Athonite Language

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  • Athonite is the official language of the Serene Monastic Republic of the Holy Mountain. It is spoken daily by the citizens; all street signs, traffic signs, the weekly newspaper, etc., are written in Athonite.
  • Modern Greek is taught to the children in school so that, by the time they graduate from the gymnasio or liceo, they are fluent in it as well.
  • The language began when Greek refugees came to the Monastic Republic from Turkey. They spoke only Turkish, and Athonite was developed as these Greeks started to learn Modern Greek. As a result, there is some Turkish influence in grammar and vocabulary.
  • A spelling reform has standardized the orthography so that it is more consistent with the pronunciation. Double letters have been eliminated. An acute accent is placed over the accented vowel. Monosyllabic words contain no accent, unless followed by an enclitic.
  • Under the influence of Turkish, there is neither a definite nor an indefinite article.
  • Nouns are classified biologically and not grammatically. Thus the nouns are divided into two classes, the masculine/feminine and the neuter.
  • There are three cases for the nouns in Athonite, nominative, genitive and accusative. Adjectives in Athonite are indeclinable and precede the noun they modify.
  • Under the influence of Turkish, adjectives form the comparative degree only by placing the adverb πιο before them and not by adding a suffix. They are then followed by από and the accusative case. Because Greek lacks a superlative degree distinct from the comparative, under the influence of Turkish, adjectives form the superlative degree by placing the adverb εν before them, followed by ςε and the genitive case.
  • As in Turkish, there is only one relative pronoun in Athonite, που, which stands for all the relative pronouns: who, whom, which, and that.
  • The Athonite verb system has been simplified to the extent that the many tenses present in Classical and Demotic Greek and in Turkish have been reduced to six, the present, the past, and the future, and their perfect counterparts, in both active and passive voices. Under Turkish influence only two irregular verbs remain, ‘be’ and ‘have’.
  • Athonite has abandoned the conjugated verb υπαρχεί/υπαρχούν, there is/there are, for the Turkish βαρ (there is/are) and γιοκ (there is/are not).

To illustrate, the Lord’s Prayer:

  • New Testament Greek
    • Modern Greek
      • Athonite
  • Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς•
    • Πατέρα μας, στους ουρανούς,
      • Πατέρ μας, ς' ουρανού,
  • ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου•
    • ας αγιαστεί το όνομά σου.
      • ας ίnε αγιαςομέν ονόμ ςου.
  • ελθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου•
    • ας έρθει η βασιλεία σου.
      • ας έρχετε βαςιλί ςου.
  • γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου,
    • ας γίνει το θέλημά σου,
      • ας γίνι θέλιμ ςου,
  • ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς•
    • όπως στον ουρανό, και στη γη.
      • όπως ς' ουράνού, κε ς' γίου.
  • τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον•
    • το καθημερινό μας ψωμί δώσε μας σήμερα.
      • καθιμερινό ψωμ μας δίνςε μας ςίμερ.
  • καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν,
    • και συγχώρεσέ μας τις αμαρτίες μας,
      • κε ςυγχώρεςε μας αμαρτία μας,
  • ὡς και ἡμεῖς ἀφίεμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν•
    • όπως και εμείς συγχωρούμε αυτούς που αμαρτάνουν σε μας.
      • όπως κε μίς ςυγχωρούμε αυτούς που αμαρτάνουν ς' μας.
  • καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν,
    • και μη μας φέρεις σε πειρασμό,
      • κε μι φέρςε μας ς' πιράςμ,
  • ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.
    • ἁλλά ελευθέρωσέ μας από τον πονηρό,
      • ἁλλά ελευθέρωςε μας από πονίρ,
  • Ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν.
    • επειδή δική σου είναι η βασιλεία και η δύναμη και η δόξα στους αιώνες. Αμήν.
      • επιδί δικςού ίνε βασιλί κε δύναμ κε δοξ σ' εώνες. Αμίν.
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