Greek is a separate branch of the Indo-European languages. As there is no language similar to it, it is referred to as a language isolate. However, the absence of a language relative has been compensated by numerous dialects. This language is spoken by around 14 million native speakers.
The foundations of the European civilisation were built on the Ancient Greek language, whereas the Classical period, known as “The Golden Century”, when philosophy, democracy, literature and theatre flourished, served as a paradigm for further development of the European thought, science and art.
In modern Greece, the last century was marked by , as there was a very clear distinction between the vernacular (dimotiki) and the purified language (katharevousa). The Greek linguistic issue dates back to the 18th century and was conditioned to a certain extent by political changes. With the birth of the modern Greek state around 1830, Katharevousa was proclaimed the official language. Poets and writers were the first to show resistance against this archaic variety of the Greek language. Dimotiki became the official language of Greece in 1976, and diglossia almost completely disappeared.
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