Aeolic Greek

Aeolic Greek
Aeolian dialect

Lesbian dialect

Lesbic dialect
Region Boeotia, Thessaly, Aeolis
Era c. 800 – 300 BC
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog aeol1234 [1]
AncientGreekDialects (Woodard) en.svg
Distribution of Greek dialects in Greece in the classical period.[2]

In linguistics, Aeolic Greek (/ˈɒlɪk/), also known as Aeolian (/ˈliən/), Lesbian or Lesbic dialect, is the set of dialects of Ancient Greek spoken mainly in Boeotia (a region in Central Greece); in Thessaly; in the Aegean island of Lesbos; and in the Greek colonies of Aeolis in Anatolia and adjoining islands.

The Aeolic dialect shows many archaisms in comparison to the other Ancient Greek dialects (Arcadocypriot, Attic, Ionic, and Doric varieties), as well as many innovations.

Aeolic Greek is widely known as the language of Sappho and of Alcaeus of Mytilene. Aeolic poetry, which is exemplified in the works of Sappho, mostly uses four classical meters known as the Aeolics: Glyconic (the most basic form of Aeolic line), hendecasyllabic verse, Sapphic stanza, and Alcaic stanza (the latter two are respectively named for Sappho and Alcaeus).

In Plato's Protagoras, Prodicus labelled the Aeolic dialect of Pittacus of Mytilene as "barbarian" (barbaros),[3] because of its difference from the Attic literary style:[4] "He didn't know to distinguish the words correctly, being from Lesbos, and having been raised with a barbarian dialect".

Phonology [ edit ]

Consonants [ edit ]

Labiovelars [ edit ]

Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Greek * changed to Aeolic p everywhere. By contrast, PIE * changed to Attic/Ionic, Arcadocypriot, and Doric t before e and i.

  • PIE *etwores → Lesbian písures, Boeotian péttares ~ Attic téttares, Ionic tésseres, Doric tétores "four"

Similarly PIE/PGk * always became b and PIE *gʷʰ > PGk *kʰʷ always became ph (whereas in other dialects they became alternating b/d and ph/th before back/front vowels).

Labiovelars were treated the same way in the P-Celtic languages and the Sabellic languages.

Sonorant clusters [ edit ]

A Proto-Greek consonant cluster with h (from Indo-European *s) and a sonorant (r, l, n, m, w, y) changed to a double sonorant in Aeolic (rr, ll, nn, mm, ww, yy) by assimilation. In Attic/Ionic and Doric, the h assimilated to the vowel before the consonant cluster, causing the vowel to lengthen by compensatory lengthening.

PIEVsR or VRs → Attic/Ionic-Doric VVR.
VsR or VRs → Aeolic VRR.[5]
  • PIE *h₁ésmi → Proto-Greek *ehmi → Aeolic emmi ~ Attic/Ionic ēmi (= εἰμί) "I am"

Loss of h [ edit ]

Lesbian Aeolic lost in initial h- (psilosis "stripping") from Proto-Indo-European s- or y-. By contrast, Ionic sometimes retains it, and Attic always retains it.

  • PIE *seh₂u̯elios → Proto-Greek *hāwelios → Lesbian āélios, Ionic ēélios ~ Attic hēlios "sun"

Retention of w [ edit ]

In Thessalian and Boeotian (sub-dialects of Aeolic) and Doric, the Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Greek semi-vowel w (digamma) was retained at the beginning of a word.

  • PIE wekʷ-es- → Boeotian, Doric wépos ~ Attic-Ionic épos "word", "epic" (compare Latin vōx "voice")

Vowels [ edit ]

Long a [ edit ]

In Aeolic and Doric, Proto-Greek long ā remains. By contrast, in Attic, long ā changes to long ē in most cases; in Ionic, it changes everywhere.[6]

  • PIE *meh₂ter- → Aeolic, Doric mātēr ~ Attic/Ionic mētēr "mother"

Boeotian [ edit ]

In Boeotian, the vowel-system was, in many cases, changed in a way reminiscent of the modern Greek pronunciation.

  • Attic/Ionic αι /ai/ ~ Boeotian η /eː/ ~ Modern Greek αι /e/
  • Attic/Ionic ει /eː/ ~ Boeotian ει /iː/ ~ Modern Greek ει /i/
  • Attic/Ionic οι /oi/ ~ Boeotian υ /yː/ ~ Mediaeval Greek and Old Athenaean οι /yː/ ~ Modern Greek οι /i/

Accent [ edit ]

In Lesbian Aeolic, the accent of all words is recessive (barytonesis), as is typical only in the verbs of other dialects.[7]

  • Attic/Ionic potamós ~ Lesbian pótamos "river"

Morphology [ edit ]

Contracted or vowel-stem verbs that are thematic in Attic/Ionic are often athematic (-mi) in Aeolic.[8]

  • Ionic philéō, Attic philô ~ Aeolic phílēmi "I love"

Aeolic athematic infinitive active ends in -men or (Lesbian) -menai. ~ Attic/Ionic has -enai.

  • Lesbian émmen, émmenai; Thessalian, Boeotian eîmen ~ Attic/Ionic eînai (spurious diphthong) "to be"

In the Lesbian dialect this ending also extends to the thematic conjugation, where Attic/Ionic has -ein. All three of these Aeolic endings occur in Homer.

Proto-Greek -ans and -ons-ais and -ois (first- and second declension accusative plural). ~ Attic/Ionic -ās and -ōs (= -ους).[9][10]

Dative plural -aisi and -oisi. ~ Attic/Ionic -ais and -ois.

The participle has ois and ais for Attic ōs (= ους), ās.[11]

Glossary [ edit ]

Aeolian [ edit ]

  • ἀέλιοςāélios "sun" Doric also (Attic hēlios; Cretan abelios; Laconian bela; Pamphylian babelios) (PIE *sawel-)
  • ἄγωνοςágōnos "struggle" (Attic ἀγῶν agōn; Elean dat. pl. agōnois for agōsi)
  • ἀθρήματαathrḗmata gifts sent by kin to Lesbian brides (Sappho fr.) (compare Homeric hedna, eedna)
  • ΑἰολίωνεςAiolíōnes "Aeolians" (Attic Αἰολεῖς Aioleîs) (aiolizō "speak Aeolic, compose in the Aeolian mode, trick out with false words" Sophocles Fr.912 ) (aioleō vary, adorn, diversify (aiolos quick-moving, glittering, shifty)
  • ἀκλάδεςaklades (unpruned vineyards) (Attic akladeutoi ampeloi)
  • ἀκόντιονakontion (part of troops) (Attic spear) (Macedonian rhachis, spine or backbone, anything ridged like the backbone)
  • ἀμένης -τος amenēs -tos (Attic ὑμήν humēn) thin skin, membrane.
  • ἀμώνεςamōnes (Attic ἀνεμώνες anemones
  • ἄοροςaoros (Attic ἄϋπνος ahypnos, without sleep) Μηθυμναῖοι
  • ἄρπυςarpys (Attic ἔρως Eros, Love) attested in Crinagoras, ἁρπάζειν harpazein to snatch. Homeric harpaleos attractive,devouring
  • ἄσφεasphe to them (Attic sphe, sphi)
  • βακχόαbakchoa (Attic βόθρος bothros sacred dungeon, pit)
  • βάλλαballa threshold (Attic βῆλος bēlos) (Doric balos)
  • βελφινbelphindolphin (Attic delphis) and Βέλφοι Belphoi Delphi
  • βᾶμαbama Doric also (Attic βῆμα bema walking, step)
  • βλῆρblēr incitement (Attic delear) τὸ δὲ αὐτὸ καὶ αἶθμα. παρὰ Ἀλκαίῳ ἡ λέξις
  • βραδανίζωbradanizō brandish, shake off. (Cf.Elean bratana Common rhatane)
  • βραδινόςbradinos slender, soft (Attic rhadinos) Sapph.90,104.
  • βράιδιονbraidion (Attic ῥάιδιον rhaidion easy)
  • βράκεινbrakein to understand (dysbrakanon imprehensible)
  • βράκοςbrakos long robe, Sapph.70 Homeric ῥάκος ϝράκος rhakos wrakos
  • βρίζαbriza root (Attic rhiza)
  • βρόδονbrodon (Attic ῥόδον rhodon, rose) and vagina metaphorically in Erotic Glossary.
  • βροδόπαχυςbrodopachus with pink, rosy forearms (Attic rhodopuches) (βροδόπαχυν brodopachun Sappho) and brododaktulos with rosy fingers
  • βροχέωςbrocheos or βρουκέων broukeon (Attic βραχύ brachy short) ( 2,7)
  • δράσεινdrasein (Attic θύειν to sacrifice)
  • δνόφοςdnophos darkness Ionic also (Attic ζόφος zophos) (akin to knephas)
  • εἴδηeide (Attic ὕλη, forest) (εἴδη Ionian also)
  • ἘννησιάδεςEnnesiades Lesbian Nymphs
  • ἐπιάλτηςepialtēs and epialēs nightmare (Attic ephialtēs) (wiki Ephialtes)
  • ζάδηλονzadelon with holes in it, open (Attic diadelon obvious) (Alcaeus 30 D 148P)
  • ἴμβηριςimbēris eel (Attic ἔγχελυς enchelys) Μηθυμναῖοι
  • ἴρονiron holy (Attic ἱερόν hierón) (Doric hiarón) (Ionic hirón)
  • ἸσσαIssa old name of Lesbos Island Cf. Antissa
  • ἴσσασθαιissasthai (Attic κληροῦσθαι klerousthai to take sth by lot)
  • καγκύληkankulē (Attic κηκῖς kēkis wet,vapour, mordant dyeing)
  • κάμμαρψιςkammarpsis dry Measure (Attic ἡμιμέδιμνον hemimedimnon, one half of a medimnos)
  • καραβίδεςkarabides (Attic γρᾶες graes) Μηθυμναῖοι
  • καυαλέονkaualeon Hsch (Attic αἶθος aithos fire, burning heat) (Cf.kaiō burn)
  • κλᾷδεςklaides Doric also (Attic kleides bars, bolts, keys)
  • Mεσοστροφώνια Mesostrophonia Lesbian festival
  • μέσσυϊmessui (Attic ἐν μέσῳ in the middle)
  • μόλσοςmolsos (Attic δημός, fat)
  • ξέννοςxennos foreigner, guest-friend, strange (Attic xenos) (Ionic xeinos)
  • ξίμβαximba (Attic ῥοιά rhoia pomegranate-tree) (Boeotian sida)
  • ὄθματαothmata (Attic ommata eyes)
  • ὄνónὄνα óna (Attic ἀνά aná) upon,through,again (Arcadocypriot also)
  • πασσύριονpassyrion (Attic passydia totally,all together,with the whole army)
  • πεδαμείβωpedameivō (Attic metameivo exchange) (πεδέχω pedecho μετέχω metecho), pedoikos metoikos peda for meta
  • πέμπεpempe five (Attic πέντε pente, Pamphylian πέδε pede ) ( πεμπάσσειν pempassein to count per five) (Attic pempe imp. of pempō send)
  • ΠέῤῥαμοςPerrhamosPriamus (Alcaeus 74D,111P (it means also king)
  • πέσδοςpésdos pedestrian,infantry) (Attic πεζός pezós)
  • πέσσονpesson plain (Attic πεδίον pedion)
  • πέσσυρεςpessyres four (Lesbian πίσυρες pisyres) (Boeotian πέτταρες pettares) (Attic τέσσαρες tessares) (Doric tetores)
  • σάωμιsaōmi save (Attic σῴζω sōizō ) (Homeric σαόω saoō)
  • σίγλαιsiglai ear-rings (Attic enōtia, Laconian exōbadia)
  • σκίφοςskiphos Attic xiphos sword (skiptō, given as etym. of skiphos and xiphos, Sch.Il.1.220; cf. skipei: nussei, it pricks,pierces)
  • σπόλαspóla(Attic στολή stolē) equipment, garment (spaleis, the sent one, for staleis)
  • στρότοςstrótos (Attic stratós) army
  • συρξsyrx (Attic σάρξ flesh) (dative plural σύρκεσιν syrkesi Attic σαρξίν sarxin)
  • τενεκοῦντιtenekounti (Attic enoikounti dative singular of ἐνοικῶν enoikōn inhabiting)
  • τράγαιςtragais you break, grow rough and hoarse and smell like a goat
  • τῦδεtude tudai and tuide here) (Ionic tēde)
  • ὔσδοςusdos (Attic ozos twig, branch)
  • φαυόφοροςphauophoros priestess (Attic ἱέρεια hiereia) (light-keeper) (Aeolic phauō for Homeric phaō shine) (Homeric phaos light, Attic phōs and phōtophoros)
  • φηρίαphēria (Attic θηρία thēria beasts)
  • ΨάπφωPsapphō, (Attic ΣαπφώSapphō)

Boeotian [ edit ]

  • ἄαςaasἀεστητόνaestēton tomorrow (Attic αὔριον aurion) (Cf.Attic ēōs dawn)
  • ἀμίλλακαςamillakas wine Theban (Attic oinos)
  • ἀνωδόρκαςanōdorkas a fish βρίγκοςὁ ἰχθῦς, ὑπὸ Θηβαίων
  • βαιδύμηνbaidumēn (Attic ἀροτριᾶν arotrian to plough)
  • βανάbana (βαλάρα balara) woman ( Attic gunē ) (βανῆκες, banēkes βάττικες battikes women ( Attic gunaikes )
  • βάστραξbastrax or bastax (Attic τράχηλος trachēlos neck) pl.bastraches
  • βλεερεῖbleerei (Attic οἰκτείρει he feels pity) Cf. eleairei
  • γάδουgadou (ϝάδου wadou) (Attic ἡδύ hēdú) (Corinna.17)
  • ΔεύςDeus instead of Zeus. Attested also in Laconian and Rhodian.
  • ἐμπυρίαempyriadivination (Attic manteia) (Hsch. public oath, Koine ordeal by fire)
  • ζεκελτίδεςzekeltidesgourds[12]Amerias zakeltides (Phrygian zelkia vegetables)
  • ἴδηφινidephin sweet-voiced. Hsch.: ἴδηφιν ἴδαις· Βοιωτοί. [καὶ ὁ ἡδυλάλος διὰ τῆς διφθόγγου] (Attic hēduphōnon) ( Aeolic wad-, ad- )
  • ἰστάκηistake scythe (Attic δρέπανον drepanon)
  • ἰυγοδρομεῖνiugodromein (Attic ἐκβοηθεῖν, ekboēthein, and boēdromein, run to help) (Ἰύγγυϊ Dionysus, ἰυγή voice,scream (Soph. Phil. 752))(Iungios Thessalian month)
  • ἰώ and hiōn (Attic ἐγώ egō, I) (hiōnga iōga for egōge)
  • ΚαραιόςKaraios Boeotian epithet for Zeus meaning tall,head. Boeotian eponym Karaidas[13]
  • κᾶρουξkaroux[14] (Attic kēryx herald)
  • κριδδέμενkriddemen (Attic γελᾶν gelan to laugh) (Strattis fr. 47) Cf. (Cf.Attic krizō creak,screech)
  • κόριλλαkorilla little girl (Koine korasion from Attic korasis girl) (Aetolian korudion)
  • μηλάταςmēlatas (Attic ποιμήν poimen shepherd) (homeric μῆλον mēlon sheep) (Attic mēlon apple, Aeolic-Doric malon)
  • μνάριονmnarion (Attic κάλλυντρον kallyntron broom, brush)
  • ὀπισθοτίλαopisthotila (Attic σηπία sēpia cuttlefish) (Strattis. fr. 47,3) (squirts its liquor from behind)
  • ὀπίττομαιopittomai (homeric opizomai I care,respect) (Laconian opiddomai)
  • ὀφρυγνᾷophrygnai (Attic ὀφρυάζειophryazei he winks raising the eyebrow,to be haughty)
  • σεῖαseia I persecuted (Attic ἐδίωξα edioxa) (Cf.Homeric seuō move quickly,chase)
  • συοβοιωτοίsyoboiōtoiHog-Boeotians (Cratinus.310)
  • τρίπεζαtripeza (Attic trapeza,table)(from tetrapeza four-footed) (tripeza three-footed) (in Aeolic it would-be tripesda)
  • ψώσματαpsōsmata Boeotian word acc. Aristonymus

Thessalian [ edit ]

  • ἀβρεμήςabremēs (Attic ἀβλεπής ablepēs ἀνάξιος του βλέπεσθαι unworthy seeing, despicable (Cypriotic also) (Hes. text ἀβλεπής Κύπριοι καὶ Θετταλοί
  • ἀγοράagora (Attic λιμήν limen port, harbour) (Hes. text Θετταλοὶ δὲ καὶ τὸν λιμένα ἀγορὰν καλοῦσιν Κρῆτες δὲ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν
  • ἀλφινίαalphiniawhite poplar (PIE *albho- 'white') (Attic leukē, PIE *leuk- 'bright,light') (Macedonian aliza)
  • ἌπλουνAplounApollo (Attic Ἀπόλλων Apollōn) (Doric, Pamphylian Ἀπέλο̄ν Apelon)
  • ἀσπάλειαaspaleia safeness (Attic asphaleia)[15]
  • ἀστραλόςastralos (Attic ψάρ -ος psar Starling)
  • βεβυκῶσθαιbebukousthai to be swollen (Homeric βυκτάων buktaon blowing)
  • βουσίαbousia (Attic γογγυλίδι gongylidi turnip)
  • δάμοσσοςdámossos public (Attic dēmósios) opp. ἰδδιούστικος iddioûstikos privative (Attic idiōtikós)[16][17]
  • δάρατοςdaratos Thessalian bread (Macedonian dramis) (Athamanian dramix) (PIE *der- cut,split)
  • δέσποιναdespoina woman (Attic gunē, Doric guna) (fem. of despotes)
  • ἔνορμοςenormos (agora, assembly, market and chōra) (Attic enormeō get in a harbour, hormos bay,anchorage
  • ἐρέαςereas children (Hsch.Attic τέκνα tekna) (Homeric ernos young sprout,scion) (Neo-Phrygian eiroi children)
  • θεανῶσταιtheanoustai (Attic ξυστῆρες xysters)
  • ἰθείηitheiē (Attic ἁμαξιτός hamaxitos chariot-road) (Homeric ἰθεῖα ὀρθή Ψ 580) (Attic ithys,eytheia straight line)
  • ἴμψαςimpsas past participle of impto (Attic ζεύξας zeuxas zeugnymi join together)(Ἴμψιος Impsios Ποσειδῶν ὁ ζύγιος Poseidon Zygius on horses)
  • κάλαφοςkalaphos (Attic ἀσκάλαφος, Ascalaphus a bird (Magnesian)
  • καπάνηkapanē chariot (Attic ἀπήνη apēnē) also, a helmet(kapanikos plenteous
  • κίςkis who, anyone (Attic tis) (Laconian tir) (Arcadocypriot sis)
  • καρπαίαkarpaia Thessalo-Macedonian mimic military dance (see also Carpaea) Homeric karpalimos swift (for foot) eager,ravenous.
  • κῦῤῥοςkyrrhos or kyrros sir,master (Attic kyrios)
  • ΜακετοὺνMaketoun[18] 'Macedonian man' (Attic Μακεδών Makedōn) (Thessalian -ουν-oun suffix for Attic ων ōn in both nominative and genitive of participles,pronouns and nouns.
  • ματτύηmattuē a meat-dessert of Macedonian or Thessalian origin (Athenaeus)[19](Macedonian mattuēs a kind of bird)
  • νεαλεῖςnealeis new-comers, newly caught ones (Cf.nealeis,neēludes)
  • νεβεύω[20]nebeuō pray (Macedonian neuō) (Attic euchomai, neuō wink)
  • ὀνάλαonala, ὀνάλουμαonalouma (Attic analōma expense cost) ( on- in the place of Attic prefix ana-, ongrapsantas SEG 27:202
  • ΠέτθαλοςPétthalos and Πεθθάλειος (Boeotian Φέτταλος Phéttalos) (Attic Θετταλός Thettalós) (Ionic, Koine Θεσσαλός Thessalós) 'Thesalian man' (Πετθαλια Petthalia Thessalia) (Petthaloi Thessalians) (Koine thessalisti the thessalian way) ( Attic ἐντεθετταλίζομαι entethettalizomai become a Thessalian, i.e. wear the large Thessalian cloak ( Thettalika ptera feathers' ), Eupolis.201. )
  • ταγεύωtageuō to be tagos archon in Thessaly ταγευόντουν τοῦμ Πετθαλοῦν

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Aeolic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Roger D. Woodard (2008), "Greek dialects", in: The Ancient Languages of Europe, ed. R. D. Woodard, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 51.
  3. ^ Protagoras by Plato - Greek text
  4. ^ James A. Towle, Commentary on Plato: Protagoras 341c
  5. ^ V = vowel, R = sonorant, s is itself. VV = long vowel, RR = doubled or long sonorant.
  6. ^ Smyth, Greek Grammar, par. 30 and note, 31: Attic long e, long a
  7. ^ Smyth, par. 162 note: (Lesbian) Aeolic recessive accent
  8. ^ Smyth, Greek Grammar, par. 656: contract verbs in Aeolic
  9. ^ Smyth, par. 214 note 9: first declension in dialects
  10. ^ Smyth, par. 230 note: second declension in dialects
  11. ^ Smyth, par. 305 note
  12. ^ Athenaeus Deipnosophists -9.369
  13. ^ Boiotia —Anthedon
  14. ^ Boiotia — Orchomenos — early 1st century BC
  15. ^ Krannon — c. 250 - 215 BC SEG 23:437, 7
  16. ^ Selected Papers in Greek and Near Eastern History [1] by David Malcolm Lewis, Peter John Rhodes
  17. ^ Skotoussa — 197-185 BC SEG 43:311
  18. ^ Thessalia — Larisa — 220-210 BC - SEG 27:202
  19. ^ Deipnosophists 14.663-4(pp.1059-1062)
  20. ^ MagnesiaDemetrias — late 2nd century BC [2]

Further reading [ edit ]

  • Bakker, Egbert J., ed. 2010. A companion to the Ancient Greek language. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Bowie, Angus M. 1981. The poetic dialect of Sappho and Alcaeus. New York: Arno.
  • Christidis, Anastasios-Phoivos, ed. 2007. A history of Ancient Greek: From the beginnings to Late Antiquity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Colvin, Stephen C. 2007. A historical Greek reader: Mycenaean to the koiné. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Horrocks, Geoffrey. 2010. Greek: A history of the language and its speakers. 2nd ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Page, Denis L. 1953. Corinna. London: Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.
  • Palmer, Leonard R. 1980. The Greek language. London: Faber & Faber.
  • West, Martin L. 1990. "Dating Corinna." Classical Quarterly 40 (2): 553–57.
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