7 – 10 July, Leonidio

Next time, next year!

Tsakonian language

Because of the geographical isolation of the place, Tsakonians have preserved many elements of Doric dialect.
While the official Greek language and the main dialects came from the Hellenistic common language, Tsakonian language came directly from the Doric dialect of Ancient Greek language.
Therefore it can be classified as completely different from the Greek language and not as Greek dialect
There are three versions of Tsakonia language: Tsakonian of northern, southern and Tsakonian Propontis (Asia Minor). The Tsakonian language of southern Tsakonia is most prevalent, with most speakers.
In the past Tsakonian language was spoken outside the Tsakonia in the neighboring areas of Laconia, and in colonies of Tsakonia at the Sea of Marmara (Propontis coast of Asia Minor, Turkey).
By 1997, the language was taught by local teachers in high school of Tyros. Over time, the vocabulary of the language was heavily influenced by the official Greek language.
It is the only ancient language still alive in Greece and probably in the world.

The main linguistic evidences that the Tsakonian has close ties with Ancient Laconia are following:
1. Maintenance of Doric letter A instead if Ionic I
2. Elimination of letter S
3. Change of letter S to aspirate between two vowels
4. Preservation of F which already disappeared from Ionian language 800A.D.
5. “Rotakismos” is change of the final letter S in R when followed by a vowel
6. Change of letter U in OU or IOU depending on the consonant before
7. Change of letter Θ into S
This language is on the list of endangered languages of UNESCO. Please protect it from disappearance by finding books, searching the internet and spreading the idea.