What are some differences between the Greek of Greece and Cypriot Greek?

Cypriot Greek is one of the South-Eastern group of Greek dialects, along with Chios and the Dodecanese. So the differences between the Greek of Rhodes (in Greece) and the Greek of Cyprus are less far apart than the Greek of Athens and the Greek of Cyprus. In fact, if you aren’t finely attuned to the dialects, you can mistake someone from Rhodes as someone from Cyprus; that has happened to my dad in taxis in Crete.

But I’m going to assume the question is about Standard Greek vs Cypriot Greek. These are the first things that come to mind:

  • Survival of word-final -n.
  • Survival and expansion of double consonants. That includes word-initially (usually in loanwords from Turkish), where they are realised as aspirates.
  • Deletion of voiced fricatives between vowels; so Standard Greek traɣuði “song”, Cypriot trauin.
  • Fortition of θj, ðj to θc. So Standard ðia(v)ole “Devil!”, Cypriot θcaole.
  • Palatalised velars become palatoalveolar (though that actually happens in most Greek dialects outside the standard).
  • Some archaic verb inflections.
  • Old French loanwords; e.g. tʃaera “chair”.
  • Impressionistically, a few more Turkish loanwords than in Greece.
  • Unmarked VSO word order instead of SVO.
  • A deep love of cleft constructions. I have cited in a paper the phrase from a folk tale ίνταλος εν ποννα εύρω τωρά να γινώ γιατρός “How is it that I will work out now how to become a doctor”.
  • A healthy survival of the dialect as the low lect in a diglossia; there is abundant Cypriot dialect written online, including dialect-specific ASCII romanisation.

Btw, I’ve just discovered that Google matches dialectal ίνταλος with Standard πώς in searches. I am impressed!

EDIT: Added by Eutychius Kaimakkamis:

  • The -n at the end of words is usually pronounced when it’s the ending word. When there’s another word after it, the -n just nasalizes the vowel behind it and by extension the consonant or vowel next to it.
  • In many varieties (mainly in Tillyria and Kokkinochoria), θ and φ sometimes change to χ e.g. χαρκούμαι instead of θαρκούμαι or χιλούιν instead of φιλούιν. Sidenote: There’s even a satirical show with a a segment called “Τα άπλυτα στη χόρα” (instead of φόρα) where two football pundits talk with exaggerated Kokkinochoria accents and usually involves (poor quality) scatological humour like “να σου χέσω ένα χέμα” instead of “να σου θέσω ένα θέμα”.
  • Voiced consonants often turn into unvoiced ones e.g. φτέλλα instead of βδέλλα or αυκό instead of αυγό.

The correct pronunciation of ‘H’ is aych, so why do people say ‘haytch’?

Is there a /h/ in aitch?


Well, you won’t be surprised why someone thought it was a good idea to insert one, then. Every other letter names has something to do with the letter sound it represents. Even allowing for English orthography.

If you were the Byzantine emperor in the 14th century, what would you do to prevent the fall of your empire?

In 1300? That would make me Andronikos II Palaiologos.

Well, I’ve done the best I can with the Venetians and the Genoese. I’ve played them off each other, but I don’t have the money or the navy to get rid of them. I’ve done what I can with dynastic marriages as well. The Ottomans are starting to move on me, and I can only postpone the inevitable. Same goes for the Serbs. Hiring the Catalans certainly did not work out as a solution, but there’s a risk with any mercenary army.

There is one thing I can do though. Not just disown my grandson, Andronikos III Palaiologos. Have him blinded, the way my predecessors dealt with annoying relatives. The civil war between the two Androniki was where the fate of Byzantium was sealed.

Still, that would have likely only bought me a couple of decades. And Byzantium had a lot of lucky escapes over the following century, that it no longer deserved.

How can I, as an 18-year-old first year college student, help in Kumaoni language conservation?

There will be different answers depending on who speaks the language, where, what the community attitudes are to it, and what kinds of resources you have access to.

One starting point is Kat Li’s answer to How can modern society preserve dying languages?

From Wikipedia, it seems Kumaoni is in the same category as a lot of languages in Indonesia: being spoken by millions of people, but they’re unlikely to pass it on, because everyone is switching to the national language.

The most obvious think you can do, as an 18-year old student:

  • Use it.
  • Use it with other people.
  • Make Kumaoni language clubs, to make its use visible in university.
  • Use it online. And that includes texting in it.
  • Use it in ways that can enhance its prestige. You know how better than I can.
  • And don’t get too precious about the purity of Kumaoni. A Kumaoni with a whole bunch of Hindi (or English) words in it is still better than no Kumaoni at all.

Does Quora plan to award badges to users for their activity?

It is delightful to have questions like this burble up in your feed from the depths of time. (In this case, 2010.)

Congratulations, OP. You predicted Most Viewed Writers (Quora feature) and Top Writers (Quora program).

Do Quora users use Quora primarily because it strokes their intellectual egos?

I’ve answered a few questions like this by saying “I wish I could say that I did, just to be contrary, but really, I don’t.”

And it is true, as Melinda Gwin has said, that being here is quite humbling at times. That I realise that I have a lot to learn about philosophy and theology (from people like, oh, I dunno, Melinda), or literature (from our mutual Magister) or politics (from Victoria the Mahlerphobe) or history (like Dimitris Almyrantis) or Greekness (like Dimitra Triantafyllidou), or X or Y or Z. That I am here to learn.

And I am also here to hang out with people I have come to regard as friends, and if not friends, then certainly cherished acquaintances, who bring a smile to my face and balm to my soul.

But I post too.

And when I post? Absolutely it strokes my intellectual ego, and so it bloody well should. Several times a week, I will go through my profile feed to see stuff I’ve written recently, and thought yeah, that was a good argument; yeah, that was witty; yeah, that was passionate and needed to be said.

You mean you don’t?

Who do Greeks feel closer to historically or culturally? Turks or Iranians?

The Turks are the Neighbours. The Iranians are… the Neighbours’ Neighbour. Greeks have not have much direct contact with Iranians since the Turks moved in between the Persians and the Byzantines. They are aware of Iranians, but not closely. For all that we had well over a millennium of cultural contact with the Persians, that ended a millennium ago.

In fact, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the cultural commonalities I’ve discovered with Iranians, both in my twenties when I had Iranian fellow linguistics students, and latterly on Quora. (The emphasis is on: surprise.)

What’s your favorite Bible verse?

Originally Answered:

What is your favorite verse of scripture in The Holy Bible and why?

For linguistic reasons, Mark 16:4, referring to the stone being rolled away from the tomb:

ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα.

For [the stone] was fiercely huge.

It’s easy to lose sight in translation of how colloquial Mark is.

For stylistic reasons, 1 John 1–3, an avalanche of relative clauses crashing into each other, and sometimes onto the reader:

Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν, περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς— καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν—ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ’ ἡμῶν· καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

What led to Ancient Greeks to create such a fascinating history and culture?

It’s a good question, and a question that has been posed and discussed by many before.

  • The history of Classical Greece is more interesting than that of other places, because it had more conflict and more players: it wasn’t a steady-state, stable empire. (That came later, with the successors of Alexander.) Of course, being more interesting does not correlate to being happier.
  • The history of Classical Greece has gathered more interest, because its historians were read more; its historians were read more, in turn, because its culture was so fascinating to its successors. There’s nothing intrinsically more interesting about the Peloponnesian War than any number of other conflicts in antiquity—except that the Peloponnesian War had its Thucydides.
  • A key reason Jared Diamond identified for the West gaining technological supremacy was that it was decentralised, featuring a lot of small states in competition with each other during the Renaissance. You can say the same about Classical Greece, and I’m sure people have: lots of small city-states, acting as different laboratories of government and culture and technology, promoting trade and cultural exchange because they were not self-sufficient, and competing with each other.
  • When we think Classical culture, we mainly think Athens. Athens prevailed for a small time (but a critical time) because it got its own informal empire going, it was open to immigrants (though it did not grant them full civic rights), it had confidence in its power, and its dramatists and philosophers had enough leisure to ask tough questions. Athens did not come out of nowhere though: it built on centuries of both its own political experiments and others’. And remember that much of the science of Classical Greece came from Ionia, which was much more comfortable with the Persians.
  • As I’ve said elsewhere, a major reason why the West finds Ancient Greek culture fascinating is that it traces its intellectual heritage back to Greece. It does so, because Rome does so. Rome did so, partly because of its direct contact with the Greek colonies in Italy, but also, and likely more so, because of its contact with the Greek Empires of Alexander’s successors, the Seleucids and Ptolemies and whoever it was that was running Greece. Politically, these empires were nothing to do with Athens and Sparta; but Athens and Sparta and Ionia is where they drew their culture from.