Tsakonian

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A language of Greece

Alternate Names
Tsakonia
Population

1,500 (2010 M. Kisilier).

Location

Peloponnese, Western Greece and the Ionian Islands administrative unit: Arkadia regional unit, Agios Andreas, Prastos, and Leonidio towns; Kastanitsa, Sitena, Pramatefti, Sapounakeika, Tyros, and Melana villages. Peloponnesos east coast; isolated in summer in east Peloponnesus in mountains west of Leonidio, in winter Leonidio town area.

Language Maps
Language Status

8a (Moribund).

Dialects

Northern Tsakonian (Kastanista-Sitena), Southern Tsakonian (Leonidio-Prastos), Propontis Tsakonian (Vatka-Havoutsi). Southern Tsakonian has at least four subdialects: Prastos-Agios Andreas, Tyros-Sapounakeika, Melana-Pramatefti, and Vaskina. Tsakonian was derived from the Doric dialect spoken in Lakonia by ancient Spartans. Northern and Southern are reportedly mutually intelligible, but Propontis was more distinct, and more similar to standard Greek [ell]. Not inherently intelligible with modern Greek (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Lexical similarity: 70% or less with standard Greek [ell].

Language Use

Monolinguals existed in 1927. Few use Northern dialect. Most use Southern Tsakonian. Propontis Tsakonian has had no remaining speakers since 1970. Mostly elderly (Salminen 2007). Also use Greek [ell].

Language Development
Dictionary. Grammar.
Other Comments

Christian.

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