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How many ancients greek dialects there were?

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How many ancients greek dialects there were?

Postby maximo » Thu Oct 30, 2003 8:41 pm

Hi, Everybody,

I don't know if if I am just a sily beginner but my sometimes my greek

grammars ( I have 3 or 4 of them ) don't seem to match. For Instance, in

dual should I use tó and toîn with female nouns or tá and taîn?

Is there a order to learn greek?

What greek dialect we learn in a common grammar?

There are so manyquestions!

Can some help me? Please?[/b]
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Postby Raya » Fri Oct 31, 2003 5:06 pm

I don't know the answer to your question on the duals, so I'll leave it to someone else.

As for dialects, most people seem to start with Attic, although some choose to begin with Homeric. Chronologically speaking, Homeric dialect came first, although from what I understand, learning Attic first makes more authors available to you earlier on.

Hope that helps (somewhat)...
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Postby Skylax » Sat Nov 01, 2003 3:31 pm

Please don't worry about dual. It is very unfrequent.
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Re: How many ancients greek dialects there were?

Postby annis » Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:27 pm

maximo wrote: For Instance, in

dual should I use tó and toîn with female nouns or tá and taîn?


I think the separate feminine forms were invented by grammarians. The dual is very rare in all but Homer and Hesiod, so I wouldn't worry much about that.

Is there a order to learn greek?

What greek dialect we learn in a common grammar?


Most people start with Attic, the dialect in and around Athens. All Greek grammars I know of in English assume this dialect, and then have separate sections or footnotes for other dialects.

As for how many dialects, there were quite a lot of them. However, our only evidence for most of them is local monuments. Most of us want to know the literary dialects, and that number is much smaller: Epic (which is Old Ionic with some extra stuff from other dialects), New Ionic (Herodotus mostly) and Attic. These are the big three, and have a great deal in common. Koine, the language of Alexander's empire and the NT is basically simplified Attic with some New Ionic forms and foreign vocabulary (Aramaic, Latin, etc.)

If you wish to read the poets Sappho, Alcaeus or some of Theocritus, you will need to know Lesbian Aeolic. This dialect stands most apart from the other dialects: different vocabulary, surprising sound changes and the accent rules are different.

If you wish to read Pindar, Bacchylides, Simonides and parts of Attic drama, you'll need to learn to recognize a literary Doric dialect. That has some vocabulary changes, and few simple sound changes (long alpha where Epic and Attic will have eta). This literary Doric is pretty simple. Real Doric, not well attested, is harder.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby benissimus » Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:44 pm

Interesting.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby tadwelessar » Sun Nov 02, 2003 10:20 pm

same problem with talassa and talatta, do you remember?
I think you can use both to-toin and ta-tain choose the one you like!
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