It is widely held that Byzantium inherited a condition of diglossia from the Atticist FXOWXUHRIWKHSRVW+HOOHQLVWLFDJHZLWKWKHVSHFLƩFVRIWKDWGLJORVVLDGHWHUPLQHG by successive writers. Each of them obeyed an archaizing imperative, albeit to a GLƨHUHQWH[WHQWDFFRUGLQJWRWKHOHYHORIHDFKZULWHUśVFODVVLFDOVFKRODUVKLS,QWKH centuries that were to follow, such archaizing would be practised by the majority of ecclesiastical writers. On the other hand, writers who were less well known and less competent in Ancient Greek employed a kind of composite vernacular (‘folk’) idiom containing Ancient Greek linguistic features, again in varying degrees, depending on the individual competence of the writer. From late antiquity, the language these authors XVHGKDGJUDGXDOO\HYROYHGXQWLOLWUHDFKHGDPRUHGHƩQLWHIRUPE\DURXQG ZKHQZHFDQGHWHFWDƩUVWYHUVLRQRIWKH0RGHUQ*UHHNODQJXDJHDQGZKDWRQH might describe as a proto-modern Greek literature; the outcome, in due course, is the splendid poetry and the earliest form of Modern Greek prose in the Cypriot idiom, as well as comparable poetry, along with a distinctive form of drama, in the Cretan.1 'XULQJWKH*UHHN(QOLJKWHQPHQWWKHSHULRGRIURXJKO\ƩIW\\HDUVOHDGLQJXS WRWKH*UHHN:DURI,QGHSHQGHQFHWKHODQJXDJHLVVXHƩJXUHVPRUHSURPLQHQWO\ ŘEXWLQLWVQHZUDPLƩFDWLRQVPXVWEHXQGHUVWRRGDJDLQVWWKHEDFNJURXQGRIWKH earlier history of the language as a whole. As early as the sixteenth century, Nikolaos 6RƩDQRVKDGDOUHDG\FRPSLOHGWKHƩUVWJUDPPDURI0RGHUQ*UHHN WKRXJKWKLV
was only published much later. During the period of Ottoman rule, two traditions RIZULWWHQ ODQJXDJH VWDUWHG WR WDNH VKDSH GLƨHUHQWLDWHG E\ GLƨHUHQW GHJUHHVRI archaism. There was a less archaizing form employed mainly by ecclesiastical authors and best represented by Agapios Landos, Frangiskos Skoufos and Elias Meniatis. On the other hand, Alexandros Elladios and Evgenios Voulgaris, among others, employed a more archaizing language. Around the end of the eighteenth century, in the heyday of the Greek Enlightenment, the language issue begins to arouse learned debate. Dimitrios Katartzis, adhering to the views and the example set by Iosipos Misiodakas, favours the use of the vernacular, in contrast to the archaist Lambros Photiadis and others. Adamantios Korais proposes ‘a middle way’, but one which involved an unrealistic solution. The writers Grigorios Konstantas, Daniel Philippidis and Athanassios Psalidas, as well as the more radical Ioannis Vilaras, all follow a demoticist line. Dionysios Solomos and Athanassios Christopoulos also use demotic in their poetry. In the years to come, Anthimos Gazis, Konstantinos Koumas, Neofytos Vamvas and Nikeforos Theotokis will be using language in the spirit of Korais. ,QWKHQHZO\HVWDEOLVKHG*UHHNVWDWH.RUDLVśŚPLGGOHZD\śZDVRƫFLDOO\DGRSWHG but within a few decades was displaced by an aggressive archaizing which provoked a lively reaction in the form of an intellectual movement led by Psycharis, and marked by the publication of his historic work (disturbing the ‘stagnant waters’), My Voyage (1888). This proclamation on behalf of the people’s authentic language ZDVIRUDWLPHLQƪXHQWLDORQFUHDWLYHOLWHUDWXUHZKLFKZDVDUJXDEO\UHMXYHQDWHG E\WKHHƨRUWVRIYDULRXVGLVWLQJXLVKHGZULWHUV7KHVH\HDUVLQIDFWPD\EHVHHQ DVDSHULRGRIPRPHQWXPZKLFKFDUULHVRQ IRU URXJKO\ WKHƩUVWTXDUWHURI WKH twentieth century. %H\RQGWKHOLWHUDU\ƩHOGKRZHYHULWZRXOGQHHGDFRQWLQXLQJLQWHQVHVWUXJJOH on the part of the demoticist movement to achieve a victory for the demotic in all aspects of national life, public and private – education and scholarship LQFOXGHG 7KH DFKLHYHPHQW RI WKH JRDO ZDV IUDXJKW ZLWK GLƫFXOWLHV IURP WKH defective organization of the state to a widespread lack of cultural understanding. An unstable and anomalous language situation was perpetuated, while at times positive developments were impeded by doubts and uncertainties. The lack of DQ\FRQVLVWHQF\LQWKHRƫFLDOSURPRWLRQRIDXWKHQWLF0RGHUQ*UHHNRQO\VHUYHG WRH[DFHUEDWHWKHVHXQFHUWDLQWLHV7KHVWDWHZDV LQIDFW LQGLƨHUHQWWRWKHLVVXH distracted as it was by other issues which needed immediate attention. Nonetheless, WKHUHZHUHVHYHUDOVLJQLƩFDQWPRPHQWVRQWKHMRXUQH\WRZDUGVWKHUHJXODUL]DWLRQ of the language. These included, not least, the linguistic-educational reforms of the years 1917-20, while the reactionary interventions of 1922 had no permanent RUGHƩQLWLYHUHVXOWV$UHQHZHGDWWHPSWDWUHJXODUL]DWLRQWRZDUGVWKHHQGRIWKH 1930s was not taken any further – but by this time a troubled, and deteriorating, political situation was bound to be a serious obstacle to any real progress. The Second World War and its damaging political consequences for Greece could hardly solve the problem, but at least served to intensify the struggle for
D GHƩQLWLYH VROXWLRQ ,Q D QHZ DWWHPSW WR FRPPLW WKH VWDWH WR OLQJXLVWLF QRUPDOL]DWLRQDQGEULQJDQHQG WR OLQJXLVWLFDQDUFK\KDGQR VXEVWDQWLDO HƨHFW Under the Colonels’ dictatorship, seven long years (1967-74) saw a backward FRXUVH LQ HYHU\ DUHD RI VLJQLƩFDQW QDWLRQDO DFWLYLW\ DQG D WRWDO LPSDVVH LQ consequence. Yet it was perhaps this impasse that eventually helped to provoke a radical treatment of the language issue by the state, in favour of the demotic. After the overthrow of the Colonels, the restitution of parliamentary institutions and moves towards a more democratic regulation of political life were followed by the introduction of demotic within the public sector and, in particular, the beginnings of regularization in the sphere of language and education, as also in scholarship and science. Even though the demotic had already achieved important VXFFHVVLQWKHOLWHUDU\ƩHOGDQGWRDOHVVHUH[WHQWLQWKHVFKRODUO\VFLHQWLƩFDUHQD the decision taken by the Karamanlis government to institutionalize demotic in 1976 represented a watershed in our educational and social systems; it signalled WKHVWDUWRIDMRXUQH\WRZDUGVWKHUHJXODUL]DWLRQDQGXQLƩFDWLRQRIRXUODQJXDJH What was the language situation in Greece immediately after the recognition of the demotic? Electronic and other information media used a language which could be described as demotic, even though it contained many archaizing features, DQRPDORXVO\ VLWXDWHGZLWKLQ VSHHFK ,W WRRN DQ LQGLYLGXDO HƨRUW RQ WKH SDUW RI HDFKDQGHYHU\ZULWHUDVZHOODVOHDGHUVKLSIURPDOOTXDOLƩHGDXWKRULWLHVIRUWKH linguistically uninformed to be helped to write demotic Greek in a more regular ZD\8QIRUWXQDWHO\VWDWHVXSSRUWLQWKLVGRPDLQKDVEHHQQHJOLJLEOHRƨHUHGRQO\ at the start, and devoid of the requisite continuity or persistence. ,W LV QRWHZRUWK\ WKDW WKHUH ZDV QR VLJQLƩFDQW UHDFWLRQ RQ WKH SDUW RI WKH archaizers. There were some intellectuals who, either in theory or practice or both, VRXJKWWRUHDFWDQGGLGVR7KH\YHU\VRRQUHDOL]HGWKRXJKWKDWWKH\ZHUHƩJKWLQJ a lost cause, and gave up. Some of them had asked for changes to the solution put forward by the state, which had been based on Manolis Triantafyllidis’ Grammar (1917-41); and their suggestions produced a compromise between Triantafyllidis’ solution and their own. However, the need for reliable guidance on a more correct and more consistent use of demotic was soon felt. Yet not many competent advisors could be found, and the interventions of the uninformed were forever muddying WKH ZDWHUV :RUVH WKH VWDWH UHPDLQHG Ř DV LW VWLOO UHPDLQV Ř LQGLƨHUHQW WR DOO appeals: there is still no support for relevant research, nor is there any plan for the establishment of specialized centres devoted to the monitoring and study of VSHFLƩFODQJXDJHLVVXHV Occasionally, issues come to the fore that challenge the successes and solutions achieved so far. One such was the attempted reintroduction of Ancient Greek ODQJXDJHWHDFKLQJ WKURXJKRXW WKH ƩUVW WKUHH \HDUV RI VHFRQGDU\ VFKRRO ZKLFK VLQFHKDGEHHQ UHVWULFWHG WR WKHƩQDO WKUHH6XFKDEDFNZDUGPRYHFRXOG only have confused young students, who as a rule leave primary school in a state of unpreparedness even for a deeper knowledge of the modern language. Fortunately, the threat did not fully materialize, and did little harm in the event.