Glottocode: pont1253

Pontic Greek is a group of modern Greek varieties, deriving from ancient Koine Greek and reshaped by medieval Greek. It has been formed over millennia since the Ionian colonization along the southern Black Sea shores from around the 7th c. BC. It is known as Rumaiic (Pontic Greek: romeika; Greek: romeika; Turk: rumca) by its speakers, whereas Pontic (Greek: pontiaka) is a relatively new term preferred in literal use emphasizing their origin from the Pontos region. Emigration to the northern Black Sea shores since the 18th century, but above all mass expulsion and population exchange since the beginning of the 20th century ensured an extremely disperse spread of the Pontic Greek from their regions of origin in northeast Anatolia and the province of Kars, southern Georgia, Russia, Abkhazia, northern Greece and cities all over Greece, and a huge diaspora in Germany and USA.

Due to the wide spatial distance, the individual varieties are exposed to strong influences of the respective umbrella language (in Russia to Russian, in Greece to Greek, in Turkey to Turkish) and have been developing differently. In Greece and Turkey Pontic has no official status; in the Soviet Union Rumaiic was the de facto language of the Greek minority, but finally Modern Demotic Greek prevailed.

Settlements represented in our collection