Doric Greek

Distribution of Greek dialects in the classical period.[1]
Western group:
  Doric proper
Central group:
  Aeolic
Eastern group:
  Attic
  Ionic
  Achaean Doric Greek
History of the
Greek language

(see also: Greek alphabet)
P46.jpg

Proto-Greek (c. 3000–1600 BC)
Mycenaean (c. 1600–1100 BC)
Ancient Greek (c. 800–330 BC)
Dialects:
Aeolic, Arcadocypriot, Attic-Ionic,
Doric, Locrian, Pamphylian,
Homeric Greek,
Macedonian (?)

Koine Greek (c. 330 BC–330)
Medieval Greek (330–1453)
Modern Greek (from 1453)
Dialects:
Calabrian, Cappadocian, Cheimarriotika, Cretan,
Cypriot, Demotic, Griko, Katharevousa,
Pontic, Tsakonian, Maniot, Yevanic
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*Dates (beginning with Ancient Greek) from Wallace, D. B. (1996). Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. p. 12. ISBN 0310218950. 

For the modern Doric dialect of Scotland, see Doric dialect (Scotland)

Doric or Dorian was a dialect of ancient Greek. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese, Crete, Rhodes, some islands in the southern Aegean Sea, some cities on the coasts of Asia Minor, Southern Italy, Sicily, Epirus and Macedon. Together with Northwest Greek, it forms the "Western group" of classical Greek dialects. By Hellenistic times, under the Achaean League, the Achaean Doric Koine appeared exhibiting many peculiarities common to all Doric dialects and which delayed the spread of the Attic-based Koine to the Peloponnese until the 2nd century BC.[2]

It is widely accepted that Doric originated in the mountains of Epirus and Macedonia, northwestern Greece, the original seat of the Dorians. It was expanded to all other regions during the Dorian invasion (c. 1150 BC) and the colonisations that followed. The presence of a Doric state (Doris) in central Greece, north of the Gulf of Corinth, led to the theory that Doric had originated in northwest Greece or maybe beyond in the Balkans.The dialect's distribution towards the north extends to the Megarian colony of Byzantium and the Corinthian colonies of Potidaea, Epidamnos, Apollonia and Ambracia. Local epigraphical evidence is restricted to the decrees of the Epirote League and the Pella curse tablet (both in early 4th century BC), as well to the Doric eponym Machatas first attested in Macedonia (early 5th century BC).[3]

Contents

Variants

Doric proper

Where the Doric dialect group fits in the overall classification of ancient Greek dialects depends to some extent on the classification. Several views are stated under Greek dialects. The prevalent theme of most views listed there is that Doric is a subgroup of West Greek. Some use the terms Northern Greek or Northwest Greek instead. The geographic distinction is only verbal and ostensibly is misnamed: all of Doric was spoken south of "Southern Greek" or "Southeastern Greek."

Be that as it may, "Northern Greek" is based on a presumption that Dorians came from the north and on the fact that Doric is closely related to Northwest Greek. When the distinction began is not known. All the "northerners" might have spoken one dialect at the time of the Dorian invasion; certainly, Doric could only have further differentiated into its classical dialects when the Dorians were in place in the south. Thus West Greek is the most accurate name for the classical dialects.

Tsakonian, a descendant of Laconian Doric (Spartan), is still spoken on the southern Argolid coast of the Peloponnese, in the modern prefectures of Arcadia and Laconia. Today it is a source of considerable interest to linguists, and an endangered dialect.

The dialects of the Doric Group are as follows.

Laconian, Heraclean

Map of Laconia

Laconian was spoken by the population of Laconia in the southern Peloponnesus and also by its colonies, Tarentum and Heraclea, in southern Italy. Sparta was the seat of ancient Laconia.

Laconian is attested in inscriptions on pottery and stone from the 7th century BC. A dedication to Helen dates from the 2nd quarter of the 7th. Tarentum was founded in 706 BC. The founders must already have spoken Laconic.

Many documents from the state of Sparta survive, whose citizens called themselves Lacedaemonians after the name of the valley in which they lived. Homer calls it "hollow Lacedaemon", though he refers to a pre-Dorian period. The 7th century BC, Spartan poet, Alcman, used a dialect that some consider to be predominantly Laconian. Philoxenus of Alexandria wrote a treatise On the Laconian dialect.

Argolic

Map of Argolis

Argolic was spoken in the thickly settled northeast Peloponnesus at, for example, Argos, Mycenae, Hermione, Troezen, Epidaurus, and as close to Athens as the island of Aegina. As Mycenaean Greek had been spoken in this dialect region in the Bronze Age, it is clear that the Dorians overran it but were unable to take Attica. The Dorians went on from Argos to Crete and Rhodes.

Ample inscriptional material of a legal, political and religious content exists from at least the 6th century BC.

Corinthian

Map of Corinthia

Corinthian was spoken first in the isthmus region between the Peloponnesus and mainland Greece; that is, the Isthmus of Corinth. The cities and states of the Corinthian dialect region were Corinth, Sicyon, Cleonae, Phlius, the colonies of Corinth in western Greece: Corcyra, Leucas, Anactorium, Ambracia and others, the colonies in and around Italy: Syracuse and Ancona, and the colonies of Corcyra: Dyrrachium, Apollonia. The earliest inscriptions at Corinth date from the early 6th century BC. They use a Corinthian epichoric alphabet. (See under Attic Greek.)

Corinth contradicts the prejudice that Dorians were rustic militarists, as some consider the speakers of Laconian to be. Positioned on an international trade route, Corinth played a leading part in the recivilizing of Greece after the centuries of disorder and isolation following the collapse of Mycenaean Greece.

Northwest Greek

The Northwest Greek group is closely related to the Doric Group, while sometimes there is no distinction between the Doric and the Northwest Greek. Whether it is to be considered a part of the Doric Group or the latter a part of it or the two subgroups of West Greek: the dialects and their grouping remain the same. West Thessalian and Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence. The Northwest Greek dialects differ from the Doric Group dialects in the below features[4]:

  1. Dative plural of the third declension in -οις (-ois) (instead of -σι (-si)) (Ἀκαρνάνοις ἱππέοις Akarnanois hippeois for Ἀκαρνᾶσιν ἱππεῦσιν Akarnasin hippeusin , to the Acarnanian knights.
  2. ἐν (en) + accusative (instead of εἰς (eis)) en Naupakton
  3. -στ (-st) for -σθ (-sth) γενέσται genestai for genesthai (to become) μίστωμα mistôma for misthôma (payment for hiring)
  4. ar for er amara /Dor. amera/Att. hêmera (day) Elean wargon for Doric wergon and Attic ergon (work)
  5. Dative singular in -oi instead of -ôi τοῖ Ἀσκλαπιοῖ Doric τῶι Ἀσκλαπιῶι Attic Ἀσκληπιῶι
  6. Middle participle in -eimenos instead of -oumenos

The dialects are as follows:

Plutarch refers that Delphians pronounce b in the place of p (βικρὸν for πικρὸν)[5]

The dialect of Elis, Olympia is, after the Aeolic dialects, one of the most difficult for the modern reader of epigraphic texts[7] (earliest c. 600 BC)[8]

  • Northwest Greek Koiné
    • hybrid dialect of Attic and certain Northwest Greek and Doric features
    • chiefly associated with the Aetolian Confederacy and dates to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC.

Calydon sanctuary (earliest c. 600-575 BC)[9] - Aetolian League 300-262 BC[10]

A school of thought maintains that Macedonian may have been a Greek dialect, possibly of the Northwestern group in particular,[16] although would classify Macedonian as a separate marginal or "deviant" item on its own.[17]

Phonology

Vowels

Long a

Proto-Greek long ā → Doric ā ~ Attic long open ē (eta) in at least some positions.

  • Doric gā mātēr ~ Attic gē mētēr "earth mother"

Compensatory lengthening of e and o

In certain Doric dialects (Severe Doric), e and o lengthen by compensatory lengthening or contraction to eta or omega ~ Attic ei and ou (spurious diphthongs).

  • Severe Doric ~ Attic -ou (second-declension genitive singular)
  • -ōs ~ -ous (second-declension accusative plural)
  • -ēn ~ -ein (present, second aorist infinitive active)

Contraction of a and e

Contraction: Proto-Greek ae → Doric ē (eta) ~ Attic ā.

Synizesis

Proto-Greek eo, ea → some Doric dialects' io, ia.

Proto-Greek a

Proto-Greek short a → Doric short a ~ Attic e in certain words.

  • Doric hiaros, Artamis ~ Attic hieros "holy", Artemis

Consonants

Proto-Greek -ti

Proto-Greek -ti is retained (assibilated to -si in Attic).

  • Doric phāti ~ Attic phēsi "he says" (3rd sing. pres. of athematic verb)
  • legonti ~ legousi "they say" (3rd pl. pres. of thematic verb)
  • wīkati ~ eikosi "twenty"
  • triākatioi ~ triākosioi "three hundred"

Proto-Greek ss

Proto-Greek -ss- between vowels is retained (shortened to -s- in Attic).

  • Doric messos ~ Attic mesos "middle

Digamma

Initial w (ϝ) is preserved in earlier Doric (lost in Attic).

  • Doric woikos ~ Attic oikos "house" (compare Latin vīcus "village")

Literary texts in Doric and inscriptions from the Hellenistic age have no digamma.

Future tense

The aorist and future of verbs in -izō, -azō has x (versus Attic/Koine s).

  • Doric agōnixato ~ Attic agōnisato "he contended"

Similarly k before suffixes beginning with t.

Morphology

Numeral tetores ~ Attic tettares, Ionic tesseres "four".


Ordinal prātos ~ Attic–Ionic prōtos "first".


Demonstrative pronoun tēnos "this" ~ Attic–Ionic (e)keinos


t for h (from Proto-Indo-European s) in article and demonstrative pronoun.

  • Doric toi, tai; toutoi, tautai
  • ~ Attic-Ionic hoi, hai; houtoi, hautai.

Third person plural, athematic or root aorist -n ~ Attic -san.

  • Doric edon ~ Attic–Ionic edosan

First person plural active -mes ~ Attic–Ionic -men.


Future -se-ō ~ Attic -s-ō.

  • prāxētai (prāk-se-etai) ~ Attic–Ionic prāxetai

Modal particle ka ~ Attic–Ionic an.

  • Doric ai ka, ai de ka, ai tis ka ~ ean, ean de, ean tis

Temporal adverbs in -ka ~ Attic–Ionic -te.

  • hoka, toka

Locative adverbs in -ei ~ Attic/Koine -ou.

  • teide, pei.

Glossary

Common

Argive

Cretan

Laconian

Magna Graecian

North-West

Aetolian-Acarnanian

Delphic-Locrian

Elean

Epirotic

See also

References

  1. ^ Roger D. Woodard (2008), "Greek dialects", in: The Ancient Languages of Europe, ed. R. D. Woodard, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 51.
  2. ^ Carl Darling Buck, The Source of the So-Called Achaean-Doric κοινη, The American Journal of Philology (1900), p. 193.
  3. ^ SEG 49:776
  4. ^ Mendez Dosuna -Doric dialects,p.452
  5. ^ Greek questions 9
  6. ^ IG IX,1² 3:609
  7. ^ Sophie Minon, Les Inscriptions Éléennes Dialectale - Reviewed by Stephen Colvin [1]
  8. ^ Die Inschriften von Olympia - IvO 1
  9. ^ IG IX,1² 1:152,a
  10. ^ IG IX,1² 1:15
  11. ^ Archaeologia Graeca or the Antiquities of Greece [2] by John Potter
  12. ^ Lamelles Oraculaires 77
  13. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History [3] by John Boardman
  14. ^ History of the language sciences [4] by Sylvain Auroux
  15. ^ Cabanes, L'Épire 534,1
  16. ^ Masson, Olivier (2003) [1996]. "[Ancient Macedonian language"]. In Hornblower, S. and Spawforth A. (eds.). The Oxford Classical Dictionary (revised 3rd ed. ed.). USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 905–906. ISBN 0-19-860641-9. http://www.ucc.ie/staff/jprodr/macedonia/macanclan.html. 
  17. ^ Brian Joseph sums up that "[t]he slender evidence is open to different interpretations, so that no definitive answer is really possible", but cautions that "most likely, Ancient Macedonian was not simply an Ancient Greek dialect on a par with Attic or Aeolic" (B. Joseph (2001): "Ancient Greek". In: J. Garry et al. (eds.) Facts about the world's major languages: an encyclopedia of the world's major languages, past and present. Online paper) In this sense, some authors also call it a "deviant Greek dialect."
  18. ^ Plutarch Greek question 51
  19. ^ Dionysism and Comedy [5] by Xavier Riu
  20. ^ Raphael Kühner, Friedrich Blass, Ausführliche Grammatik der Griechischen Sprache [6]
  21. ^ Elis — Olympia — bef. ca. 500-450 BC IvO 7
  22. ^ Epeiros — Dodona — 4th c. BC SEG 15:397
  23. ^ The Oracles of Zeus: Dodona, Olympia, Ammon - Page 261 [7] by Herbert William Parke
  24. ^ Epeiros — Dodona — ~340 BC SEG 26.700 - Trans.
  25. ^ Alexander the Great: A Reader [8] by Ian Worthing
  26. ^ Greek Mythography in the Roman World [9] By Alan Cameron (Aspetides)[10]
  27. ^ (cf. Athenian secretary: Aspetos, son of Demostratos from Kytheros ~340 BC)[11]
  28. ^ Pokorny - aspetos

External links

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