- Griko language
region=Southern, east of
Reggio, Salentoand Aspromonte
speakers=20,000 [Vincent N., "Italian", in B.Comrie (ed.) "The world's major languages", London, Croom Helm, p.p.279-302]
Griko, sometimes spelled Grico, is a
Modern Greekdialect which is spoken by people in the Magna Graeciaregion in southern Italy, and it is otherwise known as the Grecanic language. Greeks often call the dialect Katoitaliótika (Greek: Κατωιταλιώτικα, "Southern Italian") and sometimes Calabrian, although the latter may also serve as a euphemismfor a Greek-Italian pidginlanguage.Fact|date=May 2008
Two small Griko-speaking communities survive today in the Italian regions of
Calabria( Province of Reggio Calabria) and Puglia(peninsula of Salento). The Griko-speaking area of Salento comprises nine small towns in the Grecìa Salentinaregion ( Calimera, Martano, Castrignano de' Greci, Corigliano d'Otranto, Melpignano, Soleto, Sternatia, Zollino, Martignano), with a total of 40,000 inhabitants. The Calabrian Griko region also consists of nine villages in Bovesia, and four districts in the city of Reggio Calabria, but its population is significantly smaller.
The most prevalent theory on the origin of Griko is the one by
Gerhard Rohlfsand "G. Hatzidakis", stating that Griko's roots go as back in history as the time of the ancient Greek colonisation of Southern Italy and Sicily, in the 8th century BC. In that respect, this Southern Italian dialect is the last living trace of the Greek elements that once formed Magna Graecia. Grico has preserved some Doric elements, characteristic of that early phase. However, its structure is otherwise mostly based on mainstream Koiné Greeklike almost all other Modern Greek dialects [G. Horrocks (1997), "Greek: A history of the language and its speakers", London: Longman. Ch. 4.4.3 and 14.2.3.] . Griko and Common Modern Greek are mutually intelligible to some extent.
There is rich oral tradition and Griko
folklore. Griko songs, musicand poetryare particularly popular in Italy and Greece. Famous music groups from Salento include Ghetoniaand Aramirè. Also, influential Greek artists such as Dionysis Savvopoulosand Maria Farantourihave performed in Griko.
parliamenthas recognized the Griko community of Salento as an ethnic and linguistic minority, under the name of "Minoranze linguistiche Grike dell'Etnia Griko-Salentina" (linguistic minority of the Griko-Salentinian ethnicity).
ample Griko text
from "Kalinifta", a popular Griko song:
:Εβώ πάντα σε σένα πενσέω,:γιατί σένα φσυκή μου 'γαπώ,:τσαι που πάω, που σύρνω, που στέω:στην καρδιά μου πάντα σένα βαστώ.
:"Evo panta se sena pensèo,":"yiatì sena fsichi mou ghapò,":"ce pou pao, pou syrno, pou steo":"stin kardià mou panta sena vastò."
:Εγώ πάντα εσένα σκέφτομαι,:γιατί εσένα ψυχή μου αγαπώ,:και όπου πάω, όπου σέρνομαι, όπου στέκω,:στην καρδιά μου πάντα εσένα βαστώ.
:"Ego panta esena skeftomai,":"yiati esena psihe mou agapo,":"kai opou pao, opou sernomai, opou steko":"sten kardia mou panta esena vasto."
*The Lord's Prayer in Griko
* [http://www.grikamilume.com/ Grika milume!] An online Griko community
* [http://www.geocities.com/enosi_griko/ Enosi Griko] , Coordination of Grecìa Salentina Associations
* [http://www.greciasalentina.org/ Grecìa Salentina] official site (in Italian)
* [http://www.salentogriko.info/ Salento Griko] (in Italian)
* [http://www.molossia.org/griko2.html English-Griko dictionary] __NOTOC__
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