Standard Languages and Language Standards – Greek, Past and Present

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  • Edited by Alexandra Georgakopoulou and Michael Silk, King's College London, UK
  • Series: Publications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College London: 12
  • Standard Languages and Language Standards: Greek, Past and Present is a collection of essays with a distinctive focus and an unusual range. It brings together scholars from different disciplines, with a variety of perspectives, linguistic and literary, historical and social, to address issues of control, prescription, planning and perceptions of value over the long history of the Greek language, from the age of Homer to the present day. Under particular scrutiny are the processes of establishing a standard and the practices and ideologies of standardization. The diverse points of reference include: the Hellenistic koine and the literary classics of modern Greece; lexicography in late antiquity and today; Byzantine Greek, Pontic Greek and cyber-Greek; contested educational initiatives and competing understandings of the Greek language; the relation of linguistic study to standardization and the logic of a standard language.

    The aim of this ambitious project is not a comprehensive chronological survey or an exhaustive analysis. Rather, the editors have set out to provide a series of informed overviews and snapshots of telling cases that both illuminate the history of the Greek language and explore the nature of language standardization itself. The volume will be important for students and scholars of the Greek language, past and present, and, beyond the Greek example, for sociolinguists, historians and social scientists with interests in the role of language in the construction of identities.
  • Contents: Foreword; Introduction: Greek language-standardizing, past, present and future, Alexandra Georgakopoulou; Part I Establishing a Standard: The invention of Greek: Macedonians, poets and others, Michael Silk; The Greek koine and the logic of a standard language, Stephen Colvin; Primary education teaching in a non-standard language as a tool of social and national integration: the case of vernacular Greek, 1923–30, George Kritikos; Greek with no models, history or standard: Muslim pontic Greek, Pietro Bortone. Part II Standardization Practices: The lexica of the 2nd sophistic: safeguarding Atticism, Claudia Strobel; Grammatical metaphor and the function of participles in high-register versions of the Life of Aesop, Chrystalla Thoma; Orthographic standardization of the modern Greek classics: gain and loss, David Ricks; Correcting the courtroom cat: editorial assaults on Cavafy's poetry, Anthony Hirst; Modern Greek dictionaries and the ideology of standardization, Assimakis Tseronis and Anna Iordanidou; Greek in Cyprus: identity oscillations and language planning, Dimitra Karoulla-Vrikki; 'Greeklish': transliteration practice and discourse in the context of computer-mediated digraphia, Jannis Androutsopoulos. Part III Ideologies and Contestations: A tradition of anomaly: towards the regularization of the Greek language, Emmanuel Kriaras; Mother and daughters, roots and branches: modern Greek perceptions of the relationship between the ancient and modern languages, Peter Mackridge; Constructing a science of language: linguistics and politics in 20th-century Greece, Effi Gazi; 'Language issues' after the 'language question': on the modern standards of standard modern Greek, Spiros Moschonas; Competing ideologies and post-diglossia Greek: analysing the discourse of contemporary' myth-breakers', Dionysis Goutsos; Korais and the 2nd sophistic: the Hellenistic novel as paradigm for a modern literary language, Roderick Beaton; Indexes.
  • About the Editor: Alexandra Georgakopoulou is Reader in Modern Greek Language & Linguistics, and Michael Silk is Professor of Classics, both at King's College, London, UK
  • Reviews: ‘…this is an important volume, which contains papers by many well-known scholars of ancient and modern Greek. ...[it] will be very useful to everyone interested in the history of the Greek language, especially on topics relating to language standardization and 'diglossia', in both the koine and modern Greek.’ Bryn Mawr Classical Review