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Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language (Routledge Comprehensive Grammars) Paperback – March 15, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0415592024 ISBN-10: 041559202X Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Comprehensive Grammars
  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (March 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041559202X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415592024
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

' - Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language has been written by three distinguished scholars of the Greek language and literature.'

'This book will stand for a long time as a state-of-the-language document ... Strongly recommended.' - The Anglo-Hellenic Review

'Thorough in its classifications, exhaustive in presentation and meticulous ... a timely contribution to an embarrassing gap in the Anglophone market.' - Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 23 (1999) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The University of Athens, Greece

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Customer Reviews

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Without question, this is the best Modern Greek grammar available in English.
Dimitri C
It is very easy to read and use initially to learn the rules and to use as a reference later when you just need one piece of information.
L. Merritt
Anybody who desires to master the Greek language will benefit immensely by having this book as a resource.
Andrew Fox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Dimitri C on September 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Without question, this is the best Modern Greek grammar available in English. This is a grammar, and some technical grammar terms are used, but if you've learned basic English grammar, you won't find it intimidating. The authors have included a glossary of terms.

As other reviewers have indicated, the book is primarily descriptive, not prescriptive. However, in case where the prescriptive grammarians have a strong preference or dislike for a particular usage, the authors haven't been afraid to note it.

Being descriptive, the authors set out to describe common modern Greek (i neoelliniki koini), which, of course, is primarily based on traditional demotic but heavily influenced by the now-defunct katharevousa (puristic). Believe it or not, some of the old demoticists miss the language wars and still try to avoid katharevousa forms and words that have been accepted into the common language - in other words, they're trying to purify the language from the purists! Fortunately, this book is free of any such reverse-purism and sets forth katharevousa participles, prepositions, etc. that remain in use. If you've seen it in Kathimerini, you'll see it in here.

The grammar has a few quirks, two of which are particularly notable.

First, the word "participle" traditionally means a verb used as an adjective or adverb. In this book, however, the authors have chosen to use "participle" only to mean a verb used as an adjective, and to use "gerund" to mean a verb used as an adverb. This is a useful distinction; think of the active present, where, for an adverb, you will use the indeclinable form in -ontas (grafontas), but for an adjective, you have to use the declinable katharevousa form in -wn -ousa -on (e.g. grafwn).
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Fox on August 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Anybody who desires to master the Greek language will benefit immensely by having this book as a resource. The language is broken down and explained with the aid of thousands of examples from everyday Greek. Well presented and easy to navigate, reference to this book will clear up any ambiguities you encounter while learning Greek. It is the reference guide I have been looking for.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By L. Merritt on December 19, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the grammar book to buy if you are serious about learning and using Greek. It is well written, well organized, and well printed. It is very easy to read and use initially to learn the rules and to use as a reference later when you just need one piece of information. Our entire class at the Defense Language Institute replaced our text with this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lakedaimoniakos on February 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have studied Modern Greek for 1 1/2 years using the Teach Yourself series. If you are not serious about advanced learning, then this is not the book for you. In the opening chapters I understood more of the Greek words than the English ones. Voiced plosives , labiodental fricatives, phonemes, etc. They describe how to sound out the correct pronounciation of the Greek letters and letter combinations using words like that, rather than giving examples of similar sounds using familiar English words. These descriptions along with my prior knowledge of the language did help me to understand the subtle differences that the "beginner books" could not. Once you get used to the over-the-top intellectualism you will find that this book explains the highly complex Greek language in detail like no other. The Teach Yourself series is easy to understand, but generally leaves one wondering "why", while this book provides quite the opposite experience. In the end, I've realized that it may be more valuable to understand more about the English language than the Greek language before purchasing this book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alekos on May 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been using his book for some time and I must agree with what the other reviewers have said. It is an excellent book based on sound principles of modern linguistics, which is to say that it is descriptive and not prescriptive. What I most like about it is that the authors have omitted or renamed some of the older grammatical categories so that the entire system makes more sense. Actually, this has to be considered a masterwork.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. Peel on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
This Greek grammar is, quite simply, the best and most comprehensive available. The detail is excellent and, whilst frequently employing technical linguistic terminology throughout, it can be easily understood with little or no knowledge of such. Highly reccommended, indeed - a must, for anyone who wishes to gain an in-depth understanding of the Greek language.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kristian Lavrentidis on October 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
It took a long time to create a grammar of Modern Greek, but here it is, finally. All Greek grammars up until now have been sketchy and abbreviated, with large sections of what constitutes the Modern Greek language left omitted, due to political reasons. Greek, much like other languages, is a melting pot of various different sources and cultures, and in this case, it is important not to exclude the more formal aspects of the language, often derived from Katharevousa, the purist version of Greek. Despite the best efforts of the demoticists, Greek remains a language with many doubles, sometimes even triple forms. This book is superior even to the grammar books used in Greece, since they leave much of the actual language implied.

This book offers a very thorough look at the Modern Greek language, including phonetics using the International Phonetic Alphabet. Aspects of informal spoken language is included, as are aspects of formal, written Greek. As some have pointed out, you will need to be familiar with the technical terminology of grammar, but that is a requirement for all students of grammar, really. Even if you are not very good with these terms, I suggest you simply have patience, and look up the terms as they come along, because this book will benefit your learning far more than simpler ones. Simpler grammar books may appeal to our laziness, but in the end, they leave us ignorant. What is the point of studying grammar, if you can still come across texts that don't match anything you have learned, but are still correct? Learn it right from the start, I say.

I recommend this book, even if you are just aiming at a basic understanding of Greek, because everybody needs a thorough treatment of the most basic parts, such as pronounciation and morphology, and other grammars simply don't do that. It's the best available guide to learn idiomatic Greek, so if you want to learn the language, buy this book.
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