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Language strata

(763 words)

Author(s): Gippert, Jost (Frankfurt/Main) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] I. Overview From a synchronic point of view, ‘language strata’ (LS) represents a cover term for the different forms that a given language takes in its use by individual speakers (idiolect), by speaker groups defined by their social position (sociolect) or by geographically determined speaker communities ( Dialect); from a diachronic point of view, LS refers to the various historical strata of a given language that can be identified on the lexical (inherited and loan vocabulary), grammatical (syntactic or morphological) and phonological levels. The existence of L…

Beneventana

(568 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] A distinctive script of the Middle Ages, which emerged in the middle of the 8th cent. in the Abbey of Montecassino and which spread through the entire dukedom of Benevento in the 9th cent. It was still in use in the second half of the 15th cent. at Montecassino and in the first half of the 16th cent. in Naples [1]. The writing also reached the Dalmatian coast, where the earliest records of Beneventan documents date back to the 10th cent. The oldest Beneventan MSS from this region …

Greek dialects

(3,003 words)

Author(s): García-Ramón, José Luis (Cologne) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
I. Ancient Greek dialects [German version] A. Dialect and standard language Greek is attested in dialectal form from the first texts in  Linear B onwards. Local dialects are used in every city or region from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period (in competition with the  Koinḗ and regional Koinaí). In the Imperial period some dialects (e.g.  Aeolic [Lesbian], Laconian ( Doric/Northwest Greek, Tsakonian) are used in a rather archaizing manner. Variants of the old dialects still survive today in Laconia (Tsa…

Cypriot

(953 words)

Author(s): Hintze, Almut (Cambridge) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] I. Ancient Cypriot The sources for C. are inscriptions in  Cypriot script (most important finding places: Idalium, Golgi, Paphus, Marion; oldest Text: o-pe-le-ta-u / opheltau/11th/10th cents. BC),  glossography (esp. Hsch., schol. on the Iliad and the Odyssey, fr. of an anonymous grammarians: Anecd. Bekk. 3,1094) and Cypriot proper names. C. a) corresponds particularly with  Arcadian and in parts also with  Mycenaean, and b) has its own specific features. For a): arsis of e, o before a nasal sound (/ in/= ἐν, / on-/ un-/ = ἀνά) and of o (gen. sg. in / -au/< -āo, 3rd sg. -tu

Ionic

(1,585 words)

Author(s): García-Ramón, José Luis (Cologne) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] I. Pre-classical period to the Koine Beginning in the pre-classical period, Ionic is attested in three main regions, from where it spread in the course of the second  colonization to the end of the Pontus and to Hispania: (1) West Ionic: Euboea (and Oropus) with colonies in Chalcidice (Olynthus), Lower Italy (Cyme, Pithekussa), and Sicily, (2) Ionic of the Cyclades: i.a. Ceos, Delos, Paros (and Thasos), Naxos (and Amorgos), (3) East Ionic: (Ionia and the offshore islands of Chios and Sa…

Scribes

(4,529 words)

Author(s): Cavigneaux, Antoine (Geneva) | Fischer-Elfert, Hans - W. | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
I. Mesopotamia [German version] A. Scribes and schools In the course of the long history of Mesopotamian cuneiform culture from about 3200 BC to the end of the 1st millennium BC, scribes and schools undoubtedly underwent more changes than the continuity of terminology seems to indicate. At the beginning of the 3rd millennium, when cuneiform writing had already been used for more than two centuries, the art of writing itself had not yet become a profession in its own rights. This is evident from texts da…

Rhomaioi

(443 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] (Ῥωμαῖοι). Rhōmaîos is the original Greek name for 'Romans', found in this sense especially in Greek historiographers (e. g. Polybius [2] or Dionysius [18] of Halicarnassus). As the imperial capital moved to Byzantium (Constantinople), however, Rhōmaîos came to be increasingly used for the Greek-speaking Byzantines; an initially still existing differentiation between οἱ ἐῷοι Ῥωμαῖοι/ hoi eṓioi Rhōmaîoi ('the eastern R.') and οἱ ἑσπέριοι Ῥωμαῖοι/ hoi hespérioi Rhōmaîoi ('the western R.' ) finally became obsolete with the decline of the western empire …

Doric/Northwest Greek

(2,516 words)

Author(s): García-Ramón, José Luis (Cologne) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] A. Spread The Doric dialects in the broader sense are well documented since the pre-classical period (see map): in central and northwest Greece (Phocis: 1, with Delphi, Western and Eastern Locris: 2 and 3), Peloponnese and Isthmus (only Elis: 15, Laconia: 13, Argolis: 11-12, Corinthia: 10, Megaris: 9), Crete (16) and the Doric Islands (Thera: 17c, Rhodos: 17a, etc.: 17), and since the classical period also in Cos (17b), Cyrene and in the Doric colonies of  Magna Graecia (above all  …

Greek

(2,918 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
I. Ancient Greek [German version] A. Age, Sources The earliest extant Greek texts date from around 1400 BC. Greek is thus the oldest known language transmitted in Europe and takes second place (after  Hittite) amongst the Indo-European languages. As Greek has a partly accessible prehistory (see B., C. below) and survives today, its linguistic history can be traced over about 5,000 years. The most important linguistic sources of Ancient Greek are textual. They range from functional ( Mycenaean,  Papyri) to literary texts. The latter are transmitted, sometim…

Kletorologion

(334 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] (κλητορολόγιον; klētorológion). Title of one of the best-known works of the genre of Taktiká, the lists of Byzantine offices and titles mainly from the 9th and 10th cents. AD that were manuals for the correct observance of court ceremonies (e.g. the seating order of dignitaries at court festivities, to be worked out by the atriklinḗs). They are an important source not only for customs and conventions at the Byzantine imperial court but also for the Byzantine administration, bureaucracy and officialdom of the period. From a linguistic…

Orthography

(1,884 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] A. Principles Orthography (Greek ὀρθογραφία/ orthographía is recorded as the title of ancient works, e.g. of the grammarian Herodianus [1], cf. also Flavius Caper, De Orthographia), 'correct' writing, i.e. that conforming to the norm, was originally not a topic of historical linguists, because for a long time they considered written language only as a more or less deficient copy of spoken 'true' language, not as a subject of study in its own right; in this respect they were able to view historical orthogr…

Tsakonian

(294 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] Modern Greek dialect spoken in a small number of villages in the eastern Parnon mountain ridge on the east coast of the Peloponnese. It is unanimously considered the only modern Greek dialect to predominantly continue an Ancient Greek dialect, Dorian Laconic, without any effects of the Koine. In other respects, it is difficult to assign Tsakonian to any dialect groupings (splitting into East or West Greek dialects according to retention/loss of final - n, respectively; splitting into North or South Greek according to the treatment of vowels following u…

Latinization

(645 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] Latinization is understood as the influencing of other languages by Latin as a result of language contact. Since the historical circumstances varied for each language contact, Latinization occurred in a number of different ways. The most drastic result of language contact is the complete eradication of languages and dialects; thus, Latin replaced related Italic dialects and languages at an early time ( Italy, languages), the most prominent victim being Etruscan. However, the Rom…

Hellenization

(5,313 words)

Author(s): Gerber, Jörg (Bochum) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
I. History [German version] A. Term Hellenization is understood here to be a complex acculturation phenomenon composed of different processes operating on several levels. In addition to the area of language and literature, Greek ideas and forms of expression were also adopted in architecture, fine arts, as well as in religion and cult; non-Greek patterns of sociopolitical organization were also adapted to fit the Greek model (polis state, forms of organizations and associations,  gymnasium). All of th…

Scriptorium

(940 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] The present-day use of the term scriptorium refers to the writing workshop for the production of books in the period prior to the invention of the printing press. For Antiquity, there is no evidence of the word scriptorium in this sense; the first record is Isid. Orig. 6,9,2 (in the sense of a writing stylus). However, we know that ancient libraries must have had such an establishment since the book supply for the library was not acquired from booksellers but was produced on site. In an anecdote transmitted by Galen,…

Wulfila

(519 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] ('Wolfling', Gr. Οὐλφίλας/ Oulphílas, also Οὐρφίλας/ Ourphílas), born c. 311, died 382 or 383. Bishop of the Goths (Goti), author of a Gothic translation of the Bible (Bible translations), the most important source by far for the Gothic language and the East-Germanic languages in general. Son of a Christian Greek mother (captured in a Gothic raid on Cappadocia) and a Gothic father. Probably in 341 (Auxentius of Durosturum in Maximinus [6], Dissertatio 34: triginta annorum episc opus est ordinatus), W. was consecrated 'bishop of the Christians in the land of…

Diglossia

(373 words)

Author(s): Niehoff, Johannes (Freiburg) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
[German version] The term ‘diglossia’ (not to be confused with  bilingualism) was already used late in the 19th cent. to characterize the Greek language situation. However, it only became a central concept in sociolinguistics with Ch. Ferguson's essay [1] in which he developed the canonical definition using Swiss German, (Modern) Greek, Arabic and Haitian Creole as examples. It considers diglossia to be a language situation in which the spoken primary language (which Ferguson labelled ‘L’ as in ‘Low’; in the Greek language area this was the δημοτική, dhimotikí), whether regionally…

Universal language

(1,092 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. General points The term UL today conveys two meanings: (1) an artificially created language, intended to serve as a lingua franca for the entire world; efforts of this kind were made especially in the 19th cent. (e.g. Esperanto and Volapük); yet, as might be expected, they fell behind their self-imposed goal. (2) A language actually in world-wide use today is, above all, English. In the wake of the colonial period, it has established itself on all continents at least as a subsidiary means of commun…

Multilingualism

(2,975 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen) | Schwemer, Daniel (Würzburg) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Rieken, Elisabeth (Berlin)
[German version] I. General ‘Multilingualism’ refers to two different things: on the one hand the ability of an individual to use several languages, on the other hand a situation where, within a social group, several languages are used (linguistic contact). As a result, research into multilingualism can look at multilingual individuals or a multilingual society; accordingly, points of contact arise to psycho- and neurolinguistics on the one hand or to sociolinguistics and historical linguistics (des…

Translations

(4,791 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg) | L.FL. | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
I. Ancient Orient and Egypt [German version] A. General Points Translation by means of an interpreter (Akkadian targumannu; Ugaritic targumiānu; Hittite tarkummija- ('to translate'); Aramaic ta/urgmānā; Arabic tu/arǧumān; Italian turcimanno; cf. dragoman) played an important role in the cultures of the Ancient Orient in their contacts with other ethnic groups. Mesopotamian rulers prided themselves on their command of foreign languages. Especially during the second half of the second millennium BC, Akkadian served as a kind …
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