ATTENDED: Workshop on The Greek language after Antiquity

By: | Post date: 2021-11-08 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Although I did my best to attend the entirety of this workshop, I was pretty exhausted—the humidity on Saturday did not help me stay alert till 5 AM. So rather than drill down into talks (including talks I wish I’d stayed awake for, like Io Manolessou’s), I’m going to limit myself to headlines.


  • Volume 22 of Kriaras’ Dictionary of Early Modern Greek (1100–1669, vernacular) came out in June: it now goes up to τέως. There’s another three volumes left to go, which makes it another decade.
  • The third volume of the abridged version of Kriaras’ dictionary came out in June 2020; the abridgement goes up to volume 20 (σταματώ). The abridgement is in places a reworking of the earlier volumes’ materials, and does need to be looked up independently.
  • The first two volumes of the abridgement (up to παραθήκη, first 14 vols of the full dictionary) were already online, at Επιτομή Λεξικού Κριαρά . The 19 first volumes of the dictionary, up to σι-, have just been put online at Αρχικη . (The same site hosts Katos’ dictionary of Greek slang, Κάτου Γ. )
  • The 22nd volume was dedicated to the warriors of the Greek War of Independence, published as it was on the 200th anniversary of the war. The presentation was dedicated to the memory of Yannis Kazazis, who had assumed directorship of the dictionary after Kriaras, and who has just passed on. I will always hold a candle in the memory of Tasos Karanastasis, who ran the dictionary for two decades, and got little acknowledgement for it (including by Kazazis): RIP: Tassos Karanastassis . But the dictionary is not the property of any one scholar, not Emmanuel Kriaras’, not Kazazis’, not Karanastasis’: its the labour of all those who work on it, including the impossibly enthusiastic Maria Kesoglou, who is now running it.
  • And more than those four K’s of Early Modern Greek lexicography, it’s the patrimony of all of us.


  • Trapp’s Dictionary of Byzantine Greek (800–1200 plus whatever dictionaries have neglected to pick up either side, learnèd) completed work in 2017, and is now available online in its entirety via the TLG (provided you have an account there, which I do not.)
  • The Supplement to Trapp’s Dictionary is now happening under Elisabeth Schiffer: it will be online-only, and it will be published author-by-author, rather than in alphabetic order (although alpha, iota and rho are ready to do).
  • The Supplement will start going online in mid 2022. The full dictionary had 187k entries; some 30k entries are going to be in the Supplement, of which around 24k are to be updates of existing entries, and 6k brand new entries.

Historical Dictionary (“Dialect Dictionary”)

  • My good friend Io Manolessou, who is the linguist I hoped to be when I grew up and then some, is now Acting Director of the Academy of Athens’ Historical Dictionary of Modern Greek, Commonly Spoken and Dialectal (1800+, dialectal and standard Modern Greek). My heartfelt congratulations to her, and I feel all the more guilty that I ended up falling asleep during her presentation on Greek historical dialectology (it was getting to 4 AM here.)
  • After decades of being stuck, the dictionary is now publishing again; the latest volume published, March 2021, is vol. 7 fasc. 1, going up to δόγης.
  • The Academy’s digital repository includes the first five volumes of the dictionary (1933–1989), up to δαχτυλωτός; ΑΑ portal .
  • Historically, there was a divide between academic linguists and the Academy’s linguists. It is only a good thing that that divide is now gone.

Thesaurus Linguae Graecae

  • The TLG is continuing to expand into Early Modern Greek, and will encompass both literary and subliterary texts as it does so.
  • The lemmatiser of the TLG was maintained for a long time (2003–2017) by Nick Nicholas, whose contribution was acknowledged.
  • Since 2017, the director of the project Maria Pantelia has assumed management of the lemmatiser.
  • The lemmatiser’s morphological indexes are being extended on an ongoing basis to deal with Early Modern Greek.
  • Coverage has also been expanded by adding lemmata not currently included in dictionaries (which is a policy change from when Nicholas was maintaining the lemmatiser.) The TLG has provided athesaurista to lexicographic projects in the past, and these athesaurista are available to lexicographers on request.
  • The TLG is eager to initiate collaboration with linguists and lexicographers as experts in Early Modern Greek.

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