Tsakonian

Facts

  • Language: Tsakonian
  • Alternate names: Tsakonia, Tsaconian, Tzakonian, Tsakonic, Τσακωνική διάλεκτος or Τσακώνικα
  • Language code: tsd
  • Language family: Indo-European, Greek, Doric
  • Number of speakers: 1200
  • Script: Greek

Introduction

Tsakonian is a Hellenic language, spoken in the Tsakonian region of the Peloponnese, Greece. Tsakonian derives from Doric Greek, being its only living descendant. Tsakonian is critically endangered, with only a few hundred, mostly elderly, fluent speakers left.

The Tsakonian Verb

The present and imperfect indicative in Tsakonian are formed with participles, like English but unlike the rest of Greek: ενεί αού, έμα αού "I am saying, I was saying" < ειμί λαλών, ήμην λαλών.

Sample verb Ενεί 'I am'

 PresentPast
Sg.1Ενεί (Enee)Έμα (Ema)
Sg.2Εσεί (Esi)Έσα (Esa)
Sg.3Έννι (Eni)Έκη (Eki)
Pl.1Έμε (Eme)Έμαϊ (Emai)
Pl.2Έτε (Ete)Έταϊ (Etai)
Pl.3Είνι (Eeni)Ήγκιαϊ (Igiai)