First published in 1989, "The Development of the Greek Language" is aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at readers who know ancient Greek. It aims to show how accessible modern Greek is, once the basic adaptations over time are understood. For speakers of Greek, the book provides an overview of the language's past. For those with no Greek, the historical introductions and the translations of the extracts serve as an introduction to the Greeks and their language. The chapters trace the long march of the language from the use of Greek in the Linear B tablets through the classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Frankish/Venetian, Ottoman and post-independence periods to the present day. The developments are illustrated within their historical context and the extracts give a taste of the literature of a period as well as providing examples of changes in the language, which are explained in the grammatical points that follow. This second edition has been revised throughout. The translations are more literal, to enable a clearer understanding of the Greek text, and a new appendix summarises the grammar of Standard Modern Greek.
Finally, an up-to-date and fuller bibliography provides a useful guide for further study.