Dr Petros Karatsareas, Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Westminster, wrote an article for The Conversation on how the Greek Macedonian Slavic language was wiped out by linguistic oppression.

In the article, Dr Karatsareas described how the Macedonian Slavic language was progressively banned and wiped out, following Greece’s territory and population’s expansion after winning the two Balkan wars.

Dr Karatsareas explained that this territorial change resulted in the creation of new state borders that did not coincide with linguistic ones. The article stated that the Greek government was, at that time, ‘keen to promote nationalism and started to show discomfort towards Greece’s new multilingual face’. As outlined, a period of oppression towards Macedonian Slavic speakers, who developed fear of speaking their language on the territory, followed. Dr Karatsareas explained that this caused the progressive loss of the Macedonian Slavic language and heritage in Greece.

Concluding, Dr Karatsareas said: “It is sad that the efforts of state authorities to make speakers of minority languages assimilate to the majority language were for the most part successful. And alongside the languages, other expressions of culture are being lost, including place names, family names, songs, dances, games and traditions. Linguistic oppression and the consequences it has on speakers of minority languages and their cultural heritage have no place in a modern world where the value of cultural diversity is recognised.”

Read the full article on The Conversation website.

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