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  • the only member of the Greek subfamily of the Indo-European languages.
  • both Ancient and Modern Greek employ the same alphabet, derived from that of the Phoenicians comprising 24 letters.
  • spoken by some 10 million people in Greece, and also by some 600 thousand in Cyprus.
  • Cypriot Greek is reported to be closer to Classical Greek than that spoken in Greece in some vocabulary and grammar, and to have many Arabic and Turkish loan words.
  • Modern Greek is still largely a synthetic language. It is one of the few Indo-European languages that has retained a synthetic passive. Noticeable changes in its grammar (compared to Classical Greek) include the loss of the dative, the optative mood, the infinitive the dual number, and the participles (except the past participle); the adoption of the gerund; the reduction in the number of noun declensions, and the number of distinct forms in each declension; the adoption of the modal particle θα to denote future and conditional tenses; the introduction of auxiliary verb forms for certain tenses; the extension to the future tense of the aspectual distinction between present/imperfect and aorist; the loss of the third person imperative, and the simplification of the system of grammatical prefixes, such as augmentation and reduplication.
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