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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

For the first thousand years after the end of the classical period, documentary papyri constitute the most important source of information on the development of the Greek language. Meanwhile, Greek writing tablets rarely survive, so that the vast majority of the extant corpus of subliterary Hellenistic and Roman Greek comes from documents written on papyri or ostraca in Egypt. The Greek in which these documents were written is considered to be a form of koinê. Postclassical literature in both Greek and Latin tended to take the classical model as a goal to be imitated linguistically. The languages, as they were learned by children and used in ordinary conversation, were constantly evolving. This article describes Greek phonology, Greek morphology and syntax, Greek vocabulary, and the Latin of papyri and ostraca.

Keywords: Greek language, documentary papyri, Greek writing tablets, Egypt, ostraca, koinê, Latin papyri

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