Stephen Carlson wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Mike, sort of on this topic of bilingualism... Has anyone give a reasoned account of the striking changes between Koine and Modern Greek as a creolisation rather than a continuity. The changes in the case system seem explicable by vowel changes and nunation for euphony rather than meaning, but the adoption of a different structure for the verbs seems to be something more.
It's not creolization or else we'd see a much larger loss of inflections. There's something less severe called "koineization" where dialectal mixing and L2 learning lead to a morphosyntactically "simpler" language. Peter Trudgill is one of the experts on this, and it and contact-induced changes more generally have been used to explain the development of English. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koiné_language
for more information and additional references.
I think that is true of the dialect mixing that occurred on a larger scale in the post-Ottoman period than when Turkish was the Lingua Franca of the Balkans, the dialect levelling that followed the introduction of education and mass media - beginning with various forms of print media and the simplification (standardisation) of both spelling and inflections - reducing the number of irregular and dialect specific forms and also reduction of regional vocabulary - specifically the deTurkification of the language (in terms of both grammatical effects and loan-words that had changed Greek over the period of Ottoman dominance). I agree that that process occurring in different, sometimes non-progressive steps from eighteen twenty-one till the mid nineteen seventies can be described as a Koineisation resulting in the Modern Greek Koineisation, and the survival of the various dialects, it was not actually that period that I was asking about.
I'm not sure when the verbal forms with έχω plus infinitive became conjugational all rather than syntactical, but it was that sort of change that I was wondering about. It is similar to the discourse marker "despite that" being verbalised, and used in an imaginary example like, "The chair suggested that we could despite the problems with the first three points, and still deal with the fourth". The most logical explanation is bilingual influence from (a) romance language(s). If that is indeed the case, then the most logical periods in which that may have occurred would be Roman Empire (administration of various Eastern regions in Greek), the Eastern Roman Empire during the period when the Law and administration in Constantinople was as it had been in Ravens and was then changed to Greek (with law being in Latin for some time afterwards), the period of the Mediaeval Crusader states, the mixing and eventually assimilation of Romanian (Wallacian) goatherds with the local population, or the literary influence of intellectuals who studied abroad during the period of the emergence of national consciousness. The most likely scenario in which bilingualism could have had a profound and far-reaching effect on the structure and grammar of the language would be by population mixing. To elaborate on Mike's allusion to nationalist sentiments, the idea of implying that the Modern Greeks were anything other than the direct descents of the Ancient Greeks is really not popular, and to suggest that the language is not a direct continuity is to infer that the bloodline is not either. Political considerations aside, the existence of the infinitive in the present dialects of northern Turkey and southern Italy suggest that a population influx into the Balkans by a population that was too big to be simply assimilated, and too small to be the dominant language in the formation of a creole is plausible. Another alternative that seems to be plausible is that the development of Modern Greek literature in the crusader states, by retelling and translating stories in the Romance languages of elite of those states filtered down to the level of the illiterate villagers.
One of the significance for exploring this option for the study of New Testament Greek is to give a theoretical basis for the consensus that more-or-less was reached in the twentieth century that the aspect and voice systems of Modern Greek could not be mapped onto our understanding of Koine Greek in the way that might seem that they obviously would do, if there was a simply continuity. Creolisation could account for a widespread and rapid shift in the verbal system at some point from our Koine to the modern Koine.
It could be noted too, that the description of Modern Greek dialects that I have seen, pay more attention to the influence of Turkish on their declensional systems, than that on there conjugational systems or tense structures within the verbals system as a whole.