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Macedonian (Ancient) language
 
Macedonian mapAncient Macedonia had a border with Greek Thessalia in the south, with Illyria in the west, with Thracia in the east. Traditionally Macedonia was divided into Upper (mountainous) and Lower (plain) country. Through these regions, which were inhabited since New Stone Age, a lot of ways of tribal migrations were going, and that is why its ethnic composition appeared very mixtured: 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 all other peoples around Greece.

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 Thraco-Illyrian language, and 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. And when Greece was conquered by Philip and occupied by his son Alexander the Great, Macedonians officially became real Hellenes.

Anyway, original Macedonian had much in common with Greek in structure and morphology. Its dictionary consisted of words cognate with Thracian, Greek and Illyrian ones, and some Macedonian words were borrowed by Greeks. Nowadays the lands of ancient Macedonia are divided between the Republic of Macedonia (inhabited by South Slavs), Greece and Bulgaria (also Slavic). And another language, a Slavic one, is now called Macedonian. But it's completely different, though Greeks still oppose the use of the name "Macedonia" to refer to the former Yugoslav republic, and they object as well to calling the language of that region "Macedonian".