The Greeks were one of the first races to devise a language system. The Ancient Greek Language of the Greeks has been there since about 750 BC. That makes the ancient Greek language 2750 years old.
Ancient Greek Language Alphabet
The language of the ancient Greeks was derived from the Canaanite / Phoenician alphabet. The letter names which constituted of the Greek alphabet were derived from Phoenician. The original names of the letters were not retained. For example, the word alpha comes from the Canaanite word aleph which means ox and beta come from Beth meaning house.
Initially, the different cities of Greece used different alphabets. These were identified as local alphabets. The local alphabets were called epichoric.
Epichoroics can be divided into 3 subdivisions:
But these alphabets were soon replaced by Ionic alphabets in the 4th century BC. The modern-day Greek alphabets resemble the Ionic alphabets greatly. The minuscule letters and the lower case letters appeared much later, around 800AD.
What were the prominent features of the ancient Greek language?
1. In written language, the Greeks were the first one to include vowels.
2. The sentences were written either from right to left or from left to right. It was a horizontal pattern. It was only during 500 BC that they started writing from left to right in a horizontal pattern.
3. Diacritics were introduced in the language. They represented the stress and relaxation of the alphabets. This change was brought about in 200 BC.
4. Sigma contained a special meaning. It was used at the end of the word.
The Greek language is an Indo European language which is spoken by 14 million people staying in Greece and in Cyprus. The Greek language is an official language in these 2 states. Other countries also at times use the Greek language; these countries bring Turkey, Italy, and Albania.
In the present times, the Greek alphabets are used only to write the Greek language. But in the earlier times, the alphabets were used in several countries.
These languages were:
7. Old Ossetic,
13. and Urum.
The ancient Greek language consisted of numerical and also symbols. Some of the symbols were delta, sigma, gamma, alpha, beta etc.The Greek language was enriched by the works of literature that were composed in it.