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Language and National Identity in Greece, 1766-1976$
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Peter Mackridge

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214426.001.0001

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The early stages of the controversy, 1766–1804

The early stages of the controversy, 1766–1804

(p.80) 3 The early stages of the controversy, 1766–1804
Language and National Identity in Greece, 1766-1976

Peter Mackridge

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a brief account of variation in language use in Greek in the late 18th century. Then the chief participants in the language controversy during this period are introduced, and their arguments concerning the language question are discussed. First, the archaists (those who argued that the ancient language was the only variety of Greek appropriate for writing on philosophy), beginning with Evgenios Voulgaris, who can be said to have initiated the language controversy in 1766 by attacking those who wrote on philosophy in ‘vulgar language’; then the compromisers such as Moisiodax, who argued for the use of a variety based on the spoken language, but with a large number of concessions made to Ancient Greek in both vocabulary and morphology; and lastly the vernacularists, who argued for the use of an uncompromising version of the spoken language for written purposes.

Keywords:   Ancient Greek, archaism, vernacularism, language planning, Moisiodax, Evgenios Voulgaris

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