||Was spoken in ancient Macedonia, mainly in its regions distant from
||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.
||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').
||The nominal system is known only due to several glosses with fixed
endings of nominative singular and plural. Obviously Indo-European o-
and á-stems were quite productive in Macedonian.
||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,
||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