Ionic Greek

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History of the
Greek language

(see also: Greek alphabet)
Proto-Greek (c. 2000 BC)
Mycenaean (c. 1600–1100 BC)
Ancient Greek (c. 800–300 BC)
Aeolic, Arcadocypriot, Attic-Ionic,
Doric, Pamphylian; Homeric Greek.
Possible dialect: Macedonian.
Koine Greek (from c. 300 BC)
Medieval Greek (c. 330–1453)
Modern Greek (from 1453)
Cappadocian,Cretan, Cypriot,
Demotic, Griko, Katharevousa,
Pontic, Tsakonian, Yevanic
Image:Greek dialects.png
Distribution of Greek dialects, ca. 400 BC.

Ionic Greek was a sub-dialect of the Attic-Ionic dialectal group of Ancient Greek (see Greek dialects).

Ionic (or Ionian) dialect appears to have spread originally from the Greek mainland across the Aegean at the time of the Dorian invasions, around the 11th Century B.C.

By the end of the Greek Dark Ages in the 8th Century B.C, the central west coast of Asia Minor, along with the islands of Khios (Chios) and Samos, formed the heartland of Ionia proper. The Ionic dialect was also spoken on islands across the central Aegean and on the large island of Euboea north of Athens. The dialect was soon spread by Ionian colonization to areas in the northern Aegean, the Black Sea, and the western Mediterranean.

Ionic dialect is generally divided into two major time periods, Old Ionic (or Old Ionian) and New Ionic (or New Ionian). The exact transition between the two is not clearly defined, but 600 B.C. is a good approximation.

The Homeric works (the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Homeric Hymns), and the works of Hesiod, were written in a literary dialect called Homeric Greek or Epic Greek, which consists largely of Old Ionic, with some borrowings from the neighboring Aeolic dialect to the north. The poet Arkhilokhos (Archilochos) wrote in late Old Ionic.

The most famous New Ionic authors are Herodotus and Hippokrates (Hippocrates).

The main differences between the Ionic dialect (Old and New) and Classical Attic were the following:

  1. In Ionic, the shift from long alpha to eta occurs in almost all words, whereas in Attic it does not occur after eta, iota, or rho. Example: Attic νεανίας (ne-a-ni-as) versus Ionic νεηνίης (ne-ei-ni-eis), a "young person".
  2. In many cases Ionic turned Proto-Greek labiovelar sound /kw/ into /k/ rather than /p/ before back vowels. Example: Attic ὅπως (hopos) versus Ionic ὄκως (okos), "the same way (as)". It is worth mentioning that similar divergent outcomes for /kw/ occurred also in Celtic and Italic branches of the Indo-European language family, for example between Latin and Oscan, as well as between P-Celtic (Welsh) and Q-Celtic (Irish).
  3. Ionic contracted adjoining vowels much less frequently than Attic. Example: Ionic γένεα (gen-e-a) versus Attic γένη (gen-ei), "family, stock".
  4. Ionic "ss" appears as "tt" in later Classical Attic. Example: Ionic τέσσαρες (tessares) versus Attic τέτταρες (tettares), "four".
  5. Ionic had a very analytical word-order, perhaps the most analytical one within ancient Greek dialects.
  6. In some words, Attic initial aspiration was lacking in Old Ionic, and in New Ionic initial aspiration was probably lost entirely. Example: Attic ἵππος (hippos) versus Ionic ἴκκος (ikkos), "horse".

[edit] See also

es:Jónico (dialecto) nl:Ionisch (dialect) pl:Dialekt joński

Ionic Greek

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