Jordan Day wrote:What about Modern Greek? What time period did the radical shift take place that made it a "different language"?
There wasn't a really radical shift at any particular moment. Of course in cases where social or family ties are looser, the younger generation are more free to make innovations than when communication is inter-generational. Children being raised by their grandparents (agricultural society) while the able-bodied go out to work results in less change, but that is only a part of it.
Bilingualism, has a direct effect on language development. One field of study in particular is of interest for the development of Modern Greek, that of the Balkan sprachbund
In my limited studies of Balkan Languages, it seems that the Balkan sprachbund is played down in Modern Greek studies compared to how it is treated in Macedonian studies (македонски студии), but it is none-the-less recognised as having an effect on Greek at every level.
Here are some quotes from Wikipedia
that you could take with a grain of salt,
no ancient dialects of Greek possessed Balkanisms, so that the features shared with other regional languages appear to be post-classical innovations. Also, Greek appears to be only peripheral to the Balkan language area, lacking some important features, such as the postposed article. Nevertheless, several of the features that Greek does share with the other languages (loss of dative, replacement of infinitive by subjunctive constructions, object clitics, formation of future with auxiliary verb "to want") probably originated in Medieval Greek and spread to the other languages through Byzantine influence.
The analytic perfect with the auxiliary verb "to have" (which some Balkan languages share with Western European languages), is the only feature whose origin can fairly safely be traced to Latin.
A common case system of a Balkan language is:
- Dative / Genitive (merged)
The future tense is formed in an analytic way using an auxiliary verb or particle with the meaning "will, want", referred to as de-volitive, similar to the way the future is formed in English. This feature is present to varying degrees in each language [within the Balkan Sprachbund].
The analytic perfect tense is formed in the Balkan languages with the verb "to have" and, usually, a past passive participle, similarly to the construction found in Germanic and other Romance languages
The replacement of synthetic adjectival comparative forms with analytic ones by means of preposed markers is common. ... Modern Greek: πιο (pió)
While our primary interest here is Biblical Greek, it is also interesting to see the development of Modern Greek in a more informed way.
The idea expressed about the directionality of time in
Stephen Hawking, [i]A Brief History of Time[/i] wrote:The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.
needs to be qualified by saying that the communicative and social needs of human beings are similar in all generations, so any move towards entropy is compensated for by either an adaptation of an existing element of the language or by borrowing.
Jordan Day wrote:I went to a NT Greek class at the local Greek Orthodox church, which was taught by a native Greek priest,
He should have remembered the work that he went through in secondary school to read the classical authors and to learn classical morphology.
Unlike the situation, described by Randall for those learning within the education systems in Greece and Cyprus, Greeks in the diaspora (about 1/3 of those who call themselves "Greeks") do not learn much (if any) classical Greek.
To illustrate that Modern Greek is a different language, consider this:
When I was a third year student majoring in Modern Greek, I accompanied a few of my classmates to a G.O. Church to do something about organising a community social event. They hadn't studied any of the classical language. One verse on the wall was
Μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ· ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν θεὸν ὄψονται.
They couldn't sense of it.
So much of it was unfamiliar to them. As compared to Koine Greek, the accents are no longer differentiated and there is no dative in Modern Greek. Words have also changed their meanings and connotations.
The accusative of καρδιά is in fact καρδιά, so τῇ καρδίᾳ would be understood as τη καρδιά (the heart as an object of a verb - but there is no verb here!).
A sentence with an object can not be a non-verbal sentence, so the three words, Μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ must be forming a nominal unit, that requires the structure substantive-article-adjective. Μακάριος was the name of a few saints, and the first President of Cyprus (and her Achbishop). Μακάριοι are the people, and καθαροὶ are their attribute.
The first phrase is meaningless because it has an object, but no verb
. And it is strange because τη καρδιά has no possessive pronoun - τη καρδιά αυτών.
The ὅτι that we are familiar with is now written ότι only
means "that", i.e. no longer "because". Like as in, "It is clear that ..."
Over the course of time, ὅτι in as far as it meant "because", came to mean "when" (cf. "The children felt happy because/when they swam at the beach.") The form ὅτε became redundant, and was "merged
" (I'm sure Mike (Maubrey) has a word for that) into the non-"that" ὅτι, so in Modern Greek, the word for "when" is ότι too. You can quite easily tell them apart because of where they occur in a sentence. ότι "when" comes between phrases.That is what we have in this case, so ὅτι would be understood as "when".
Now, αὐτοὶ "they" would be taken to logically
refer back to the those guys called Macarius.
The phrase να όψεται or ας όψεται means something like "Just wait and see how God is going to show him what evil he's done and what punishment he's going to get". In the plural it would relate back to those guys.
από το θεό means "by God", and so perhaps it could be construed that the punishment would really be from God.
Matthew 5:8 in Koine Greek, misunderstood from Modern Greek grammar wrote:Μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ· ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν θεὸν ὄψονται.
Macariuses the clean (will do something to) the(ir) heart, when they are going to see what sort of punishment they will get from God himself for the evil things they have done.
Definitely requires some study to make proper sense of Koine Greek.