As an example...
In A COMPENDIUM OF ANCIENT GREEK PHONOLOGY
"Indo-European long *a survived in most Greek dialects, but in Attic-Ionic it evolved into a long flat e (English drag), which subsequently became assimilated to long open e (French tête), spelled [face=SPIonic]h[/face]
. In Ionic dialect this change of quality was carried through uniformly, while in the Attic dialect it was inhibited when the original *[face=SPIonic]a[/face]
was preceded by [face=SPIonic]e, i[/face]
JWW's book mentions those same rules regarding eta and alpha, but without reference to the reason behind them. Inevitably, I forget rules like that quickly if the reasons behind them aren't given (even if the reasons are just as arbitary as the rules themselves). For some reason, my mind works like that.
I would undoubtedly find taking a pan-Hellenic view of the language to be easier than treating one dialect like it's a language that exists in a vaccum; because I could then see the patterns more easily and put them in their historical context.
annis wrote:Except for Herodotus in Ionic, there simply isn't major literary representation of the other dialects. If someone digs up all 10 books of Sappho's poetry in the sands of Egypt at some point that might change, and Lesbian Aeolic could become more popular. But I doubt it'd ever be the base dialect for a course of study.
What were the Byzantines doing, when they were supposed to copying this stuff down?
Is this just curiosity, or do you have a particular goal in mind?
Although it seems like biting off more than I can chew, I think it'll actually be easier to learn this way. However, I have no serious goal in mind.
Also, I know there's a lot of ancient Greece that isn't Attica; so my goal was always to learn Ancient Greek, not just Attic. But, because most surviving texts are in Attic, it is my main interest. Therefore the other dialects I most want to know about are Doric and Ionic.
If you can, hunt down Buck's Greek Dialects. It has lots of interesting stuff along with lots of examples, which are all from public monuments from all over.
Thanks, I'll look for that.
EDIT: Link added