Talk:Griko dialect

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Griko vs Grico[edit]

I don't know which is the best spelling in latin characters; Griko or Grico. I preferred the latter, as it resembles more to the italian Greco.

GoogleFight, though, seems to think different:

  • Griko: 3260 results
  • Grico: 2720 results

So Griko is more popular on the net...

Etz Haim 21:18, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

"Minoranze linguistice Grike dell Etnia Griko-Salentina"... see that? So the Italian state has recognized the minority under that name. This means I'm also going to use Griko instead of Grico from now on.

Etz Haim 00:03, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Griko, Ancient and Modern Greek[edit]

User:Wetman made his point on the page by adding:

The latter is backed by evidence regarding the multitude of Doric words and other ancient Greek items of vocabulary in Griko; however, Griko and modern Greek are mutually intelligible, whereas Ancient greek and Modern Greek are not, as many a European scholar on vacation has discovered.

Besides being unfair to Gerhard Rohlfs, this also contradicts my experience as a native Greek speaker, who can understand well enough both Ancient Greek and Griko. See also what other people have to say on the Greek language article:

Its interintelligibility with ancient Greek is a matter of debate. It is claimed that a "reasonably well educated" speaker of the modern tongue can read the ancient dialects, but it is not made plain how much of that education consists of exposure to vocabulary and grammar obsolete in normal communication.

I think that the "reasonably well educated" standard is met by large portions of the Greek population, who at least have a head start towards the comprehension of antique forms of the Greek language.

And finally, the Griko and Modern Greek sample texts are here to testify for the intelligibility between these two languages.

Etz Haim 15:05, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Griko-speaking population[edit]

The demographics section of the main Italy article mentions 20,000 Griko-speaking people (at first it read "Greek") in both Apulia (Salento) and Calabria, but my sources tell me that they are 40,000. I'd honestly like to find which one is true. Also, I have to note that I'm not sure if the minority in Calabria is recognized by the Italian state, therefore it may be unlikely that it was ever included in a census.

Etz Haim 18:00, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, it seems that my sources were correct. I went through the Italian Wikipedia and came across these numbers:

That makes a total of 40,946 inhabitants in Grecìa Salentina only.

Etz Haim 22:52, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Dear Etz Haim,

In 1999 the Italian government published data, which said that the Greek minority in Italy comprises of 20 000 people. I'm not saying that these data are correct and yours are wrong. But the table contains the official data provided by the Italian government (as it is mentioned below the table), so I reverted your change of number of speakers, so as not to let you spoof as the Italian government ;) Maybe we should put a note below the table, something like "the number of Griko speakers is probably underestimated; that source claims that they are 40 000", etc. But I guess the number of 40 000 is the number of inhabitants of Salentinian Greece rather than the number of Griko speakers. Not everyone in the area necessarily speaks Griko. Kind regards. Boraczek 09:45, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well you are right about the source of the data. In fact I had second thoughts myself about changing the table on the Italy page. What also concearns me is that I don't know whether the Italian government has included the Griko-speaking people in Calabria in their census. I know that sometime before 1999 the minority in Salento was recognized by the Italian parliament, but I'm not sure about the Calabrian one. Cheers. Etz Haim 14:14, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The government included both groups. They specified that the Greek minority lived in the provinces of Reggio Calabria and Lecce. Boraczek 14:36, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Doric origin?[edit]

Can anybody cite any sources, or better give examples, for Griko's ancient Doric origin? Any phonological or lexical distinctive features that are common for Doric and Griko but not for Attic / Modern Greek? --BishkekRocks 23:30, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Andriotis and Hadjidakis are two examples, but I'm sure I can find much more, after all it's the widely accepted theory. Do you also want specific quotes? Miskin 02:06, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually I'm just curios if there are any significant features in Griko that make it clearly Doric. For example the ancient Doric dialect has alpha in many places where Attic (and modern Greek) have eta. Example: "Mother" is ἁ ματήρ in Doric, ἡ μητήρ in Attic and η μητέρα in modern Greek. So would the Griko word be based on the Doric or Attic / modern Greek version? Or are there other examples? --BishkekRocks 15:50, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes Griko, like Tsakonian, has those characteristic. But I'm not sure I understand your question. I'll cite an example of Doricism in Griko as soon as I get access to my book. Miskin 16:08, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Hello, Griko is not a doric-derived Greek language even if a few doric elements could be found. As correclty reported on Greek_dialects Grecanic languages (Calabrian one and Salento's Greek, also known as Griko) are derived from koine and byzantine-Greek. Possibly the Grecanic-speaking communities have ancient roots as other Greek regions where doric dialect was spoken, however they didn't remain apart from the Greek world during the first Middle Ages. I think we should correct the language tree but I am not an expert of wikipedia. Frangisko 09:36, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

They didn't remain apart as Byzantine Greeks were dominant in the region until the 11th century. However the Graecanic languages have clearly ancient Doric origin as well as medieval Koine influence. I'll point this out in the article. I think if we had to decide on one root, that must have been the Doric. Miskin 12:05, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm really sorry, but I must disagree. Please report specific quotes with examples, you are welcome to discuss this issue on
Stasu kalò!
Frangisko 14:06, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

"Archaisms (in kato-italika): The frequent preservation of the Doric 'long alpha' in the place of eta, (e.g.) asamo=asemos, lano=lenos, nasida=nesida, pafta=pechte, etc..." (Andriotis, History of the Greek language).
He earlier states Chatzidakes was the first linguist to point out Griko's roots going back to Doric. Miskin 16:12, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Allèrga-su! The Hatzidakis and Rohlfs hypotheses have been harshly disputed by Italian scholars, surely also for nationalistic reasons but with good evidences. I'm not a fan of Italian scholars and I do believe that some archaisms are really present in Griko, but not Doric archaisms except from a few words. I'm speaking for the variation I know, the Salento's grecanic, not for Calabrian one that according to some scholars have a little more archaism but frequently attic-like (legusi=λέγουσι). I never heard words like nasida, asamo... I can try to compare some Doric characteristics with Griko, I found them here.

Vocalism 1. Preservation of long ā (α) where Attic/Koine change it to long open ē (η), as in γᾶ μάτηρ (gā mātēr) "earth mother" — Attic/Koine γῆ μήτηρ (gē mētēr).

GRIKO: 99% of H are pronounced as “i” (μήλον > milon, ήλιος > ijios , γή > ghì, ecc.)

2. Contraction ae > η (ē) instead of Attic/Koine ᾱ (ā).

Don’t know, I need some exaples

3. Original eo, ea > ιο, ια (io, ia) in certain Doric dialects.

Also here I need examples.

4. Certain Doric dialects ("severe Doric") have η, ω (ē, ō) for the "spurious diphthongs" Attic/Koine ει, ου (ei, ou) (i.e. secondary long ē, ō due to contraction or compensatory lengthening. The most prominent examples are genitive singular in -ω (-ō) = -ου (-ou), accusative plural in -ως (-ōs) = -ους (-ous) and the infinitive in -ην (-ēn) = -ειν (-ein).

Genitive singular in Griko= tu = του

Accusative plural= tus = τους

Difficult to say for ei that is now mostly “i” like modern greek.

5. Short α (a) = Attic/Koine ε in certain words: ἱαρός (hiaros), Ἄρταμις ('*Artamis), γα (ga), αἰ (ai)

GRIKO: ουδέν γε > denghie (not denghia)

Consonantism 1. Preservation of -τι (-ti) where Attic/Koine have -σι (-si). The most prominent examples are: 1) third person singular of the μι-verbs -ti: e.g. φατί (phāti) — Attic/Koine φησί(ν) (phēsi(n)); 2) third person singular of the present and the subjunctive -nti: e.g. λέγoντι (legonti) — Attic/Koine λέγουσι(ν) (legousi(n)); 3) "twenty" Fίκατι (wīkati) — Attic/Koine εἴκοσι(ν) (eikosi(n)); and 4) the hundreds in -katioi: e.g. τριακάτιοι (triākatioi) — Attic/Koine τριακόσιοι (triākosioi).

GRIKO (most) = legun(e) = Modern Greek λέγουν(ε)

CALABRIAN GREEK and some SALENTO villages = legusi = ATTIC λέγουσι

GRIKO= ìkosi (είκοσι), triakòsci (τριακόσιοι)

2. Preservation of double -σσ- (-ss-) before a vowel where Attic/Koine have -σ- (-s-), e.g. μέσσος (messos) before a vowel where Attic/Koine have μέσος (mesos).

GRIKO: mèsa (μέσα)

3. Preservation of initial w (F) which is lost in Attic/Koine. E.g. Fοῖκος (woikos) — Attic/Koine οἶκος (oikos). The literary text in Doric and the inscriptions from the Hellenistic age have no digamma.

GRIKO: None or very very limited signs of digamma

4. ξ (x) in the aorists and futures of verbs ending in -ίζω, -άζω (-izō, -azō) where Attic/Koine have σ (s). E.g. ἀγωνίξατο (agōnisato) — Attic/Koine ἀγωνίσατο (agōnisato). Similarly κ (k) before suffixes beginning with t.

GRIKO: subjonctif and aorist with sigma in verbs ending with –izo and –azo.

Morphology 1. The numeral τέτορες (tetores) "four" instead of Attic/Koine τέτταρες (τέσσαρες) (tettares (tessares)).

GRIKO= tèssari, tèssara

2. The numeral πρᾶτος (prātos) "first" instead of Attic/Koine πρῶτος (prōtos).

GRIKO: first = pronò < πρωτινός

3. The demonstrative pronoun τῆνος (tēnos) "this" instead of Attic/Koine (ἐ)κεῖνος ((e)keinos)

GRIKO: (e)cinos = (ε)κείνος

4. Nominative plural of the article and the demonstrative pronoun τοί (toi), ταί (tai), τοῦτοι (toutoi), ταῦται (tautai) instead of Attic/Koine οἱ (hoi), αἱ (hai), οὗτοι (houtoi), αὗται (hautai)

GRIKO: article “i” or “e” (οι, αι)

GRIKO: tusi (τουσοι) but also modern Greek dialects= τούτοι

5. The ending of the third person plural of the athematic ("root") preterite is -n, not -san, e.g. ἔδον (edon) — Attic/Koine ἔδοσαν (edosan)

Not sure of pertinence, however in Griko fonàstisa(n) (they called them selves)

6. First person plural in -μες where Attic/Koine have -μεν.

GRIKO: -me (like modern Greek)

7. Future in -σε-ω (-se-ō) instead of Attic/Koine -σ-ω (-s-ō), e.g. πραξῆται (prāxētai) instead of Attic/Koine πράξεται (prāxetai).

Future lost in Griko, subj in –so (-σω)

8. Modal particle κα (ka) instead of Attic/Koine ἄν (an). NB Doric αἴ κα, αἰ δέ κα, αἰ τίς κα (ai ka, ai de ka, ai tis ka) = Attic/Koine ἐάν (ἄν), ἐὰν δέ (ἂν δέ), ἐάν τις (ἄν τις) ((e)an, (e)an de, (e)an tis).

As far as I remember, not signs of this ka…

9. Temporal adverbs in -κα (-ka) instead of Attic/Koine -τε (-te): ὄκα (hoka), τόκα (toka).

GRIKO: tota(n), pota(n), ote… there’s “a” but also always “t”…

10. Local adverbs in -ει (-ei) instead of Attic/Koine -ου (-ou): τεῖδε (teide), πεῖ (pei).

GRIKO: pu = που, ttù (here)

Special words 1. λέω (λείω) (le(i)ō) "will"; δράω (draō) "do", πάομαι (paomai) = κτάομαι (ktaomai) "acquire"

GRIKO: mmmm nothing sounds similar… the Griko's lexicon is very similar to koine Greek (i.e. atzarin for fish < opsarion)

finally, It seems to me that Griko is an Attic/Koine-based language, mostly corresponding to medieval Greek, with some archaisms possibly due to eventual residual Greek communities survived after the 4th century BC. These archaisms are mostly related to Attic Greek, except from few Doric ones.
for Tsakonian, this maybe really a Doric-based dialect and it is very very different from Griko (I understand nearly nothing of Takonian).
stasite kalì,
Frangisko 21:10, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Uhm, the preservation of the 'Doric long alpha' in some words, but its non-preservation in most of the lexicon, indicates that the words with the Doric outcome are loanwords from a Doric substrate, but not that the language in its entirety is directly derived from Doric. It would be strange to assume, as well, that a language A could influence a language B so much that it becomes actually intelligible to speakers of language A (that's not even the case in mixed languages, for all I know). Except, of course, if language B has in fact been replaced by language A.
Also, it would mean that Griko and Tsakonian should be to some degree mutually intelligible, which they do not seem to be at all.
In fact, Nick Nicholas states here on page 490 that, contrary to the article and contrary to User:Miskin, the current, accepted scientific consensus is against Doric. Florian Blaschke 18:01, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Griko sample text[edit]


I'm very doubtful on the orthography of Griko sample text, the first lines of the song "Matinata" by Vito Domenico Palumbo, widely known as "kalinifta". Greek characters are not used by Grecanics except from experimental purpose or in books addressed to Greeks. Surely the author has written his text with latin characters, I have a version here: but I'm not so sure that this is the very original version (but it must be very near). Therefore the text with Greek characters seems to me a "Modern Greek transliteration" especially because of the use of TS for chee/cha.

Stasite kalì

Frangisko 21:58, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Greek Dialect of Cargèse[edit]

Is it similar to Griko? Informationskampagne (talk) 11:09, 11 March 2012 (UTC)