Aims

The main aim of the project is to provide a comprehensive description of the Greek language between 1100 and 1700. These dates are chosen because texts in the vernacular become available in significant quantity only in the 12th century, and, although there is no obvious point at which to locate the end of the "medieval" period, by the 18th century important cultural and political changes are afoot. The period 1100-1700 constitutes a coherent whole in terms of the development of the Greek vernacular. The analysis will be based on as wide a corpus of vernacular texts as possible, including non-literary sources (documents, letters etc.) which have been largely ignored in past studies of Medieval Greek. In certain cases, early medieval texts (5th-11th century) will be taken into account, mainly to illuminate points of historical evolution or the earliest dating of phenomena.

The Grammar will contain a full description on all levels (phonology, morphology, syntax); information about the distributional patterns of variant forms and old vs. new formations; spelling and orthographic conventions of the period; and dialectal variation. It will also examine crucial diachronic issues, giving a full account of linguistic developments within the period, with information on the dating, first appearance and spread of various phenomena (looking both backwards to Ancient Greek and forwards to Modern Greek). Past linguistic scholarship on Medieval Greek will be re-evaluated; textual documentation and bibliographic guidance will be given for each phenomenon examined.

The outcome will be a standard reference work on the Greek language of the later medieval period and at the crucial stage when the medieval vernacular is acquiring the morphological and syntactic features which are characteristic of the modern language.