Greek dialects. – There are two territories in the extreme south of Italy, in which Greek is spoken. One of these linguistic islands is located in Calabria (east of Reggio), and is made up of the municipalities of Bova, Condofuri, Palizzi, Roccaforte and Roghudi. The other territory is in Terra d’Otranto (south of Lecce), and includes the following towns: Calimera, Castrignano, Corigliano, Martignano, Martano, Melpignano, Soleto, Sternatia and Zollino. According to the 1921 census, 3,639 people spoke Greek in Calabria and 16,033 in Terra d’Otranto. While in Calabria the Greek today rapidly loses ground, the old language is kept quite tenaciously in the Land of Otranto. But the regression of the Greek does not date from today. In fact we know that in the sixteenth century the number of Greek villages was 25 in Calabria, 27 in Terra d’Otranto. And the study of dialects based on linguistic geography teaches that the Greek language in the Middle Ages had to embrace the whole territory south of the Nicastro-Catanzaro line in Calabria and south of the Via Appia in Terra d’Otranto: up to these lines today’s dialects novels are still deeply imbued with Greek material and spirit. It is not just a question of lexical relics, which are very numerous in southern Calabria, but the Greek influence is also found in the syntax. So south of the lines indicated above, infinity is replaced by personal constructions for the Greek: catanz. Up to these lines, today’s Romance dialects are still deeply imbued with Greek material and spirit. It is not just a question of lexical relics, which are very numerous in southern Calabria, but the Greek influence is also found in the syntax. So south of the lines indicated above, infinity is replaced by personal constructions for the Greek: catanz. Up to these lines, today’s Romance dialects are still deeply imbued with Greek material and spirit. It is not just a question of lexical relics, which are very numerous in southern Calabria, but the Greek influence is also found in the syntax. So south of the lines indicated above, infinity is replaced by personal constructions for the Greek: catanz. volèra ma sácciu , regg. vulia mi sácciu , lecc. ulia cu ssacciu “I would like to know”, phrases that correspond exactly to the vulgar Greek ἤϑελα νὰ ξέρω. Among the lexical relics we mention in Calabria: brósacu “frog” (= bov. Vrú ϑ aco ) ‹βόϑρακος, golèu “ owl ”(bov. Agolèo )‹ αἰγωλιός, maló χ a “malva” (bov. Moló χ a ) ‹μαλάχη , spronu “mullein” (bov. splono ) ‹στλόνος, sirtu ” tirabrace “(bov. sirti )‹ σύρτης, spálassu “Thorny broom” (bov. Spólasso ) ‹ἀσπάλαϑος, vampurída “ firefly ”(bov. Lamburída )‹ λαμπυρίδα; in Terra d’Otranto: lifona “puerpera” (Greek otr. le χ ona ) ‹λεχώνα, zánzicu ” marjoram “(otr. sánzico )‹ σάμψυχον, spárganu “baby band” (otr. spárgano ) ‹σπάργανuον, ” tíboferioν, tíbo ”(Otr. Tiferó )‹ τρυϕερός, cilona “tortoise” (otr. Χ elona ) ‹χελώνη, úscia “ selvedge ”(otr. Uja )‹ ᾤα.
Phonetics . – According to themeparktour, the phonetic aspect of the Italo-Greek dialects generally corresponds to the conditions of the New Greek. These are phenomena that were already developed in the first centuries of the Christian era. Thus the ancient υ appears today generally as i : lico λύκος, fí ḍḍ o ϕύλλον, bov. iplo , otr. ipuno ὕπνος, but on the other hand ciuri “father” κύριος, bov. sucía , otr. sucéa “fig” συκέα. The pronunciation i also holds for η: iméra ἡμέρα, climate κλῆμα, bov. alí ϑ ia , otr. alísia ἀλήϑεια. The ancient diphthongs are monophthongs: it was αἶρα, cino ἐκεῖνος, cilía κοιλία. In front of a vowel with a palatal timbre, γ and κ are palatalized: bov. jeláo , otr. jeló , γελάω, cérato κέρατον. The sound ϑ is preserved in Calabria: ϑ éro ϑέρος, li ϑ ári λιϑάριον, while in Terra d’Otranto it has been replaced by t or s : tero , litari or lisari . The final ν and ς fall: ólo ὅλος, aguó αὐγόν.
Morphology . – The future is replaced by the present: ércome “I will come” ἔρχομαι. Instead of the conditional, the indicative of the imperfect is used: bov. í ϑ ela , otr. ítela “I would like”. The perfect form with the participle in -ένος (Neo Greek ἔχω γραμμένος) is unknown; only the aorist is used: égrafsa ἔγραψα. The infinite disappeared in Greece is reserved for a few cases, especially after soźo “I can”: bov. egó sónno sta ϑ í , ἐγὼ σώνω σταϑῆν “I can stay”. It is generally replaced by νὰ with a subjunctive: ϑ élo na páo (ἐϑέλω νὰ πάω) “I want to go”.
Archaic traces . – They are especially observed in the lexicon. Although Italo-Greek in its lexicon generally corresponds to the use of modern Greek (cf. crasí “wine” κρασίον instead of οἶνος, zzomí “bread” ψωμίον instead of ἄρτος, nero “water” νηρόν instead of ὕδωρ), we do find , especially in Calabria, many words that are directly reconnected with the Doric-Sicilian tradition of Magna Graecia. We quote from the dialect of Bova lanó “palmento” (λανός instead of ληνός), nasída “cultivated land along a river” (νασίδα instead of νησίδα), paftá “congealed milk paste” (πακτά of Theocritus), ásamo “without brand” ( ἄσαμος instead of ἄσημος), tamíssi “rennet” (τάμισος of Theocritus), cliźa “pulicaria” (κνύζα of Theocritus instead of the common κόνυζα), anápordo “species of thistle” (sirac. ὀνόπορδον), vúrvito “dung” (dor. βλτον). In addition to this, many other words are preserved in the dialect of Bova, of which all memory has been lost in the Greek dialects, such as αἰγωλιός “owl”, δέλλις “wasp”, ζυγία “maple”, μάκτρα “madia”, ὀργάς “land fertile ”, πυρρίας“ robin ”, ῥῶψ“ oak ”, etc. Note also some feminine forms in -ός in the declension of adjectives such as ega ásamo (ἄσαμος) “goat without brand”, στέριϕος “animal without milk”, ἔτοιμος “pregnant”, characteristic forms of the most ancient Greek. This leads us to suppose that the Greekism of Southern Italy should not be considered, with Morosi, a filiation of Byzantine Greek, but that it is, especially in Calabria, an autochthonous Greekness which has continued until today without interruption.