Ο Πέτρος Παπαγεωργίου και το γλωσσικό ζήτημα. Όψεις του εκπαιδευτικού δημοτικισμού στη Μακεδονία των αρχών του 20ού αιώνα

Παντελής Μ. Νίγδελης

Abstract


This paper examines the attitude of Petros Papageorgiou (1854-1914), one
of Macedonia’s most important classical scholars and teachers, towards
demoticism. With exception of Manolis Triantaphyllidis, who cited two short
stories written by him in the demotic idiom shortly before his death, he has
uniformly been described as a purist, a disciple of Konstantinos Kontos, a
classical philologist and professor at the University of Athens. Research into
Papageorgiou’s (relatively modest) literary output plus a document from the
Consulate-General of Thessaloniki attesting to his membership of a committee formed to compile readers written in the demotic as a means of improving the
Greek language skills of the non-Greek-speaking populations of Macedonia
(1903) show a shift in his position shortly before the beginning of the Macedonian
Struggle, the result of a realistic appreciation of the language question:
the absorption of those populations into the Greek state and the ethnic
integration of Macedonia depended on their language assimilation, and that
could only be achieved through the demoticism of education. This also helps
explain his decision to write in the demotic idiom in the later part of his life.

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