REQUEST FOR REGISTRATION: el-katharev (was: Distinguishing Greek and Greek)

John Cowan jcowan at
Wed Mar 16 16:49:39 CET 2005

Michael Everson scripsit:

> >On the other hand defining just el-polyton is not enough. If 
> >el-polyton is defined as a tag, then there is no indication if the 
> >text is written in "katharevousa" or "dimotiki". The differences 
> >between them are too many, not only orthographycally, but in 
> >grammar, in vocabulary and more....
> >
> >Engaging a grammatical editor for polytonic Greek without knowing in 
> >which of the two variants you are working will simply not work.
> That might be an argument for additional tags for those grammatical 
> variants, if it can be demonstrated that there is a need. 
> Orthography, however, can be distinguished by the two tags proposed.

Yannis Haralambous defines six subtypes of Greek orthography:

        Ancient Greek, non-standardized
        Ancient Greek, standardized polytonic
        Katharevousa, standardized polytonic
        Dimotiki, ad hoc transcription
        Dimotiki, standardized polytonic
        Dimotiki, standardized monotonic

In , he gives the following
examples of the last three (I~ = inverted iota with circumflex below):

        Xarh~te neI~ai~s, xarh~te neI~oi` ta` drosera' sas neI~a~ta
        Xarei~te neie's, xarei~te neioi` ta` drosera' sas neia'ta
        Xarei'te nies, xarei'te nioi ta drosera' sas nia'ta

Now we have no immediate need to deal with non-standardized orthographies,
but there are huge amounts of taggable material from the 19th and 20th
centuries in Katharevousa, all with a fairly standard representation
(though it does change slightly over time, like most written conventions).

I think therefore that we should have an el-* tag for it (el-kathar?
el-katharev?  stupid 8-character limit!).  It is a distinctly separate
variety of the language from either Ancient Greek or Dimotiki, and does
not need a polytonic/monotonic distinction, as it is always polytonic.



   Name of requester          :  John Cowan

   E-mail address of requester:  cowan at

   Tag to be registered       :  el-katharev

   English name of language   :  Katharevousa, Purified Modern Greek

   Native name of language (transcribed into ASCII): ellenika katharevousa

   Reference to published description of the language (book or article):

        Mirambel, Andre. 1939. Precis de grammaire elementaire du grec
        moderne. Paris: Societe d'editions "Les Belles Lettres".

        Mirambel, Andre. 1959. La langue grecque moderne, description et
        analyse. Paris: Librairie C. Klincksieck (Collection Linguistique
        publiee par la Societe de Linguistique de Paris).

   Any other relevant information:

        Katharevousa was developed in the early 19th century as an
        archaicizing form of Modern Greek, as if it had descended
        directly from Ancient Greek with no foreign influences from
        Latin, Italian, or Turkish.  It was the official variety of
        Greek in Greece until 1976.  It is distinct in vocabulary,
        morphosyntax, and orthography from the modern Greek standard.
        It uses the same orthographical conventions as standardized
        Ancient Greek.


What is the sound of Perl?  Is it not the       John Cowan
sound of a [Ww]all that people have stopped     jcowan at
banging their head against?  --Larry  

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