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A problem and a question

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A problem and a question

Postby renaissancemedici » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:53 am

I know this is silly in so many ways, but I'll ask anyway.

Is there a way (a dictionary perhaps) that might help me with using era appropriate words?

By era, I mean everything between 1st c. AD and say 15th c. ? I know this is broad, I know people used different language according to education, class etc. I'd like what is called Μεσαιωνική Ελληνική Δημὠδης Γλώσσα. Of course, this term brings to mind more 10th c., so it's not koine, which I also like a lot.

Ok, I am confused. That's why I am asking this.

For example I wanted to say "spring" in another post, so I said εαρ, but then I also used ανοιξις, but when did that word start to mean spring and not opening... you get the point.

Is there a way to pinpoint a certain era, or am I doomed to use words (and grammar!) in a frankenstein sort of way? I wouldn't want to create monsters, would I? This is the kind of thing that led to katharevousa, a style that (with few brilliant exceptions like Παπαδιαμάντης ) produced awful, awful things.

Here is a link http://www.greek-language.gr/greekLang/medieval_greek/kriaras/index.html

Any ideas?
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Re: A problem and a question

Postby Scribo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:39 am

Well personally I'd relax a bit about monsters, its bound to happen some way or another if the language is used communicatively. Secondly it's not *quite* what you're looking for but there is the following two volume dictionary: E. A Sophocles (1914) "Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (from B.C 146 to A.D 110)" Harvard Uni. Press.

It's available as cheap reprints or for download via places like archive.org. I falls a few hundred years short but I'm not sure off the top of my head what exists for the latter end of the period you've specified. Note that the dictionary is out dated in aspects of its approach: It focuses on literature and literary production with the colloquial language via inscriptions, graffiti etc minimised. Regardless, it remains an impressively solid work of scholarship and should be very very helpful. I'm sure we can find something closer to your needs but I doubt anything much better than this will turn up.

Link: https://archive.org/details/cu31924021609395
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Re: A problem and a question

Postby renaissancemedici » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:01 am

From B. C. 146 to A. D. 1100 is perfect!

Thank you very much. I have already downloaded it :D
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Re: A problem and a question

Postby Scribo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:44 am

You're welcome. I'm not sure how much better more modern works would be actually, I know I've often used this for imperial era literature. Quite rigorous. Besides Sophocles was a great character, he wrote several books/articles across the whole breadth of the language and some of his comments were telling. This is a man who would happily say Korais didn't know his grammar, was tired of katherevousa/dimotiki debate (and happy to say so), preferred "Rwmaika" to "Ellinika" as a name because he was wholly descriptivist rather than perscriptivist, was happy to call out the excesses of German scholarship (a whole book on a particle?! please...). Legend.
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Re: A problem and a question

Postby renaissancemedici » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:53 am

I already like him :)

I googled him, because didn't know anything about him. Which is strange...

I will look more into his works. Thank you for this.

Edit: I am officially a fan. Did I miss hearing about him at school or somewhere else?
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Re: A problem and a question

Postby Scribo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:25 pm

Image

Look at that beard, that is a beard that comes from pouring over grammars and lexica. One day that will be more on a dept. website I hope.

As for having not heard of him. No idea actually, I stumbled across him only after having delved into the history of the discipline. Despite being more than competent by the standards of his time he doesn't seem to be well known. Nor does he turn up in the language debate in Greece without some semi-serious digging. I wonder how many other such figures there are.
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Re: A problem and a question

Postby renaissancemedici » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:28 pm

I am not surprised though. He was probably spoiling the fun of certain people of his time with all his rwmeika and byzantion talk, and the Korais grammar thing :lol:

I will definitely read through his books. Being a Harvard professor is certainly something.
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