Emm. Kriaras, «Μανόλης Τριανταφυλλίδης», in Ερευνητικά [Research Issues], Thessaloniki, 2006, Institute of Modern Greek Studies, pp. 210-218.

1909M. Triandaphyllidis (1909) «[…] Triandaphyllidis was born in 1883. His mother, of the Rodokanaki family, came from Chios. His father came from Kozani, Macedonia. While still in high school he became interested in linguistic and educational issues. In 1900, under pressure from his father, he enrolled in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of the University of Athens. With the encouragement of his mother, he abandoned the study of mathematics and enrolled in the Faculty of Philosophy of the same University. He was a student of the linguist G. Chatzidakis, under whose guidance he acquired a more scientific knowledge of the language of the Greek people. Later, freed from the purist ideology of the Faculty, his family, and the wider social milieu, he embraced Demoticism, of which he soon became a fervent advocate. He was particularly influenced by the teachings of linguistics, but also by his readings in general. Apparently, a notable speech of the time concerning the language issue also had a profound impact on him; I mean the lecture by Elisaios Gianidis, an eminent scholar and a dedicated proponent of Demotic Greek in the early 20th century. [...]

Triandaphyllidis departed for Germany in 1905, having published the first volume of his Ξενηλασία ή ισοτέλεια; [Xenelasia or isoteleia?], which addressed the issue of the use of foreign words in Modern Greek. Although Triandaphyllidis is already an enlightened proponent of Demotic Greek, the book is written in Katharevousa, which was typical of the time. [...]

Triandaphyllidis stays as a student in Munich for one semester. The following year, he sets off for Heidelberg. There, he attends courses during the summer semester. Upon returning to Munich, he continues his studies for four more semesters, until July 1908. He attended courses in Linguistics, Byzantinology (with Krumbacher), Ancient Literature, Philosophy and Pedagogics. He became a Doctor of Philosophy in 1908, and his thesis, completed in 1909, was published under the title Die Lehnwörter der mittelgriechischen Vulgärliteratur. He then toured Switzerland, visiting schools and gaining further experience in educational practices. He also attended some of Albert Thumb’s classes in Marburg.

In 1907 Triandaphyllidis traveled to Paris with the added, but essential to him, desire to meet Psycharis, something which was realised on 10 Octo-ber of that year. The relationship between Triandaphyllidis and Psycharis is worth noting, both in terms of its more personal aspects and in terms of their convergence on the purely language theorizing level. Thus, we will also be able to understand the final adaptation of Demoticism to Modern Greek reality. Of course, this adaptation was accomplished not only by Triandaphyllidis himself, but also by Alekos Delmouzos and Dimitris Glinos, each with their own personal contribution to the common cause. [...]

goneisM. Triandaphyllidis parents, Alexandros and Ioulia (1882) Upon settling permanently in Greece in 1912, after the completion of his studies and following some in-between journeys to England and Paris, Tri-andaphyllidis undertook fundamental work among the most eminent mem-bers of the so-called "Εκπαιδευτικός Όμιλος" [Educational Group]. In 1913, he was appointed associate researcher in the Historical dictionary of the Greek Language [of the Academy of Athens], a post he held until 5 June 1917. Soon afterwards he became one of the three champions of the educational reform [the other two being D. Glinos and A. Delmouzos], which was already under way, and was appointed senior supervisor of primary education, in cooperation with A. Delmouzos. He was confronted, as was the educational reform in its totality, with opponents on both sides: the radical proponents of Demotic Greek on the one hand, and the proponents of Katharevousa on the other. The latter even described him as a "Psycharicist".

As supervisor of primary education he traveled to various European countries in 1920 on a special mission. He was forced to resign his post after Venizelos’ failure to win the 1920 election. As a result, the 1917 short-lived educational reform collapsed. Along with other leading members of the reform he was removed from all state education posts, and for two or three years the purist ideology, unconditional and uncritical, reigned su-preme in the primary education of the Greeks.

Disappointed and despondent, as was only natural, Triandaphyllidis de-parted for Germany, where he stayed from 1921 to 1923. Upon returning to Greece, he was employed at the Folklore Archive of the Academy of Athens. Only after the 1922 revolution and the subsequent regime change would educational Demoticism become active again, though for only a limited pe-riod of time. In 1923 Triandaphyllidis was reinstated in his post as senior su-pervisor of primary education. [...]

In 1926 he was appointed professor at the University of Thessaloniki, a post which he held until 18 January 1935, when he resigned in order to devote himself exclusively to the completion of his Grammar. All in all, he worked as a university professor for only eight years (late 1926-early 1935). [...]

The proponents of Demotic Greek at the time rightly saw that there should be a grammar of Demotic based on the written language, supple-mented with certain purist terms. Triandaphyllidis wished to compile such a grammar, and had in fact prepared most of it, when prime minister Metaxas appointed him head of a committee to formulate a definitive grammar of Demotic Greek.

In compiling his Grammar, Triandaphyllidis relied on the vernacular, but accepted up to a point, as far as the vocabulary was concerned, the state the common language had reached after decades of the use of Katharevousa. In a sense, his Grammar ‘legitimized’ the compromise reached by the educational reform of 1917-1920. He was aware, however, that the further development of Demotic Greek would have the final word on the matter. And he was right.

Even after the publication of his Grammar, Triandaphyllidis continued contributing both to the field of language research and to the efforts made to enlighten educators and the general public on language issues. He be-came a brilliant popularizer of ideas, a beloved teacher, a fearless but courteous champion, and a person with remarkable organizational skills. He is rightly honored by the younger generations of scientists and scholars – assuming, of course, that they are in a position to appreciate his life’s work. [...]

In 1945, he travels to Egypt, where he spends three months studying the educational issues of the country’s expatriate Hellenism.

M Triant orimi ilikiaM. Triandaphyllidis at a ripe age

In 1948-49, still a tough time for our country, he, unjustifiably I think, applied for a chair in Linguistics in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Athens. By doing so, Triandaphyllidis gave his critics the opportunity to express themselves the way they did. They called him "a criminal" and "a troublemaker". In the words of one such critic, "he lured his country’s education to its doom".

In the same year (1949), driven by unrealistic thoughts, or perhaps only to force the Academy to reach a decision, Triandaphyllidis applies for a chair in Linguistics; however, the Academy comes to the decision not to fill the vacant position.

The conservative voices, with their well-known outdated arguments, con-tinued to be heard, but so were also the voices of demoticists who pro-tested about the then current language regime. Eventually, after the over-throw of the military junta, the language controversy came to an end when Demotic Greek became by law the sole language of education and admini-stration in 1976. In fact, the dictatorship itself contributed to this with the foolish and unreasonable measures it imposed concerning the official lan-guage and the education policy.

Triandaphyllidis also considered the future of language education in Greece. He founded the Institute of Modern Greek Studies in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Thessaloniki, which was rightly given the additional name ‘Manolis Triandaphyllidis Foundation"