Pontic Greek
ποντιακά, pontiaká, понтиакá
Regionoriginally the Pontus on the Black Sea coast; Greece, Russia, Georgia, and Turkey
Native speakers
778,000 (2009–2015)[1]
Dialects
Greek, Latin, Cyrillic
Language codes
ISO 639-3pnt
Glottologpont1253
ELPPontic
Linguasphere56-AAA-aj
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Pontic Greek (Pontic Greek: Ποντιακόν λαλίαν, romanized: Pontiakón lalían or Ρωμαίικα romanized: Roméika; Greek: Ποντιακή διάλεκτος, romanized: Pontiakí diálektos) is a variety of Modern Greek originally spoken in the Pontus area on the southern shores of the Black Sea, northeastern Anatolia, the Eastern Turkish/Caucasus province of and today mainly in northern Greece. Its speakers are referred to as Pontic Greeks or Pontian Greeks.

The linguistic lineage of Pontic Greek stems from Ionic Greek via Koine and Byzantine Greek, and contains influences from Georgian, Russian, Turkish, Armenian, and Kurdish.

Pontic Greek is an endangered Indo-European language spoken by about 778,000 people worldwide.[1] Many Pontians live in Greece; however, only 200,000–300,000 of those are considered active Pontic speakers.[2] Although it is mainly spoken in Northern Greece, it is also spoken in Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan and by the Pontic diaspora. The language was brought to Greece in the 1920s after the population exchange between the Christian Pontic Greeks and the Turkish Muslims from their homelands during the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. However, it is still spoken in pockets of the Pontus today, mostly by Pontic Greek Muslims in the eastern districts of Trabzon Province. Pontic Greek is one of the language of Greek (Hellenic) branch separate form Mainland Greek, the speakers of each do not fully understand each other.[1] It is primarily written in the Greek script, while in Turkey and Ukraine the Latin script is used more frequently.

Classification

Pontic Greek is classified as an Indo-European, Greek language of the Attic-Ionic branch.[1]

Name

Historically, the speakers of Pontic Greek called it simply Romeyka (or Romeika, Greek: Ρωμαίικα), which is also a historical and colloquial term for Modern Greek in general. The term "Pontic" originated in scholarly usage, but it has been adopted as a mark of identity by Pontic Greeks living in Greece.[3]

Similarly, in Turkish, there is no special name for Pontic Greek; it is called Rumca ([ˈɾumd͡ʒa]), derived from the Turkish word Rum, denoting Byzantine Greeks.[4][5][6]

Nowadays, Pontic speakers living in Turkey call their language Romeyka, Rumca or Rumcika.[6]

History

Similar to most modern Greek dialects, Pontic Greek is mainly derived from Koine Greek, which was spoken in the Hellenistic and Roman times between the 4th century BC and the 4th century AD. Following the Seljuk invasion of Asia Minor during the 11th century AD, Pontus became isolated from many of the regions of the Byzantine Empire.[7] The Pontians remained somewhat isolated from the mainland Greeks, causing Pontic Greek to develop separately and distinctly from the rest of the mainland Greek.[8] However, the language has also been influenced by the nearby Persian, Caucasian, and Turkish languages.

Dialects

Greek linguist Manolis Triantafyllidis has divided the Pontic of Turkey into two groups:

Speakers of Chaldiot were the most numerous. In phonology, some varieties of Pontic are reported to demonstrate vowel harmony, a well-known feature of Turkish (Mirambel 1965).

Outside Turkey one can distinguish:

Ophitic

The inhabitants of the Of valley who had converted to Islam in the 17th century remained in Turkey and have partly retained the Pontic language until today.[9][10][11][12] Their dialect, which forms part of the Trapezountiac subgroup, is called "Ophitic" by linguists, but speakers generally call it Romeika. As few as 5,000 people are reported to speak it.[13][14] There are however estimates that show the real number of the speakers as considerably higher.[6] Speakers of Ophitic/Romeyka are concentrated in the eastern districts of Trabzon province: Çaykara (Katohor), Dernekpazarı (Kondu), Sürmene (Sourmena) and Köprübaşı (Göneşera). Although less widespread, it is still spoken in some remote villages of the Of district itself. It is also spoken in the western İkizdere (Dipotamos) district of Rize province. Historically the dialect was spoken in a wider area, stretching further east to the port town of Pazar (Athina).

Ophitic has retained the infinitive, which is present in Ancient Greek but has been lost in other variants of Modern Greek; it has therefore been characterized as "archaic" or conservative (even in relation to other Pontic dialects) and as the living language that is closest to Ancient Greek.[13][14] Because a majority of the population of these districts converted to Islam during the 17th to 19th centuries, some Arabic and Turkish loanwords have been adopted in the language. According to Vahit Tursun, writer of the Romeika-Turkish dictionary, loanwords from the neighboring Laz speakers of Rize province are strikingly absent in the Romeika vocabulary of Trabzon natives.

A very similar dialect is spoken by descendants of Christians from the Of valley (especially from Kondu) now living in Greece in the village of Nea Trapezounta, Pieria, Central Macedonia, with about 400 speakers.[15][16][17]

Geographic distribution

Though Pontic was originally spoken on the southern shores of the Black Sea, from the 18th and 19th century and on substantial numbers migrated into the northern and eastern shores, into the Russian Empire. Pontic is still spoken by large numbers of people in Ukraine, mainly in Mariupol, but also in other parts of Ukraine such as the Odessa and Donetsk region, in Russia (around Stavropol) and Georgia. The language enjoyed some use as a literary medium in the 1930s, including a school grammar (Topkharas 1998 [1932]).

After the massacres of the 1910s, the majority of speakers remaining in Asia Minor were subject to the Treaty of Lausanne population exchange, and were resettled in Greece (mainly northern Greece). A second wave of migration occurred in the early 1990s, this time from countries of the former Soviet Union.[18]

In Greece, Pontic is now many times used only emblematically rather than as a medium of communication due to the mixing of Pontic and other Greeks.[citation needed]

Official status

Greece

In Greece, Pontic has no official status, like all other Greek dialects.

Soviet Union

Historically, Pontic Greek was the de facto language of the Greek minority in the USSR, although in the Πανσυνδεσμιακή Σύσκεψη (Pansyndesmiakí Sýskepsi, All-Union Conference) of 1926, organised by the Greek-Soviet intelligentsia, it was decided that Demotic should be the official language of the community.[22]

Later revival of Greek identity in the Soviet Union and post-Communist Russia saw a renewed division on the issue of Rumaiic versus Demotic. A new attempt to preserve a sense of ethnic Rumaiic identity started in the mid-1980s. The Ukrainian scholar Andriy Biletsky created a new Slavonic alphabet, but though a number of writers and poets make use of this alphabet, the population of the region rarely uses it.[23]

Culture

The language has a rich oral tradition and folklore and Pontic songs are particularly popular in Greece. There is also some limited production of modern literature in Pontic, including poetry collections (among the most renowned writers is Kostas Diamantidis), novels, and translated Asterix comic albums.[24] The youth often speak standard Greek as their first language. The use of Pontic has been maintained more by speakers in North America than it has in Greece.[1]

Alphabets

Pontic, in Greece, is written in the Greek alphabet, with diacritics: σ̌ ζ̌ ξ̌ ψ̌ for /ʃ ʒ kʃ pʃ/, α̈ ο̈ for [æ ø] (phonological /ia io/). Pontic, in Turkey, is written in the Latin alphabet following Turkish conventions. In Russia, it is written in the Cyrillic alphabet[citation needed]. In early Soviet times, Pontic was written in the Greek alphabet phonetically, as shown below, using digraphs instead of diacritics; [æ ø] were written out as ια, ιο. The Pontic Wikipedia uses Greek script: it has adopted εα, εο for these vowels, to avoid clashes with Modern Greek ια, ιο, and uses digraphs from the Soviet system instead of diacritics, but otherwise follows historical orthography.

Greek
alphabet
Turkish
alphabet
Cyrillic
alphabet[citation needed]
IPA Example
Α α A a А а [ä] ρομεικα, romeyika, ромейика
Β β V v В в [v] κατιβενο, kativeno, кативено
Γ γ Ğ ğ Г г [ɣ] [ʝ] γανεβο, ğanevo, ганево
Δ δ DH dh Д д [ð] δοντι, dhonti, донти
Ε ε E e Е е [] εγαπεςα, eğapesa, егапеса
Ζ ζ Z z З з [z] ζαντος, zantos, зантос
ΖΖ ζζ J j Ж ж [ʒ] πυρζζυας, burjuvas, буржуас
Θ θ TH th С с, Ф ф, Т т [θ] θεκο, theko, теко
Ι ι İ i И и [i] τοςπιτοπον, tospitopon, тоспитопон
Κ κ K k К к [k] καλατζεμαν, kalaceman, калачеман
Λ λ L l Л л [l] λαλια, lalia, лалиа
Μ μ M m М м [m] μανα, mana, мана
Ν ν N n Н н [n] ολιγον, oliğоn, олигон
Ο ο O o О о [] τεμετερον, temeteron, теметерон
Π π P p П п [p] εγαπεςα, eğapesa, егапеса
Ρ ρ R r Р р [ɾ] ρομεικα, romeyika, ромейка
Σ ς S s С с [s] καλατζεπςον, kalacepson, калачепсон
ΣΣ ςς Ş ş Ш ш [ʃ] ςςερι, şeri, шери
Τ τ T t Т т [t] νοςτιμεςα, nostimesa, ностимеса
ΤΖ τζ C c Ц ц [d͡ʒ] καλατζεμαν, kalaceman, калацеман
ΤΣ τς Ç ç Ч ч [t͡ʃ] μανιτςα, maniça, манича
Υ υ U u У у [u] νυς, nus, нус
Φ φ F f Ф ф [f] εμορφα, emorfa, эморфа
Χ χ H, KH (sert H) Х х [x] χαςον, hason, хасон

Archaisms

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The following are features of Pontic Greek which have been retained from early forms of Greek, in contrast to the developments of Modern Greek.

Phonology

Declension of nouns and adjectives

Conjugation of verbs

Lexicology

Comparison with Ancient Greek

1. Attachment of the /e/ sound to the ancient infinitive suffix –εῖν, -ειν (in Trapezountiac Pontic)
Pontic Ancient
ειπείνε εἰπεῖν
παθείνε παθεῖν
αποθανείνε ἀποθανεῖν
πιείνε πιεῖν
ειδείνε εἰδεῖν
φυείνε φυγεῖν
ευρείνε εὑρεῖν
καμείνε καμεῖν
φαείνε φαγεῖν
μαθείνε μαθεῖν
ερθέανε ἐλθεῖν
μενείνε μένειν
2. Preservation of the Ancient infinitive suffix -ῆναι
Pontic Ancient
ανεβήναι ἀναβῆναι
κατεβήναι καταβῆναι
εμπήναι ἐμβῆναι
εβγήναι ἐκβῆναι
επιδεαβήναι ἀποδιαβῆναι
κοιμεθήναι κοιμηθῆναι
χτυπεθήναι κτυπηθῆναι
ευρεθήναι εὑρεθῆναι
βρασήναι βραχῆναι
ραήναι ῥαγῆναι
3. Ancient first aorist infinitive suffix -αι has been replaced by second aorist suffix -ειν
Pontic Ancient
κράξειν κράξαι
μεθύσειν μεθύσαι
4. Attachment of the /e/ sound to the ancient aorist infinitive suffix –ειν
ράψεινε, κράξεινε, μεθύσεινε, καλέσεινε, λαλήσεινε, κτυπήσεινε, καθίσεινε
5. Same aorist suffix –κα (–κα was also the regular perfect suffix)
Pontic Ancient
εδώκα ἔδωκα
εντώκα ἐνέδωκα
εποίκα ἐποίηκα
εφήκα ἀφῆκα
εθήκα ἔθηκα
6. Ancient Greek –ein (-εῖν) infinitive > Pontic Greek –eane (-έανε) infinitive
Pontic Ancient
ερθέανε ἐλθεῖν

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e "Pontic". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on April 12, 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  2. ^ Sitaridou, Ioanna; Kaltsa, Maria (2010). "Topicalisation in Pontic Greek". Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory. 4: 259–279.
  3. ^ Drettas 1997, page 19.
  4. ^ "Nişanyan Sözlük - Türkçe Etimolojik Sözlük". Archived from the original on December 28, 2021.
  5. ^ "Rum Kelime Kökeni, Kelimesinin Anlamı - Etimoloji". Archived from the original on December 28, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Özkan, Hakan (2013). "The Pontic Greek spoken by Muslims in the villages of Beşköy in the province of present-day Trabzon". Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. 37 (1): 130–150. doi:10.1179/0307013112z.00000000023.
  7. ^ Topalidis, Sam. "Development of the Pontic Greek Dialect". PontosWorld. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved 2017-05-01.
  8. ^ Mackridge, Peter (October 10, 1991). "The Pontic dialect: a corrupt version of Ancient Greek?". Journal of Refugee Studies. Academia. 4 (4): 335–339. doi:10.1093/jrs/4.4.335.
  9. ^ Mackridge, Peter (1987). "Greek-Speaking Moslems of North-East Turkey: Prolegomena to a Study of the Ophitic Sub-Dialect of Pontic". Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. 11 (1): 115–137. doi:10.1179/030701387790203037.
  10. ^ Asan, Omer (2000) [1996]. Pontos Kültürü [Pontos Culture] (in Turkish) (2nd ed.). Istanbul: Belge Yayınları. ISBN 975-344-220-3.
  11. ^ Özkan, H. (2013). Blume, Horst D.; Lienau, Cay (eds.). Muslimisch-Pontisch und die Sprachgemeinschaft des Pontisch-Griechischen im heutigen Trabzon [Muslim-Pontic and the language community of Pontic Greek in today's Trabzon]. Choregia – Münstersche Griechenland-Studien. Vol. 11. Lienau, C. pp. 115–137. ISBN 978-3-934017-15-3.
  12. ^ "The cost of language, Pontiaka trebizond Greek". Archived from the original on 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  13. ^ a b "Against all odds: archaic Greek in a modern world | University of Cambridge". July 2010. Archived from the original on February 2, 2021. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  14. ^ a b Connor, Steve (January 3, 2011). "Jason and the Argot: Land where Greece's Ancient Language Survives". Independent. Archived from the original on November 22, 2021.
  15. ^ Anthi Revythiadou and Vasileios Spyropoulos (2009): "Οφίτικη Ποντιακή: Έρευνα γλωσσικής καταγραφής με έμφαση στη διαχρονία και συγχρονία της διαλέκτου" [Ophitic Pontic: A documentation project with special emphasis on the diachrony and synchrony of the dialect] "www.latsis-foundation.org" (PDF) (in Greek). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  16. ^ Revythiadou, A.; Spyropoulos, V. (2012). Οφίτικη: Πτυχές της Γραμματικής Δομής μιας Ποντιακής Διαλέκτου [Ofitica Pontic: Aspects of the Grammar of a Pontic Dialect] (in Greek). Thessaloniki: Εκδοτικός Οίκος Αδελφών Κυριακίδη. ISBN 978-960-467-344-5.
  17. ^ Revythiadou, A.; Spyropoulos, V.; Kakarikos, K. (1912). "Η ταυτότητα της οφίτικης ποντιακής: Mια γλωσσολογική μελέτη των πηγών και των ομιλητών της" [The identity of ophitic pontic: A linguistic study of its sources and its speakers] (PDF). Δελτίο Κέντρο Μικρασιατικών Σπουδών (in Greek). 17: 217–275.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Selm, Joanne van (2003). The Refugee Convention at fifty: a view from forced migration studies. Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books. p. 72. ISBN 0-7391-0565-5.[1]
  19. ^ a b "Romeika - Pontic Greek (tr)". Karalahana.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  20. ^ "News and Events: Endangered language opens window on to past". University of Cambridge. 2011-01-04. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  21. ^ "Pontic Greek (Trabzon Of dialect) - Turkish Dictionary (tr)". Karalahana.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  22. ^ ΟΨΕΙΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΠΑΙΔΕΥΣΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΣ ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑΣ ΤΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
  23. ^ Survey carried out in 2001–2004, organized by St. Petersburg State University
  24. ^ Asterix in Pontic Greek Archived 2012-10-05 at the Wayback Machine.

Bibliography