Modern Linguists about Macedonia – Olivier Masson

 
  • 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
  • Want more of this? See these Posts:

    1. Modern linguists about Ancient Macedonian language
    2. Modern Linguists about Macedonia – Sylvain Auroux
    3. Modern linguists about ancient Macedonian Language/Dialect
    4. Modern historians about Macedonia – Hilding Thylander
    5. Modern Linguists about Macedonia – F. Munzer
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