It is widely accepted that Doric originated in the mountains of Epirus in 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; there, it further added words to what would become the Albanian language, probably via traders from a now-extinct Illyrian intermediary. In the north, local epigraphical evidence includes the decrees of the Epirote League, the Pella curse tablet, three additional lesser known Macedonian inscriptions (all of them identifiable as Doric), numerous inscriptions from a number of Greek colonies, etc.. Furthermore, we also have plenty of local coins and names that assist us in our study of the northern Doric dialects. Southern dialects, in addition to numerous inscriptions, coins, and names, have also provided much more literary evidence through authors such as Alcman, Pindar, Archimedes of Syracuse, and many others, all of whom wrote in Doric. Last, we also have ancient dictionaries, such as the one from Hesychius of Alexandria, whose work preserved many dialectal words from throughout the Greek-speaking world.
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.
There are three dialects subsumed to the (southern) Doric Group.
Laconian is attested in inscriptions on pottery and stone from the seventh century BC. A dedication to Helen dates from the second quarter of the seventh century. Taras was founded in 706 and its 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 seventh century Spartan poet Alcman used a dialect that some consider to be predominantly Laconian. Philoxenus of Alexandria wrote a treatise On the Laconian dialect.
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 re-civilizing of Greece after the centuries of disorder and isolation following the collapse of Mycenaean Greece.
The Northwest Doric (or "Northwest Greek", with "Northwest Doric" now considered more accurate so as not to distance the group from Doric proper) group is closely related to Doric proper, while sometimes there is no distinction between Doric and the Northwest Doric. Whether it is to be considered a part of the southern Doric Group or the latter a part of it or the two considered subgroups of West Greek, the dialects and their grouping remain the same. West Thessalian and Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Doric influence.
While Northwest Doric is generally seen as a dialectal group, dissenting views exist, such as that of Méndez-Dosuna, who argues that Northwest Doric is not a proper dialectal group but rather merely a case of areal dialectal convergence. Throughout the Northwest Doric area, most internal differences did not hinder mutual understanding, though Filos, citing Bubenik, notes that there were certain cases where a bit of accommodation may have been necessary.
The earliest epigraphic texts for Northwest Doric date to the 6th-5th century BCE. These are thought to provide evidence for Northwest Doric features, especially the phonology and morphophonology, but most of the features thus attributed to Northwest Doric are not exclusive to it. The Northwest Doric dialects differ from the main Doric Group dialects in the below features:
Dative plural of the third declension in - (-ois) (instead of - (-si)): ? ?Akarnanois hippeois for Akarnasin hippeusin (to the Acarnanian knights).
(en) + accusative (instead of (eis)): en Naupakton (into Naupactus).
- (-st) for - (-sth): genestai for genesthai (to become), ?mistôma for misthôma (payment for hiring).
ar for er: amara /Dor. amera/Att. hêmera (day), Elean wargon for Doric wergon and Attic ergon (work)
Dative singular in -oi instead of -ôi: , Doric , Attic (to Asclepius)
Middle participle in -eimenos instead of -oumenos
Four or five dialects of Northwestern Doric are recognised.
This dialect was spoken in Phocis and in its main settlement, Delphi. Because of that it is also cited as Delphian.Plutarch says that Delphians pronounce b in the place of p ( for )
Most scholars maintain that ancient Macedonian was a Greek dialect, probably of the Northwestern Doric group in particular.Olivier Masson, in his article for The Oxford Classical Dictionary, talks of "two schools of thought": one rejecting "the Greek affiliation of Macedonian" and preferring "to treat it as an Indo-European language of the Balkans" of contested affiliation (examples are Bonfante 1987, and Russu 1938); the other favouring "a purely Greek nature of Macedonian as a northern Greek dialect" with numerous adherents from the 19th century and on (Fick 1874; Hoffmann 1906; Hatzidakis 1897 etc.; Kalleris 1964 and 1976).
Masson himself argues with the largely Greek character of the Macedonian onomastics and sees Macedonian as "a Greek dialect, characterised by its marginal position and by local pronunciations" and probably most closely related to the dialects of the Greek North-West (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote). Brian D. Joseph acknowledges the closeness of Macedonian to Greek (even contemplating to group them into a "Hellenic branch" of Indo-European), but retains that "[t]he slender evidence is open to different interpretations, so that no definitive answer is really possible". Johannes Engels has pointed to the Pella curse tablet, written in Doric Greek: "This has been judged to be the most important ancient testimony to substantiate that Macedonian was a north-western Greek and mainly a Doric dialect". Hatzopoulos has suggested that the Macedonian dialect of the 4th century BC, as attested in the Pella curse tablet, was a sort of Macedonian 'koine' resulting from the encounter of the idiom of the 'Aeolic'-speaking populations around Mount Olympus and the Pierian Mountains with the Northwest Greek-speaking Argead Macedonians hailing from Argos Orestikon, who founded the kingdom of Lower Macedonia. However, according to Hatzopoulos, B. Helly expanded and improved his own earlier suggestion and presented the hypothesis of a (North-)'Achaean' substratum extending as far north as the head of the Thermaic Gulf, which had a continuous relation, in prehistoric times both in Thessaly and Macedonia, with the Northwest Greek-speaking populations living on the other side of the Pindus mountain range, and contacts became cohabitation when the Argead Macedonians completed their wandering from Orestis to Lower Macedonia in the 7th c. BC. According to this hypothesis, Hatzopoulos concludes that the MacedonianGreek dialect of the historical period, which is attested in inscriptions, is a sort of koine resulting from the interaction and the influences of various elements, the most important of which are the North-Achaean substratum, the Northwest Greek idiom of the ArgeadMacedonians, and the Thracian and Phrygian adstrata.
Northwest Doric koina
Political situation in the Greek world around the time at which the Northwest Doric koina arose
The Northwest Doric koina refers to a supraregional North-West common variety that that emerged in the third and second centuries BCE, and was used in the official texts of the Aetolian League. Such texts have been found in W. Locris, Phocis, and Phtiotis, among other sites. It contained a mix of native Northwest Doric dialectal elements and Attic forms. It was apparently based on the most general features of Northwest Doric, eschewing less common local traits.
Its rise was driven by both linguistic and non-linguistic factors, with non-linguistic motivating factors including the spread of the rival Attic-Ionic koine after it was recruited by the Macedonian state for administration, and the political unification of a vast territories by the Aetolian League and the state of Epirus. The Northwest Doric koina was thus both a linguistic and a political rival of the Attic-Ionic koina.
Proto-Greek long *? is retained as ?, in contrast to Attic developing a long open ? (eta) in at least some positions.
Doric g? m?t?r ~ Attic g? m?t?r '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, in contrast to Attic ei and ou (spurious diphthongs).
Severe Doric -? ~ Attic -ou (second-declension genitive singular)
-?s ~ -ous (second-declension accusative plural)
-?n ~ -ein (present, second aorist infinitive active)
anchôrixantas having transferred, postponedChaonian (Attic metapherô, anaballô) (anchôrizo anchi near +horizô define and Doric x instead of Attic s) (Cf. Ionic anchouros neighbouring) not to be confused with Doric anchôreô Attic ana-chôreô go back, withdraw.
^Çabej, E. (1961). "Die alteren Wohnsitze der Albaner auf der Balkanhalbinsel im Lichte der Sprache und der Ortsnamen". VII Congresso Internaz. Di Sciense Onomastiche: 241-251.; Albanian version BUShT 1962:1.219-227
^Huld, Martin E. (1986). "Accentual Stratification of Ancient Greek Loanwords in Albanian". Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung. 99 (2): 245-253.
^O'Neil, James. 26th Conference of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies, 2005.
^ abcdPanagiotis Filos (2017). "The Dialectal Variety of Epirus". In Georgios Giannakis; Emilio Crespo; Panagiotis Filos (eds.). Studies in Ancient Greek Dialects: From Central Greece to the Black Sea. Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter. p. 227. The North-West group together with Doric (proper) formed the so-called 'West Greek' major dialectal group (or simply 'Doric' [...]). However, the term 'North-West Doric' is considered more accurate nowadays [...] since there is more emphasis on the many features that are common to both groups rather than on their less numerous and largely secondary differences.
^Los dialectos dorios del Noroeste. Gramática y estudio dialectal (in Spanish). Salamanca. 1985. p. 508.
^Panagiotis Filos (2017). "The Dialectal Variety of Epirus". In Georgios Giannakis; Emilio Crespo; Panagiotis Filos (eds.). Studies in Ancient Greek Dialects: From Central Greece to the Black Sea. Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter. p. 230.
^Mendez Dosuna, Doric dialects, p. 452 online at Google Books).
^Michael Meier-Brügger: Indo-European linguistics. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin and New York 2003, p. 28 (online on Google books): "The Macedonian of the ancient kingdom of northern Greece is probably nothing other than a northern Greek dialect of Doric".
^Crespo, Emilio (2017). "The Softening of Obstruent Consonants in the Macedonian Dialect". In Giannakis, Georgios K.; Crespo, Emilio; Filos, Panagiotis (eds.). Studies in Ancient Greek Dialects: From Central Greece to the Black Sea. Walter de Gruyter. p. 329. ISBN978-3-11-053081-0.
^ abcPanagiotis Filos (2017). "The Dialectal Variety of Epirus". In Georgios Giannakis; Emilio Crespo; Panagiotis Filos (eds.). Studies in Ancient Greek Dialects: From Central Greece to the Black Sea. Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 230-233.
^Vit Bubenik (1989). Hellenistic and Roman Greece as a Sociolinguistic Area. Amsterdam. pp. 193-213.
^Wojciech Sowa (2018). "The dialectology of Greek". In Matthias Fritz; Brian Joseph; Jared Klein (eds.). Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. De Gruyter Mouton. p. 715. ISBN978-3-11-054036-9. In different regions of Greece, however, different sorts of koinai emerged, of which the best known was the Doric Koin?, preserving general Doric features, but without local differences, and with an admixture of Attic forms. As in the case of the Doric Koin?, the Northwest Koin? (connected with the so-called Aetolian League) displayed the same mixture of native dialectal elements with Attic elements.
^S. Minon (2014). "Diffusion de l'attique et expansion des koinai dans le Pélopponèse et en Grèce centrale". Actes de la journée internationale de dialectologie grecque du 18 mars 2011, université Paris-Ouest Nanterre. Geneva. pp. 1-18.