you sure that is an article title? It doesn't really sound like one, and I can't find any reference to it anywhere. Where was it published? Fut.Perf. 21:54, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Sorry!!! That is the name of the project. The collection of articles is called "Ancient Macedonia: Language, History, Culture". Julian Mendez Dosuna's article is called "Ancient Macedonian as a Greek dialect: A critical survey on recent work". In the same collection you will find "Languages and dialects in Ancient Macedon" by Emilio Crespo (very good too). It was published by the "Centre for the Greek Language", sometime in May 2012 if I am not mistaken.Fkitselis (talk) 22:34, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Francisco Rodríguez Adrados[edit]

I cannot say that Francisco Rodríguez Adrados is comming with a detailed analysis, instead he is taking distance to the issue. However, I believe that because of his authority in Greek, his few statements do have a weight. In other cases, I wouldn't bother to nominate someone just because he/she makes few statements. I am summarizing his view and final conclusion:

Source: A History of the Greek Language: From Its Origins to the Present, pp 36, 2005 Brill.

Some problems are presented by Macedonian, which was implanted in a territory where the Greeks had settled before entering Greece. It was Hellenised and began to disappear from the fourth century BC. However, there is still some doubt as to whether it was an Indo-European language distinct from Greek, perhaps of the Indo-Greek group (such as Thracian or Phrygian), or whether it was a Greek dialect that was left behind.
...
It is difficult to come to a clear decision on this matter, given the scarcity of information available to us. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fkitselis (talkcontribs) 22:23, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Another good find. This, perhaps together with Woodard, would be a good source to cite as representatives of the wide-spread "agnostic" view that has been characteristic of much of the more general literature on the history of Greek. Before I forget, could you perhaps add the page numbers? Just out of curiosity, it would also be interesting to know which authorities Adrados is citing at that point, to get an idea about where these different views come from and how they are transported from one author to another. Fut.Perf. 16:37, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Done! Basically Adrados is an authority in Ancient Greek, however it is obvious he has not been troubled a lot by the issue. He is quoting the same old authors like Hoffman, Schwyzer, Kalleris. His most recent refference is A. Panayiotou from 1992 (which he considers as "new" pro-Hellenic), while she and Brixhe made possibly the most complete contribution to the issue back in 1994. I didn't see his references when I posted this. In any case, we don't know what those guys discuss when they meet. Crespo I think, does mention Adrados view, so maybe we should keep him as a "STATUS" quote.Fkitselis (talk) 21:16, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Edward Sapir[edit]

Although it is outdated, just for the record and historical reasons, I include a scholar who was unnoticed and never mentioned anywhere.

Source: The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 60, No. 4 (1939), pp. 463-465

If it can be shown that IE prevocalic s, or rather initial s before vowels and intervocalic s, became h in Macedonian, as it did in all Greek dialects, we would have one good reason to think that Macedonian was, if not a Greek dialect, as 0. Hoffmann tried to show, at least not merely an eastern Illyrian dialect that was somewhat hellenized, but a distinctive IE branch that might be set midway between Greek and Illyrian. Fkitselis (talk) 21:56, 10 January 2013 (UTC)


Geoffrey Horrocks[edit]

Horrocks is very often mentioned by others. I think the following passage is a good summary on his view. Just like Dosuna, he points out that what other Greeks call "Macedonian" might be one of the languages of the subjects of the Macedonian Kings. From what is recently known in upper Macedonia and south eastern Macedonia, Greek litteracy existed already in the 8th century B.C (See recent finds from Pieria). We don't know however how the language map of the northern parts of Macedon was. This is why I believe, Horrocks input is very important.

I also like his comment about Macedonian being the tongue of a detached group that stayed behind the invasion of southern Greece.

Source: Greek: A history of the language and its speakers, pp. 79-80, 2010 Wiley-Blackwell.

We should not, however, discount the possibility that what is being described in such sources as "Macedonian" is in fact the language of Paeonian, Illyrian or Epirote subjects of the Macedonian king.
For what it is worth, the few fragments we have of what is alleged to be the Macedonian language suggest that it was either a highly aberrant Greek dialect or an Indo-European dialect very closely related to Greek, perhaps representing the speech of a group who had become detached from the majority of the invaders who, further south, eventually became speakers of Greek during the first half of the second millennium bc. It had, for example, apparently failed to undergo certain otherwise "common" Greek sound changes, such as the devoicing of the voiced aspirated series of plosives standardly reconstructed for Indo-European, but to have deaspirated them instead. We therefore find Macedonian names such as [ber(e)ní:ke:] instead of [pherení:ke:], "Bringer-of-victory" , where the first element derives from the Indo-European root *bher-,"bear/carry". For further discussion see Kalléris (1954, 1976) , Katicic (1976) , Crossland (1982) , Sakellaríou (1983) and Sowa (2006).

Fkitselis (talk) 08:58, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

James L. O'Neil[edit]

O'Neils makes an in depth analysis of four inscriptions he regards as Macedonian, which he identifies as a distinct Greek dialect close to West Greek, Doric and Thessalian. Therefore, such inscriptional material cannot have been imported to Macedon and concludes that a non-Attic Greek dialect was spoken there before the fourth century B.C. Like Horrocks, he stresses that certain phonetic phenomena in Macedonian, could be attributed to a non-Macedonian language minority such a Phrygian or Illyrian. His second comment on the Macedonian voiced aspirates is also of interest.

Source: Doric forms in Macedonian inscriptions, Glotta 2006

The curse tablet can definitely be seen to be in some form of West Greek, with forms corresponding to Doric and Aeolic dialects, but quite clearly differing from Attic-Ionic, It does seem in its use of the form δαίμοσι to be distinct from either of the known West Greek dialects spoken in the areas to the south of Macedon, Thessalian and Northwest Greek. So it seems unlikely that its use at Pella is due to the migration of an individual from the areas immediately to the south of Macedon, or to the adoption of one of the dialects spoken in those areas by a Macedonian native.

...

The simpletst explanation for the dialect forms in the curse tablet is that it has been written in the original Macedonian dialect, and that that dialect is a West Greek one, related to, but distinct from its more southern neighbours, Thessalian and Northwest Greek.

...

Unfortunately, the amount of surviving material is not sufficient to establish beyond all reasonable doubt, that this dialect was the common spoken language of Macedon at the time, or to demonstrate the precise relationship of this dialect to other, better known ones.

...

Greek names found in Macedon in the classical period tend ot be Doric in their formation and these four inscriptions suggest this was because a Doric dialect was spoken in Macedon, rather than because Greek names had been borrowed from a Doric milieu.

...

Such a minority group could have been speakers of Illyrian or even of Phrygian, since both languages, which were spoken on the borders of Macedon, and could easily have been spoken within its territory, deaspirated original PIE *bh etc to b etc.

...

It seems likely that Macedonians still kept the voiced aspirates as separate phonemes from the voiced plosives preserving the original PIE voiced pronunciation, but these were heard by other Greeks as voiced plosives (Here he provides SEG XVIII as evidence).

...

The inscriptional evidence from Macedon, limited though it is, shows that a Doric form of Greek was writter in Macedon before standard Greek was adopted around the mid-fourth century B.C. This from of Greek has parallels with its closest neighbours, Nortwest Greek and Thessalian, but also has differences from both.

Fkitselis (talk) 09:44, 2 March 2013 (UTC)


J.R. Ellis[edit]

Ellis is not exactly a dedicated linguist, but his statement below is very interesting as a view.

Source: Cambdridge Ancient History Volume VI, The fourth Century B.C., pp. 730,Cambridge University press 2008.

There is no evidence for a different 'Macedonian' language that cannot be as easily explained in terms of dialect or accent. Fkitselis (talk) 11:30, 3 March 2013 (UTC)


Roger D. Woordard[edit]

Woodard is one of those who keep distance from any kind of certain classification. He presents for and against Macedonian being a Greek dialect and brings forwards the possibility of a common Greco-Macedonian parent language. Not a detailed analysis, but I think it was not his purpose initially, since he gives references for further reading.

Source: The Ancient Languages of Europe, Cambridge University Press 2008.

Surviving Macedonian texts have not proved helpful in identifying the native language of the Macedonians. Most of the Macedonian inscriptions are written in Attic Greek, the dialect broadly disseminated by Philip and Alexander. A fourth-century BC inscription found recently in the remains of the great Macedonian city of Pella appears to be written in a variety of Northwest Greek and has led to conjectures that this may be the previously unattested Macedonian language (see the comments of Brixhe and Panayotou 1994b:209 along with the mention of other finds in n.19).

...

In other words, by such an analysis, the related Macedonian and Greek forms have evolved historically from words occurring in a commonparent language, either Proto-Indo-European or, alternatively, some later, intermediate Balkan Indo-European language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fkitselis (talkcontribs) 11:39, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Emilio Crespo[edit]

Crespo's view is that there was a distinct Macedonian dialect of Greek, but that one (or more) nor-Greek Indo-European language might have been spoken in Macedon. His contribution can be of great help or the article because:

a) it is a 2012 publication taking into consideration all recent findings.
b) he makes a great analysis on the dialectical features of the Pella curse tablet and groups them together with other non-Attic inscriptions from Macedonia.
c) he makes a great summary of all views presented by linguists in earlier years (various Greek scenarios, common Greco-Macedonian Indo-European ancestor, non-Greek)


Source: Languages and dialects in Ancient Macedon, collection of papers Ancient Macedonia: Language, History, Culture, Centre for the Greek Language 2012.


The linguistic situation that emerges from the con sideration of the documents found in the geographically multiform but politically unitary area of ancient Macedon is no more than a linguistic mosaic made up of local Greek dialects and probably also of at least on e non-Greek Indo-European language, a linguistic adstratum, of which only a number of glosses and two or three phonetic features that probably point to Phrygian but also to Thracian may be hinted at in the documents always written in Greek. Other languages, such as Illyrian , are likely to have been spoken in the kingdom of Macedon , but they are neither preserved in documents nor mentioned by ancient literary works. A number of foreign personal names quoted in Greek texts also point to speakers of Phrygian , Thracian , and Illyrian . The unidentified Indo- European language referred to above was probably still alive at the time of our first written documents in the 5th century BC. It was kept and persisted, at least while the impact of its interference on the pronunciation of Greek can be traced in the Greek texts. The local Greek dialects spoken in the city-states that were annexed to the Macedonian kingdom were progressively replaced by the Attic-Ionic koine for writing purposes, as well as for an increasing number of communicative functions since the middle of the 4th century BC, at an earlier date than in other Greek areas. As the Attic-Ionic koine increased its comm unicative functions, the Macedonian dialect, which apparently was never used for writing public documents, ceased to be used for writing private documents as well. The Roman conquest of 168 BC probably accelerated the decadence of the local dialects an d strengthened the usage of the Attic-Ionic koine. After becoming a Roman province, the local Greek dialects along with the unidentified Indo-European language went out of use and disappeared in a short lapse of time. The latest mention of the Macedonian dialect for spoken use dates from the beginning of our common era, when, as reported by Strabo (7.7.8), some (ἔνιοι) Macedonian s were δίγλωττοι (i.e., speakers of koine and of the local dialect). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fkitselis (talkcontribs) 20:22, 3 March 2013 (UTC)


Babiniotis[edit]

Babiniotis has a completely different approach to the issue, arguing that the voiced stops b, d, g are actually voiced spirants or fricatives, pronounced v, ð, ɣ as in Modern Greek, and therefore, Ancient Macedonian went through a very early a phonological development, that occured later in the rest of the Greek dialects.

Source: Historical Philology: Greek, Latin, and Romance, Bela Brogyanyi, Reiner Lipp, 1992 John Benjamins Publishing

Our proposition that the phonetic value of β, δ, γ of Macedonian was that of the voiced spirants and not that of the voiced occlusives, places the whole question of the phonological system of consonants of Macedonian on entirely new basis, Inner systematic evidence (such as the evolution of the consonants of Greek) as well as comparative evidence (such as the parallel evolution of MA in the Italic family, according to Ascoli-Szemerenyi), shows, we believe, that the view about the status of β, δ, γ as being that of b, d, g and especially the explanation that they derive directly from MA of IE should be reconsidered.
Our position in this paper is that Macedonian, an Ancient Greek dialect, existed in an oral form, sp it did not suffer any effect from a conservative written tradition and, in this sense, it moved towards the spirantisation of TA, thus responding to the general tendency of the system of Ancient Greek far a more symmetrical consonental structure with the creation of the series of labial, dental and laryngal spirants. Moreover, phenomena such as the alternate appearance of β and F in Laconic inscriptions from the 4th century B.C (προβειπαhας = προFειπάσας, Βωρθεά Fωρθέα etc) reveal a tendency of some ancient greek dialects for early spirantisation.

Fkitselis (talk) 18:19, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Crossland[edit]

Crossland makes a good summary but like others avoids classification due to lack of material and the phonology of Ancient Macedonian.

Source: Cambridge ancient history vol III, part I, page 843, Cambdrigde university press 2008

By current criteria Macedonian should be regarded as a dialect of Greek only if its sound-system and morphology could be observed or reconstructed and shown to reveal specific and significant similarities to the corresponding systems of recognized ancient Greek dialects which are characteristic of Greek in contrast to other Indo-European languages; and if it seemed at least probable that speakers of most of those dialects could have understood Macedonians, and Macedonians their dialects.The lexical items attributed to Macedonian are in fact too few and uncertain for any useful reconstructions of its sound-system or morphology to be derived from them, and no Greek author of the fifth or fourth century B.C. states explicitly whether Athenians, for example, could understand the native idiom of the Macedonians or not. It appears that they had no difficulty in

communicating with the Macedonian court, but the explanation of that is probably that the royal family of Macedonia, its entourage, and perhaps most of the nobility spoke Attic Greek fluently, at least as a second idiom.

...

To summarize, the proper conclusion about Macedonian is still non liquet. The evidence does not indicate convincingly that it was a dialect of Greek rather than a separate Indo-European language. If the latter, it might have shared some particular features with Greek as, for instance, Greek shared the change of IE *s to h with Iranian languages. The question is not of great importance for the history of Greece in the first half of the first millennium B.C. Macedonians seem not to have exercised any considerable cultural influence on their neighbours before the fourth century. When Alexander's conquests extended their influence their principal language was koine Greek. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fkitselis (talkcontribs) 18:00, 3 March 2013 (UTC)


Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond[edit]

I believe Hammond doesn't need much of an introduction on his views. I picked his quote from the following book, not because he makes an in depth linguistic analysis, but because he makes a very precise summary of his views over the years (not his early ones though).

Source: The Language of the Macedonians in Ian Worthington's Alexander the great: A reader, page 20, Routledge 2003

What language did these ‘Macedones’ speak? The name itself is Greek in root and in ethnic termination. It probably means ‘highlanders’, and it is comparable to Greek tribal names such as ‘Orestai’ and ‘Oreitai’, meaning ‘mountain-men’. A reputedly earlier variant, ‘Maketai’, has the same root, which means ‘high’, as in the Greek adjective makednos or the noun mēkos.

...

That, however, is not the opinion of most scholars. They disregard or fail to assess the evidence which I have cited, and they turn instead to ‘Macedonian’ words and names, or/and to literary references. Philologists have studied words which have been cited as ‘Macedonian’ in ancient lexica and glossaries, and they have come to no certain conclusion: for some of the words are clearly Greek, and some are clearly not Greek. That is not surprising; for as the territory of the Macedonians expanded, they overlaid and lived with peoples who spoke Illyrian, Paeonian, Thracian, and Phrygian, and they certainly borrowed words from them which excited the authors of lexica and glossaries. The philological studies result in a verdict, in my opinion, of ‘non liquet’. The toponyms of the Macedonian homeland are the most significant. Nearly all of them are Greek : Pieria, Lebaea, Heracleum, Dium, Petra, Leibethra, Aegeae, Aegydium, Acesae, Acesamenae; the rivers Helicon, Aeson, Leucus, Baphyras, Sardon, Elpeüs, Mitys; lake Ascuris and the region Lapathus. The mountain names Olympus and Titarium may be pre-Greek; Edessa, the earlier name of the place where Aegeae was founded, and its river Ascordus were Phrygian. The deities worshipped by the Macedones and the names which they gave to the months were predominantly Greek, and there is no doubt that these were not late borrowings. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fkitselis (talkcontribs) 21:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Understanding the family who bore the name the royal house "Makeo-Thonos"[edit]

There seems to be a great deal of misinformation about who the family was.

Yes the two words that combine to form the name 'Macedonian' are the Archaic Greek words for 'slim' and 'tapered'. This originates from the first king who adopted the name "the slim and tapered king" or "Vasileos Makeo-thonos", leader of the children of Zeus.

In addition, Macedonian does in fact refer to the family itself first, the genetic line that ended with the Ptolemies in Eygpt... and yes Greeks did follow and settled in Alexandria, and they too were mostly Macedonians!

Also, it seems to escape most of the illiterate (and totally uneducated)people who promote the contemporary scandal and provocation on the subject, that Mega - Alexandros (Alexander the Great) was half Epirot Greek (from the Hellenic Kingdom or state of Epirus, which borders the Western-Macedonia prefecture in the Hellenic Democracy {Greece}).

It is important to remember or realize that Northern Greek and Balkan Slavs fought together to remove the Ottoman Empire from the territory of Macedonia. That is the source of the division and there definitely was a diaspora which displaced Macedonian Greeks north of the border, in non historic newly created synthetic countries that now occupy ceded portions of what was left of Greek lands. Those people (dispossessed Greeks), sadly lost their identity for the most part. There is an estimated 90,000 ethnic Macedonians(Greek) minority in the new country of "FYROM" (Skopia,Yugoslavia {also called Bovonia?).

Linguistically, the Macedonian language of dialectical Greek has always been referred to as cutting words to shorter pronunciations. The fact that Macedonian sounded more crude than formal Ionian is part of the reputation that developed in defining Macedonian culture as a fringe Greek society.

One of the most common examples would be:

How are you / (what are you doing)?

(phonetically) In proper Greek: Ti kon-is?

In Macedonian: Ti komps?

{someone can add the Hellenic text characters to that) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.252.0.52 (talk) 09:05, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

The whole wall of text you wrote doesn't contribute by any means to the article. If you want to make a statement, you should post academic material on the issue. Fkitselis (talk) 19:58, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
The user was referring to the syncope characteristic of modern Northern Greek dialects (known as "Northern vocalism"), where unstressed high vowels (u and i) are regularly dropped (see here). I'd like to point out that this feature curiously parallels the Slavic fall of the yers, and thus might be due to close contact with Slavic dialects (like those which formed the basis for Old Church Slavonic, Middle Bulgarian and Modern Macedonian Slavic). Of course, this is about the modern dialect of the area, which has no discernible connection to the ancient language (having arisen centuries, possibly more than a millennium, after ancient Macedonian disappeared), and I doubt that tracing back one of its most typical features back to Slavic influence is a possibility that Greek nationalists feel comfortable with ...
The IP inadvertently brings up a telling point though. In Late Antiquity, Slavic immigrants in northern Greece probably mingled with the pre-existing population to form a genetically mixed but primarily Slavic-speaking population. (Old Church Slavonic was apparently based on the dialects surrounding Thessaloniki, but enriched with Greek words and its grammar was modified after Greek models, and the result was either written in Glagolitic script, structurally modelled after the Greek alphabet although looking very different, or in Cyrillic, which was essentially the contemporary Greek alphabet enriched with special characters for typically Slavic sounds, taken from Glagolitic and adapted to the style of the Greek alphabet.) In the medieval period, Greek came to be spoken in the region again, spreading from the south or east, and much of the region was likely bilingual. This is how the modern Greek dialects arose. The IP is certainly right that the modern borders are artificial and arbitrary and do not follow ethnic or linguistic lines, and that Greek was spoken in what is now FYROM as well, but I doubt that there was any way to cut a clean ethnic line through the locals to separate them into Greeks and Slavs. I don't think they had any ethnic identity, any conscious idea of being either this or that. Especially if (as is likely) many individuals were bilingual anyway and the places where Greeks, Slavs, but also Vlachs etc. lived formed a complex puzzle, looking like a colourful jumble on a map. Religion played a much more important role in deciding people's allegiances, political or otherwise. So the issue is completely moot. Greeks and Slavs have been intimately intertwined for ages, there's no teasing them out.
Academically, all of this has no bearing on the issue of Ancient Macedonian, as there were no Slavs anywhere near Greece in the classical and Hellenistic period. But as we see, despite another IP's insistence further above, many Greeks (and probably Slavs, too) just fail to see the disconnect – and treat this like a pissing contest with the Slavs just who exactly gets to claim Alexander's heritage for themselves, however silly that is ... --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:04, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure I understand very much about this section, if anything at all. This topic is about the ancient Macedonian language and should stay on topic.

Hellenic or Doric[edit]

An anon IP is edit warring over whether Ancient Macedonian was "Hellenic (?)" or "Doric (with no question)". The scholarly literature seems pretty clear and doesn't appear to have changed since the last time we argued this. Unless the anon IP who is edit warring has a more up-to-date reference, the text should remain what the consensus has been for the last several years. --Taivo (talk) 14:39, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

AFAIK the latest paper on the dialect opinion (Crespo 2012), suggests an independend Macedonian dialect. That is to say non Doric. Fkitselis (talk) 19:50, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Hesychius and Properties[edit]

Am I correct in believing that the Hesychius Glosses contained rare words that Hesychius considered dialectic? With regard to the more detailed material in the Talk section, the treatment in the article is rather cursory. The so-called Properties might give the impression of there being special features, especially with some morphology noted by Panayotou being contrasted with 'standard Greek', the definition of which is uncertain, since some of the Macedonian forms (which were not unique or even uncommon) became standard (e.g. the first declension noun grammar and the loss of 'sth' aspiration), or were the standard (e.g. syncope). The proposed 'occasional' examples of voiced aspirates (if that is what they were, which Babiniotis doubts) pronounced as voiced stops are not unique to ancient Macedonian. In any case, of the properties given, none seems exclusive to ancient Macedonian. Ancient Macedonian could be more usefully compared to ancient Epirotan or Thessalian, which are neighbouring forms. Attic is obviously a standard reference but not always a useful comparison. Late Attic itself is quite unusual in its peculiar orthography following the 403BC reform and is also atypical in some of its morphology. Is ancient Macedonian truly special with some such regard, when compared to Epirotan or Thessalian? If so, any such genuine peculiarities should be included in the article. Other than the few interesting Macedonian words in the Glosses, is there something that is especially unique about ancient Macedonian, except of course for the hot air? Skamnelis (talk) 17:02, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I see your point. The article needs a refreshment with recent data, cause right now it feels like we're stuck on 1996. Fkitselis (talk) 18:07, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
In my view, some of the information you posted from linguists, etc, should be included, while the list of idiomatic words need not be so all-inclusive (or could go into a new article on ancient Macedonian glosses). Because of the somewhat misleading notion of "standard Greek", I feel it would be useful to leave examples with cognates in different Greek dialects (especially Epirotan, Thessalian and Northwestern Greek) and, of course, other languages, if there are such examples, rather than aim at a full list of all known idiomatic words. If toponymy is left in, there ought to be a scholarly reference, ideally one using evidence from inscriptions on toponymy, with a comparison of the situation elsewhere. Another potential source for inclusion could be Ancient Macedonian as a Greek dialect: A critical survey on recent work – Julián Méndez Dosuna (2013) in G.K. Giannakis (Ed) Ancient Macedonia: Language, History, Culture. On the question whether ancient Macedonian is Doric (or whether indeed it is Greek), perhaps Herodotus could be included as a relatively primary source, stating that the Macedonians were of the Doric ethnos. His opinion is as valuable as the opinions of modern scholars.Skamnelis (talk) 11:57, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
The (occasional?) occurrence of Beta/Delta/Gamma where other dialects have Phi/Theta/Chi is the defining characteristic of Macedonian and is, as far as I can see, indeed unique to Macedonian if it is only a Greek dialect. Which is exactly why scholars do not all agree that Macedonian is simply a Greek dialect. If this curious (for a Greek dialect) trait were not there, there would be no discussion, basically, point blank. It's the whole point. (Ignoring petty nationalism for the time being, as it has nothing to do with the scholarly discussion – no scholar seriously proposes that Ancient Macedonian was a Slavic language, as far as I'm aware.) Basically, what many scholars have suspected is that there was 1) a Greek dialect in Macedonia and 2) a different, non-Greek language, the indigenous, "real" Macedonian language, which is undocumented but may have affected the Greek dialect by way of loanwords or other interference. This other language might have resembled Balkan languages such as Thracian, or perhaps rather Phrygian, more than Greek.
A roughly analogous situation would be if future scholars knew nothing about Scots and Northumbrian, but occasionally encountered words with ā instead of English ō and other highly unusual (for mainstream English dialects) features in Scottish English. The solution is, of course, that there are two closely related but distinctively different Germanic languages in Scotland, namely Scottish English (which is a mainstream English dialect and not radically different from other mainstream English dialects) and Scots, which is pretty much a different language (an "Anglic" language). Or think of how Swiss German words in Swiss Standard German appear curious even though hardly any typical trait of Swiss German is unique among German dialects. Among the varieties of Standard German, these traits are highly unusual. Or in Northern Germany, an unshifted Low German loanword such as ick or name such as Schreinemakers in Standard German can stick out even though the missing shift k > ch is nothing special for a Germanic language – but for High German dialects, it is absolutely unheard of, special, unique. So if you did not know about Low German and learned that people in Berlin say ick instead of ich, you would say: "What a strange German dialect! No other German dialect fails to shift ick to ich!" It doesn't help to point out that Dutch and Frisian too lack this shift, because they're not German dialects. It's still a trait exclusive to the German dialect of Berlin among (non-Low) German dialects. In the Berlin analogy, "Macedonian Greek" corresponds to the contemporary Berlin dialect, "real (non-Greek) Macedonian" corresponds to the (extinct) local Low German dialect, and Attic Greek corresponds to Standard German.
Of course this does not mean that "real Macedonian" may not have effectively been a dialect of a Balkan language such as Paeonian, Illyrian or Thracian, or relatively closely related to Greek. (Paeonian or the language of the Bryges are the candidates that suggest themselves most as the origin of the non-Greek elements in Macedonia in my opinion, but I'm just guessing.) Who's to say that a Thracian (or whatever) dialect locally spoken in Macedonia does not rightfully deserve the designation "Macedonian" at least as much as some Doric, Northwest Greek (or other Northern Greek) dialect locally spoken in Macedonia? (Likewise, does the indigenous Low German dialect formerly spoken in Berlin not deserve the designation "Berlinisch" at least as much as the contemporary dialect, which is mainly based on High German?) I'm just saying it is more a matter of definition than people may realise. One should also keep in mind the possibility (pointed out by Fktselis above) that differences between Greek and a divergent but closely related regional language could have easily been camouflaged in spelling (a kind of Deckmantelorthographie), rendering native words, names and even whole texts in a superficially Hellenised form not unlike the way speakers of German dialects sometimes render dialect texts word for word as if Standard German in writing (via literal translation and much use of cognates; this may lead to slightly alien or even awkward looking literary German) but may convert the texts back to dialect when reading them out loud. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:24, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
The only serious non-Greek candidate is B/Phrygian, which according to the most quoted source of the last 20 years (Brixhe) could be the reason for the phonological features. Phrygian is the only known language that could be easily camouflaged under a Greek mantle. The Thracian & Illyrian hypothesis are more of faith statements than theories with a basis. Both of those languages are poorly attested, hence a very bad idea to connect them, while most modern skeptic scholars question the dialect designation in terms of attestation. On top of that the Illyrian connection was suggested a) in a time of pan-Illyrian theories, b) by scholars who had an "Illyrian fettish" but no real data (see Bonfante). Why I am saying all these? Because, we're all stuck in very very old scholarship. If we're about to speak based on modern material then we have two main groups: a) Scholars who consider AM a Greek dialect, with various classifications (distinct dialect, Doric etc), b) Scholars who see a kinship with Greek (which could still mean a different sibling language), but won't make any statement before more data is available. The truth could have quantum properties, that is to say depending on the region of Macedon all cases are true. Fkitselis (talk) 21:29, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
That's a good point. Both "ancient Macedonian language" and "ancient Macedon(ia)" (as a region) are ill-defined concepts. So it's (at least!) doubly a matter of definition, especially if there were (as many scholars suspect) both distinct Greek and non-Greek dialects present in the region. (I don't know enough Illyrian and Thracian to be able to tell if the "camouflage theory" is plausible for them; I agree it seems plausible for Phrygian, but then, my Phrygian is quite poor, too. How good is your Phrygian, Illyrian, Thracian, Dacian and Paeonian? :-) ) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:32, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
My Phrygian is quite good actually, because I have a special interest for it :-). For sure it is not a well attested language, not because we lack of inscriptions, but because they are repetitive. However, the situation got much better during the last 15 years, especially after the discovery of the Vezirhan inscription (AKA Germanos inscription). The difference compared to Thracian (that has too some few inscriptions) is that we are able to understand the general context of Phrygian texts. Thracian seems to belong to a different group of languages than Greek and Phrygian. For Illyrian we only know glosses and nothing else. Paeonian... We're lucky to know it's name and that it might have been similar to some languages. However, the key are the names too. Thracian names are distinct and vary depending on the region of Thrace (Bythis, Moukatralis, Auluzenis, Bitoulousos, Kotys, Sese, Abezelmis). Phrygians on the other hand, could have names not very different from Greeks. Some examples: Ermolaos, Akmonia, Ekataea, Benagonos, Poukros, Myksos, Yrgitos, Kallyriates to name a few. Fkitselis (talk) 20:41, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
My impression is the same. Thracian (with an Armenian-like stop shift?), Dacian (very close to Albanian, per Duridanov?) and possibly Illyrian (close to Messapic?) seem to be satem languages, which I think does contribute to the impression of greater dissimilarity. (Paeonian does seem close to Greek, and scholars share this impression; Dysoros, if it is genuinely Paeonian and not a hybrid name, and if the interpretation is correct, would seem to confirm this, and in any case, Agrianes seems to point towards kentum, although it's before r so possibly not conclusive, in view of Weise's law and similar later depalatalisations in Albanian, Armenian and Balto-Slavic.) I wouldn't be surprised if (as I have suggested before) non-Greek Macedonian was closer to B/Phrygian (and Paeonian?) than to Greek. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:45, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
In view of p. 69 (on the bottom), Macedonia was probably inhabited by tribes that spoke Greek as well as tribes that spoke "Para-Phrygian" dialects. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:58, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
That is probably the most safe hypothesis I believe. However, I don't know what to say about Paeonian. Practically it is almost non-existent. About Thracian and Illyrian I agree. They seem to be satem (Thracian at least). However, that is not the main problem. They are very different in their lexicon. It is funny how people concluded immediately that those two were the candidates (instead of a Phrygian-like remnant) regarding the Macedonian phonology, when many IE-languages share such a phonology, but not the lexicon. Fkitselis (talk) 08:02, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Sadly, I have no knowledge of Phrygian, and I am grateful for the introduction. Indeed, the consonant shift may be the most interesting characteristic. However, except for the preference for Berenike rather than Pherenike, it is not the norm, it rather seems an exception. In fact ΒΙΛΙΠΠΟΣ is very rare, I think ΒΙΛΑ occurs only once (the Pella Katadesmos has mostly ΦΙΛΟΙ, etc) and some of the other words that we have with a substitution seem not the norm. I understand that Babiniotis' view is that there was a kind of spelling confusion, in the way we have ΗΙΕΡΑ and ΓΕΡΑ or ΗΟΡΟΣ and ΧΩΡΟΣ or instances of iotacism. Besides, we have ΒΑΛΛΑΚΡΑΔΕΣ from the Argolid, ΒΑΛΑΚΡΟΣ in early Attic, ΒΩΝΗΜΑ from the Laconic, ΑΔΡΙΑ from Epirotan and ΚΕΒΛΕΠΥΡΙΣ in Aristophanes, so these consonant shifts are not unique to Macedonian either. FKitselis, moreover, brought up the point of vocabulary. The litmus test is whether Greeks understood the language as Greek and Herodotus at least classes Macedonian and Doric as a single ethnos. Ancient Macedonian is also very similar to the Greek of the Dodona inscriptions, except for the discussed but rare consonant shift.Skamnelis (talk) 09:43, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Good that you mention Dodona. Dosuna (2007, 2012) brings it up in his monographs where he discusses the existence of K in Κεβαλινός, where Γεβαλινός (PIE *gʰebʰ(e)l-, OHG gebal) would be expected if Macedonian followed the Phrygian (or Thracian) phonology. With that he takes the discussion to a completely other level. Fkitselis (talk) 15:38, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
True, but with the close intermingling of Macedonian (whatever it was) and various forms of Greek it is hard to rule out the possibility that a genuine **γεβ° was replaced by κεβ° on the model of Greek, once the equivalence of Greek φ and (sometimes?) Macedonian β (on any level) was established, or a Greek κεφ° was simply "Macedonified" superficially (analogous things, i. e., hypercorrections, happen when, for example, Low German, Bavarian and other German dialects are translated, or rather transposed, into High German superficially, or vice versa; or think Scots, Jamaican Patois etc. vs. Standard English, Occitan vs. French, Italian dialects vs. Standard Italian, Portuguese vs. Spanish and the like, in bilingual speakers). So this example has never convinced me either of the full Hellenicity of Macedonian. Lexemes like ἀδῆ rather than simply **αἰδήρ (which we would expect if Macedonian was simply a Greek dialect replacing – regularly or irregularly, phonetically or only graphically – φ with β, θ with δ and χ with γ, whatever the precise pronunciation) are hard to understand from a Greek point of view and look definitely alien. Indeed, the loss of -r after a lengthened grade ē in a final syllable (the product of Szemerényi's law) is reminiscent of Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian, while it just doesn't occur in Greek and I don't know any ancient Greek dialects with loss of final ρ in any way (at least I haven't encountered this phenomenon in any dialect). Granted, it doesn't look like Phrygian either: Based on ματαρ, you'd expect **αἰδᾶρ.
So it's not only the mediae aspiratae that make Macedonian material look un-Greek (at least sometimes). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:46, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Florian, you seem to assume that "Macedonian" is a priori a pre-existing non-Greek language, which is not warranted given that the word is not known to have been used by a people preceding the historical Macedonians, whose only attested written language was Greek. Dosuna has found similarities with neighbouring Thessalian Greek, on which he is probably the best expert. Greek is not a diversified form of Attic. In terms of its revised spelling system, Attic is certainly a latecomer. In any case, the same types of rare substitutions are found elsewhere in Greek. Κεβλέπυρις, found in Aristophanes, was a word in Attic, it was not a Macedonian word. It is difficult to see why the Athenians would have hypercorrected from γεβ- to κεβ-.Skamnelis (talk) 19:37, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Macedonian κἄ = κἄ, Crasis...[edit]

The wikipedia page lists under "Hesychius Glossary" the following lemma:

"κἄ, Crasis kai and, together, simultaneously + anô up (anôchmon hortatory password"

in the "Edit" section of the page, I tried to find the source for the apparent claim that κἄ is a Macedonian word, according to Hesychius: I couldn't find any: all the links I found took me to irrelevant pages on perseus concerning crasis--but not specifically on the supposedly Macedonian word κἄ.

I also tried to find Macedonian κἄ in the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae database of ancient Greek texts, to no avail: none of the four ka's I found was explicitly linked to Macedonian.

And yet, it would be logical that "ka" could have simply meant 'and' in Macedonian = the Greek counterpart of 'kai' = 'and', since Macedonian ἀδῆ = Greek αἰθήρ, which would make the question of 'crasis' irrelevant.

Can anyone help in tracking down the source for putative Macedonian κἄ, since I'm unable to find it in Hesychius' Glossary?

Thanks, G.S. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.247.135.187 (talk) 05:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Κἄ occurs in other regions as a variant of καἰ. As far as I can tell the word is not in Hesychius (http://archive.org/stream/hesychiialexand00schmgoog#page/n421/mode/2up). It is also not in the index of the Glosses and I could also not find κάνωχμον. Also Hesychius has as a third option for κάραβος: 'the sea creature' (obviously implying καραβίς, the crayfish). The article rather has 'a sea creature' (Attic 'crayfish, prickly crustacean; stag-beetle'). Someone, indeed, needs to go over the Hesychius list in this article.Skamnelis (talk) 15:35, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

What evidence is there that Macedonians were speaking a non-Greek dialect in the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries BC?[edit]

If there is none, we need to dramatically change the opening paragraph. Reaper7 (talk) 22:00, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Hellenic Question Mark or just on its own[edit]

Alexander the Great and the rest of ancient Macedon's mother tongue could not have been Greek. While Alexander enjoyed a Greek education and adopted Greek as the language of his empire, you cannot say that the Ancient Macedonian is Greek, it's like suggesting that the Irish and the Indians are really British because they have adopted English for administrative purposes.

Many scholars have concluded that the ancient Macedonian language was not a Greek dialect and that it was more or less related to the languages of Macedonia's northern neighbors, the Illyrians and the Thracians (therefore being 'unclassified'. These scholars include Muller and Mayer, writing in the nineteenth century, and Thumb, Thumb-Kieckers, Vasmer, Kacarov, Beshevljev, Budimir, Pisani, Russu, Baric, Poghirc, Chantraine, Katicic, and Nerosnak, writing in the twentieth. Not a single sentence has been found in Ancient Macedonian, so it seems plausible that it remains 'unclassified' or with a Hellenic question mark (Hellenic ?)

If the Macedonian language was recognized as Greek, and understood by Greeks, you would expect that this was the language used by the Macedonian kings in a formal or legal context. But it was not.

We know with some certainty that Attic Greek, which came from much farther south and was being used in other parts of the world as a trade language, was used more and more as the language of state and used also in Alexander's multi-cultural army. No linguist accepts that this language was the original Macedonian. So we have clear evidence that the Greek used by the Macedonians was a new language. Therefore one cannot argue that the use of this language proves any linguistic associations between the original Macedonians and Greeks.

Assumptions that a nation is essentially defined by a language and that a common language implies a common nationhood is incorrect. Telling an American that they are English because they speak English, or an Indian because they speak English, will get possibly offend them and they will defend that claim vigorously.


The ancient Macedonian kruna meaning 'crown'. Is present in the modern Macedonian language as 'kruna' with it in Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian being (respectively) stemma, Tsvorn, korona


Why is this not mentioned, with its similarity to modern Macedonian, not just Greek?


Considering the use of Greek as the language of command in Alexander's armies, R.A. Crossland concludes that this development was a matter of administrative efficiency. Although it was the Macedonians who had to learn Greek at first, the same requirement was made of at least some of his Persian troops after many conquests. For a long while Alexander thought that Greek was the best language to use as the common medium of communication among the peoples of his empire, "and not because Macedonian was similar to it."

Toynbee presents other arguments based on linguistic analysis to support his contention that the Macedonians were native Greek speakers. He asserts that Macedonian is Greek based on the "Greekness" of the word "Makedones" and its variant "Makednoi," Macedonian place names, the names of the members of the Argead house, all recorded Macedonian personal names, the names of Macedonian from Upper Macedonia, the names of the Upper Macedonian cantons, the names of the Macedonian months, the majority of which he claims as Greek. Though at first glance this kind of analysis seems weighty, the counter-arguments are at least as powerful.

An issue that we have to deal with here is what constitutes a "Greek name." It is generally accepted that Indo-European Greeks, Illyrians, Thracians and others settled in the Balkan Peninsula in the fourth, third, and second millennium B.C. As we will see later in more detail, it has been argued that only 40 to 50 percent of the vocabulary of Greek is Indo-European in origin and that 80 percent of its proper names cannot be explained as Indo-European.9 At least two possibilities might explain the presence of such linguistic forms in ancient Greek. One is that pre-Hellenic cultures were non-Indo-European and that the Greek newcomers adopted many proper names and other words from those peoples. Alternatively, the words might have been introduced by conquerors and settlers from the Levant and from Egypt in the second millennium B.C. In either case it is quite possible that such words came into Macedonian and other Balkan languages in the very same way. Thus both languages might have borrowed from others. If we favor the modern view that the pre-Hellenic influences in Greek are non-Indo-European, and we take into account the observed fact that place names often tend to last through conquest and assimilation, its would be reasonable to assume that some of the supposed "Greek" place names found in the "Macedonian" language are in fact pre-Hellenic names.

Two kinds of evidence would help us to conclude that Macedonian was a dialect of Greek. Firstly, we would have to be able to observe or reconstruct its sound system and morphology in a way that would reveal any similarities to recognized ancient Greek dialects, and any contrasts to other Indo-European languages. Secondly, we would have to know whether speakers of most of those Greek dialects could understand and be understood by Macedonians. But none of the necessary evidence is available. The lexical items thought to be Macedonian are too few and uncertain for any useful reconstructions of the language's sound system or morphology, and no Greek writer of the fifth or fourth century B.C. states explicitly whether Greek speakers such as the Athenians could understand the native speech of the Macedonians. Crossland says that these Greeks seemed to have had no difficulty in communicating with the Macedonian court, but this is probably because the royal family of Macedonia, and perhaps most of the nobility, spoke Attic Greek fluently. At home with their families or with their own clansmen they probably used their native tongue,


We do not know either what form of "international" Greek speech might have been used in Macedonia since there are no substantial inscriptions in Greek from Macedonia earlier than the third century. The Greek speech used might have been Attic or an early form of the koine deriving from it that was already spoken even more widely in the Balkans before Alexander's conquest of the Persian Empire


For instance, the word "tshelniku" which translated in English means foremost is a very interesting case. The British historian Hammond mentioned its etymology and said that the word "tshelniku" in the ancient Macedonian language had a meaning of "leader of a group". Hammond says that this word was translated into Greek only in the 14th century as "phylarchos" Another word that is also very interesting in this regard is the word "phoinikos", which is related to the warfare. Indubitable this word is very much alike the contemporary Macedonian word "voinik" meaning "soldier". There could be a little doubt that these words have a common origin. Why is this so? In the ancient Greek language the consonant "v" did not exist. The conclusion is imminent that the true pronunciation of the word "phoinikos" would be "voinikos" ("ph" replaced with "v"). In addition to this, as established earlier in this text, ancient Greeks added the suffix "os" to a lot of non-Greek words they recorded. If the word "phoinikos" had been subjected to the "Interpretato Graeca" phenomenon i.e. if the suffix "os" had been added to this non-Greek word, by taking out the Greek suffix we arrive at the contemporary Macedonian word "voinik" (soldier). Not only the pronunciation, but also the etymology of the word "voinik" is very similar to that of the word "phoinikos" and is located in the domain of warfare.

There are also more words of comparison which should be included in the article, I wll be changing the page to indicate a question mark over Hellenic and removal of sources due to REASONABLE doubt. Luxure (talk) 00:31, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Please do not remove reliable sources based on your own original research. It is established academic consensus that the Ancient Macedonian language was in no way historically related to Slavic Macedonian. Thank you. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 02:40, 18 September 2014 (UTC)