The Old Macedonian language

 
Group Single
Geography Was spoken in ancient Macedonia, mainly in its regions distant from the coast.
History Traditionally Macedonia was divided into Upper (mountainous) and Lower (plain) country. Through these regions, which were inhabited since the New Stone Age, a lot of ways of tribal migrations were going, and that is why its ethnic composition appeared very mixed: the researchers find there Greek, Illyrian and Thracian elements. Some consider Macedonians to be even of Pelasgian, non-Indo-European origin. Hellenes believed Macedonians a sort of semi-barbarians, i.e. the nation which did not manage to rise to the Greek level of culture, but were nevertheless closer to it than any other peoples around Greece. 
Phonetics Some important traits make Macedonian different from Greek in phonetics. The intervocal s was preserved here, while disappearing in Greek. Voiced aspirated consonants did not become voiceless but were preserved (Greek thanos vs. Macedonian danos 'death').
Morphology The nominal system is known only due to several glosses with fixed endings of nominative singular and plural. Obviously Indo-European o- and -stems were quite productive in Macedonian.
Lexicon Of all discovered Macedonian words, some do not have cognates in Greek but do have them in other Indo-European languages such as Thracian, Slavic, and Italic.
Writing No writing
Close Contacts The language is very hard to define whether it belongs to Thraco-Illyrian or to Hellenic groups of Indo-European languages. Some linguists believe that tribes of mountainous Macedonia spoke an archaic language closer to Thracian or Illyrian, but people in towns and the upper classes, influenced by Greek achievements, gradually were losing their native tongue and took up Greek. Contacts with Greek Halkidiki and Thessalia regions were strengthening in the 5th and 4th centuries, and simultaneously the process of national assimilation went on. When Greece was conquered by Philip of Macedonia and occupied by his son Alexander the Great, Macedonians officially became real Hellenes. 
Picture Macedonian map
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