Modern linguists about Ancient Macedonian language

 
  • Before the times of the national unity installed by the Macedonians around the middle of the 4th century BC, Greece was composed of many regions or city states[…] That they [Dorians] were related to the North-West Dialects (of Phocis, Locris, Aetolia, Acarnania and Epirus) was not perceived clearly by the ancients.
    • Sylvain Auroux, French linguist, “History of the Language Sciences: I. Approaches to Gender II. Manifestations”, p.439
  • Whoever does not consider the Macedonians as Greeks must also conclude that by the 6th and 5th centuries BC the Macedonians had completely given up the original names of their nation – without any need to do so – and taken Greek names in order to demonstrate their admiration for Greek civilisation. I think it not worth the trouble to demolish such a notion; for any hypothesis of historical linguists which is put forward without taking into account the actual life of a people, is condemned as it were out of its own mouth.
    • Otto Hoffmann, German linguist, “Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum”, Göttingen, 1906
  • And now after supervising the ancient Macedonian linguistic thesaurus we are posting the decisive question, if what is adding to the Macedonian language its character, are the hellenic or the barbarian elements of it, the responce can not be of any doubts. From the 39 “languages” that according to Gustav Mayer their form was “completely alien” has been proven after this research of mine, that 10 of them are clearly Hellenic, with 4 more possibly dialectical forms of common hellenic words, so from the entire collection are remaining only 15 words appearing to be justifiable or at least suspected of anti-hellenic origins. Adding to those 15, few others which with regards their vocals could be hellenic, without till now being confirmed as such, then their number, in comparison to the number of pure hellenic ones in the Macedonian language, is so small that the general hellenic character of the Macedonian linguistic treasure can not be doubted.
    • Otto Hoffmann, German linguist, “Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum”, Göttingen, 1906
  • In final analysis it is possible that the name VYRGINON KRASTWNOS is of Thracian origins, while independent remains the name DIRVE[…] All the other names are beautiful, clear Greek constructions and only two of them NEOPTOLEMOS and MELEAGROS could have been loans from the Greek Mythology.
    • Otto Hoffmann, German linguist, “Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum”, Göttingen, 1906
  • The names of the genuine Macedonians and those born of Macedonian parents, especially the names of the elitic class and nobles, in their formation and phonology are purely Greek.
    • Otto Hoffmann, German linguist, “Die Makedonen, Ihre Sprache und Ihr Volkstum”, Göttingen, 1906
  • For a long while Macedonian onomastics, which we know relatively well thanks to history, literary authors, and epigraphy, has played a considerable role in the discussion. In our view the Greek character of most names is obvious and it is difficult to think of a Hellenization due to wholesale borrowing. ‘Ptolemaios’ is attested as early as Homer, ‘Ale3avdros’ occurs next to Mycenaean feminine a-re-ka-sa-da-ra- (‘Alexandra’), ‘Laagos’, then ‘Lagos’, matches the Cyprian ‘Lawagos’, etc. The small minority of names which do not look Greek, like ‘Arridaios’ or ‘Sabattaras’, may be due to a substratum or adstatum influences (as elsewhere in Greece). Macedonian may then be seen as a Greek dialect, characterised by its marginal position and by local pronunciations (like ‘Berenika’ for ‘Ferenika’, etc.). Yet in contrast with earlier views which made of it an Aeolic dialect (O.Hoffmann compared Thessalian) we must by now think of a link with North-West Greek (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote). This view is supported by the recent discovery at Pella of a curse tablet (4th cent. BC) which may well be the first ‘Macedonian’ text attested (provisional publication by E.Voutyras; cf. the Bulletin Epigraphique in Rev.Et.Grec.1994, no.413); the text includes an adverb ‘opoka’ which is not Thessalian. We must wait for new discoveries, but we may tentatively conclude that Macedonian is a dialect related to North-West Greek.
    • Olivier Masson, French linguist, “Oxford Classical Dictionary:Macedonian Language”, 1996
  • The problem of the nationality of the Macedonians has been studied a great deal. Otto Hoffman with linguistics as his starting point solved it correctly and decisively when he accepted that the Macedonians were Greeks.
    • F. Munzer, German linguist, “Die Politische Vernichtung des Griechentums”, Leipzig 1925, p. 4

Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Modern linguists about ancient Macedonian Language/Dialect
  2. The Ancient Macedonian Language according to Modern Sources
  3. Modern Linguists about Macedonia – Olivier Masson
  4. Ancient Macedonian Language Part V
  5. Ancient Macedonian language – Hoffmann
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