Differences between ancient and modern Greek
Differences between ancient and modern Greek :
The Greek civilization is one of the very first civilizations to see the dawn of the world and the Greek language too has been well around since time immemorial. Yet, one would assume that the modern Greece would still speak the kind of Greek that used to be spoken during those days and yet, this would be a very wrong assumption to make.
What is ancient Greek?
Ancient Greek has history which runs as far as the second century BC and it is the language that has been spoken during the Archaic, classic and the Hellenistic periods. It is known for its rich vowel system and the clear length distinction in vowels and consonants.
What is modern Greek?
Modern Greek, also known as Romaic or Neo-Hellenic, is the language that is being spoken in Greece today. Although modern features of the Greek language were displayed even from the 3rd century, the modern Greek became popular after the decline of Byzantine Empire in 1453. Modern Greek is based on the Demotic and it has been derived from the ancient Greek and yet, they are very different. Modern Greece has a simple vowel system of five vowels and one does not see a clear length voice distinction in vowels and consonants. Also, it is only composed of two sequence fricatives.
What is the difference between modern Greek and ancient Greek?
While ancient Greek has obviously shaped, modeled and given birth to the modern Greek and it had taken approximately 3000 years for this overall process. Greek, either ancient or modern Greek is considered as a classical language which belongs to the Indo-European language family.
While ancient Greek was known for its rich vowel system, the modern Greek only possesses five vowels which makes up a simpler system. Also, the clear length distinction in vowels and consonants in ancient Greek is not seen in modern Greek as well.
Ancient Greek boasted of a optative mood, dative class, dual number and infinitive which were markings of pride of the Greek those golden days and yet, the modern Greek has abandoned those features. There existed no future and conditional tenses in the ancient Greek and yet, the modern Greek has adapted those keeping up with the times and also introduced the auxiliary verb anew to the language. Yet, someone fluent of the modern Greek is considered to be able to understand 50% of the ancient Greek which still indicates that there is a significant amount of similarities in the two languages.
In exploring the two languages, one would note that each has certain grammatical, syntactical, phonological and semantic differences which set them apart. Modern Greek is more up to date whereas ancient Greek still lives through the scriptures, various tablets and the great pieces of literature that were written during that golden age of art, sculpture and literature.