Evidence of «μακεδονιστί» words in the other greek dialects and some conclusions on the unity of the Northern Greek Group and the inclusion of the Macedonians in it PART II

[Iliad , XX.74]«ἄντα δ’ ἄρ’ Ἡφαίστοιο μέγας ποταμὸς βαθυδίνης,
ὃν Ξάνθον καλέουσι θεοί, ἄνδρες δὲ Σκάμανδρον.»
“…the great, deep-eddying river, that gods called Xanthus, and men Scamander.”

Apparently , Skamandros must have been a river with clean/pure water and that induced the original anatolian speaking Trojans to call him with a name that derives from PIE *scand– . When the Greek colonists arrived some have correctly translated the river’s name in Greek Xanthos (“the gods called Xanthus“) , and some failed to see the connection and simply rendered the original anatolian-*scand-derived term as Skamandros (“men call Scamander“) in the same way that later the persian names Kambūjiya , Kurosh , Dārayavahuš and Xšayāršā are rendered in Greek respectively as Kambyses , Kyros , Dareios and Xerxes .

18) “Be Scared” , “turn behind” and “twister”

In [PIE,339] we have a term *tergw-“scare-threaten” with cognates in Latin torvus (“piercing wild of [of the eyes]”) , Sanskrit tàrjati (“threatens , scolds”) and greek ταρβέω (“scare”) , hence Homeric ἀταρβής (“fearless”). For a number of reasons that you’ll soon see I believe that the PIE root should be reconstructed as *stergw– with the primary meaning of “turn” , that secondarily gave cognates related to “scare”/”be scared”. The semantic connection is abvious : Someone who induces fear makes other people to turn behind (Latin tergo-“behind”). Imposing the primary meaning of *stergw– as “turn” we immediately get a plethora of cognates. “Turn” with it’s meanings of “turn”-“bend”-“rotate”-“twist” gives what I call a Latin sequence and a Greek one very similar.

The Latin sequence is :

tergo (“behind” , “turn”) , torvus (“scare”,”turn behind”) , turbare (“twist” ,”bend”) and turbolentia (“twister” , “twist”).

The Greek sequence is ἐπιστρέφω (“turn behind”) , ταρβέω (“scare”) , στρέφω , στρεβλώνω , στραβώνω , στρίβω (all verbs meaning “turn”-“bend”-“twist”) , the noun στροφή (the “turn”) and finally as in latin a “twister” cognate in στρόβιλος.

So again , we are in a situation of related panhellenic cognates that interchange «φ» and «β» : στροφή-στρόβιλος and στρέφω-στρεβλώνω. Just like ξανθός from *scand– has a linguistically unjustified «θ» the same can be said here , sinse the original root *stergw– justifies the «β». Again optional mechanisms of analogy have turned the linguistically justified «β» into an unjustified «φ». Furthermore , the verb sequence στρέφω , στρεβλώνω , στρίβω , στραβώνω shows something more :

Near the liquid “r” we have the vowels /e/, /a/ and /i/ like in ἱερός , ἱαρός , Ῐρος and it’s interesting that the “doricoid” στραβώνωἱαρός») and the “thessalo-macedonian” στρίβω («κικλήσκω») present the “justified” «β» , meanwhile the “south Greek” “e”-form στρέφω has the unjustified «φ» , but also has kept the «β» in στρεβλώνω. So in this case I believe that we are in front of an important archaism found in the northern greek dialects , sinse they appear to have kept the linguistically justified «β» , instead of changing it by analogy due to the very frequent verb ending «-φω». What do personal names say about that ?

At this point I would like to repeat that if my linguistic analysis is right then the apparent aberrancy of the «β» and δ» forms in the pairs ξανθός-ξανδός , στροφή-στρόβιλος and στρέφω-στρεβλώνω does not start from PIE voiced aspirates [*dh,*bh] , but from [*d] and [*gw] and only by purely optional analogical mechanisms produced voiceless aspirates in greek. So , we are in a situation that the “apparent aberrant” forms on a linguistic base appear to be justified , when their “apparent standard” forms appear to by “optional” and “unjustified” (watch the interesting and transparent example oudeis-outheis and oudemia-outhemia further below).

If this is the case then I wouldn’t be surprized if the other often mentioned pair δῶραξ-θῶραξ has a similar story. If thorax (“chest”) was viewed as “wooden cage“/”timberwork” (δούρειος Ἵππος = “wooden horse” and Δωριείς = “the woodmen of Pindus” , both from PIE *doru-“wood”) , then for another time starting from a PIE *d we have the linguistically justified «μακεδονιστί» δῶραξ and the linguistically unjustified θῶραξ that was produced by optional analogy in exactly the same way that the name Θεμιστοκλῆς occasionally appears in Attica as Θεμισθοκλῆς bearing an unjustified «θ» :

These examples of secondary aspiration within greek are indicative of an eminent danger in linguistics. The reconstruction of the PIE terms uses as principal indicators of original aspiration the Greek and Sanskrit cognates (and some times the Latin spirants). When all the indicators agree then the original root is without doubt aspirated [*bh,*dh,*gh] . When on the other hand we have only the greek cognate and the cognate of the large amount of IE languages that have turned the PIE voiced aspirates [*bh,*dh,*gh] in voiced stops [b,d,g] then we are assuming that the PIE term was aspirated and that greek has preserved it (creating thus the vicious circle that will classify as aberrants many «μακεδονιστί» terms) , instead of considering the possibility of an original voiced stop PIE term that was inherited in Proto-Greek as such and only secondarily was aspirated in some dialects , meanwhile in others it was left intact. We’ve seen the root *stergw– (and the labiovelar was intact at least until 1200 BC) giving both στρέφω-στροφή and στρεβλώνω-στρόβιλος , PIE *scand– providing ξανδός and ξανθός and , I repeat , the possibility of an ultimate origin of θῶραξ-δῶραξ from *doru.

19) “Zeus the Rain Giver”

As the “father sky” (Ζευς Πατήρ) and “master of the weather phenomena” among the pertinences of Zeus was “to give rain to those who needed it” , hence his appellation Ζευς Ὄμβριος (Zeus Ombrios) , “Zeus the Rain-Giver” , from the panhellenic term ὄμβρος meaning “Rain”. In [PIE,126] Mallory & Adams provide the PIE term *nbhro/ri as the ancestor of Greek ombros = “rain” , Latin Imber “shower” and Sanskrit abhra = “Rain-cloud”. The presence of /bh/ in the sanskrit cognate guarantees the original *bh which enables us again to classify ombros and Ombrios in the long list of “nasal effect” secondary voicings and deaspirations (*lambh- > *lamph > lambano: ). indeed the expected greek terms should be amphros/aphros and Amphrios/Aphrios .

Compared to the “standardly expected” term the panhellenic ombros shows :

1) A «μακεδονιστί» «β» instead of «φ» from a PIE */bh/ (nasal effect , *mbh> mph > mb , secondary voicing & deaspiration)
2) A Thessalian «ον-» >> «ομ-» in place of «α(ν)» >> «α μ)-» (ὀνγράφω-ἀναγράφω)

But it is from South Thessaly itself that the evidence of the earlier allophonic coexistance of the “standardly expected” term with it’s aberrant cognate. In Pherai , south Pelasgiotis instead of Ὄμβριος Zeus was known as Ἄφριος (Aphrios Zeus of Pherai) and it is no coincidence that the preservation of the voiced aspirate occures in the absense of the nasal /m/.

All the above indicate that the greek term for “Sea Foam” aphros could also derive from the same PIE ancestor as ombros , and to the non Seafaring Greeks Aphrios was used as a synonym of Ombrios. It was the Seafaring Greeks that extended “aphros” to “foam” and for that needed a new term for “rain” , which they found in the Macedonian-Thessalian ombros.

Below , four greek personal names indicate that Ombrios , Aphrios and the intermediate Ambrios are indeed cognates of the same Proto-Greek root :

At this point I’d like to concentrate to the term ἀφρός meaning “foam” = “white bubbles in the surface of the agitated Sea” and the greek verb βράζω meaning “to boil” , “make a liquid grow bubbles“. The semantic and morphological similarity of the two terms makes them again a couple of “standard” and “aberrant” greek cognates.

Of course there’s another possibility and βράζω = “to boil” and ἀφρός = “foam” derive from PIE *bhreu-“boil,brew” [PIE,468]. Even in this case, βράζω is always the aberrant «μακεδονιστί» cognate of ἀφρός .

The examined term Ombros is very similar to the famous greek word Embryon (“embryo”). What is the PIE root of embryon ? The Greek etymology is from “en” = “inside” and “bryein“= “to sprout out”/”to gush” , hence en+bryein = “the one that sprouts out from inside. But in [PIE,127] Mallory & Adams provide PIE *bhreh1wr as the ancestor of greek φρέαρ [/phrear/ , “fountain”]. Can this PIE root be also the ancestor of the greek cognates βρὐω = “to gush” and βρύσις “fountain” ? If this is the case , and the semantic and morphological similarity make it extremely probable , that we have three other aberrant «μακεδονιστί» terms of panhellenic use : βρύειν , βρύσις , ἔμβρυον as cognates of φρέαρ.

Of course Embruon if related to phrear can not be really classed as aberrant «μακεδονιστί» because of the preceding /m/ (nasal effect) that was formed from *en+phruein > emphruon > embruon . The point is can the secondary formed /b/ of embruon be responsible for the trully aberrant bruein and brusis as opposed to phrear due to lexikon diffusion by analogy ?

20) PIE *dhal- “to sprout”/”to grow”/”to be in process”

Mallory & Adams present the PIE term *dhal– with the meaning of “to sprout”/”to grow”/”to be in process” [PIE,161] and it’s apparent greek cognate is the verb θάλλω (thallo , “to bloom”/”to grow”) and the adjective εὐθαλής (euthales , “well-florid”). It is also a very productive root in personal names such as the famous Thales of Miletus and others like the triad : Thallos , Epithallos , Polythallos :

As you can see the we have the aberrant «μακεδονιστί» counter-triad Dallos aegean) , Epiddalos (Boeotia) and Poluddalos (Boeotia , 424 BC !!!). Plus , the name Sakedallos has been found four times exclusively in Western Lokris , meanwhile it’s female variant Akidalia (Sake->>Haki->>Aki-) has been found in Boeotian Tanagra (IG VII,753). If to all that we add the name Korudallos (personal name from central Greece ,a bird’s name and toponym in Attica) , suggesting an etymology of “he who blooms words” (karux >> korux with an Aeolian ar/ra>>or/ro variation and by that we can understand why it’s also a singing bird’s name) and the name Aridalos from the Doric speaking Rhodos (IG XII1.741) with the meaning of “well-florid” (Ari- is the northwestern greek variant of the intensifying prefix Eri- , like in Arignotos = “well recognizable”) then we are witnessing a systematic «μακεδονιστί» aberration of the PIE *dhal– in dal– rather than thal– among speakers of northern greek dialects !!!

At this point we must remember the “orphan” term Homodalion = “Isoetes plant” attested in Hesychius. “Orphan” is a term that NGL Hammond used for the frequent Hesychean terms without regional designation. Some scholars in the past have proposed it as a specifically macedonian term because of the δ» instead of «θ» in Homodalion. As my above analysis shows there isn’t any specific link with Macedonian and the most sage proposition is that it could be Macedonian as it could be of any other northern greek dialect.

Our PIE *dhal- root may also help us in etymologizing Thessaly and the Thessalians. Before our analysis goes on we must first remember the fact that the name Thessaly is unknown in the Epics where the region is known as Pelasgian Argos (“Pelasgian Plain“). So what ever their etymology is the Thessalians brought it with them when they settled in Pelasgian argos sometime around 1150 BC. From the relation that the Thessalians had with the oracle of Dodona in Epirus , from the comment of Herodotus :

[VII.176]:”which wall was built by the Phokians, who were struck with fear because the Thessalians had come from the land of the Thesprotians to settle in the Aiolian land, the same which they now possess.”«ἔδειμαν δὲ Φωκέες τὸ τεῖχος δείσαντες, ἐπεὶ Θεσσαλοὶ ἦλθον ἐκ Θεσπρωτῶν οἰκήσοντες γῆν τὴν Αἰολίδα τήν νῦν ἐκτέαται».

and from a Pindar’s (Fr60) verse talking about “Thesprotian Dodona” (The Thesprotians used to hold the oracle before being driven away westwards by the Molossians) we can be more than certain that the original homeland of the Thessalians was Hellopia/Sellopia , that is the region around Dodona. So what ever the names Thessalian/Thessaly mean they must be somehow linked with the Epirotan Oracle of Dodona.

At this point it is imperative to present the various terms denoting Thessaly and the Thessalians :

i) The Thessalians identified themsleves as Petthaloi and their region as Petthalia.

ii) The Boeotians called their northern aeolian brethren Phettaloi and thir region Phettalia.

iii) The Athenaeans used the terms Thettaloi and Thettalia before passing to the later panhellenic Thessaloi/Thessalia.

iv) From the name Bettalos attested in Macedonia (EKM1 Beroia.4 , 223 BC) we may infer that the Macedonians must have once used the terms Bettaloi/Bettalia for their southern neighbours (Hatzopoulos 1999).

Now Thessalian Petthalos and Boeotian Phettalos have the same root *Phetthalos from which by the canonical and anti-canonical application of Grassman’s Law the two variants are derived respectively.

Macedonian Bettalos seems to be the aberrant «μακεδονιστί» variant of the Boeotian Phettalos.

Attic Thettalos presents a «θ» where the south Aeolian (Boeotian) has a «φ». When ever this occures then a proto-Greek gwh/ghw complex lies beneath , like in standard greek θήρ and the Aeolian φήρ (“wild beast”) originating from PIE *ghwer-“beast” which also gave Latin Ferus , hence english Ferocious.

At this point we must return to Mallory & Adams. In [PIE,358] they present the PIE root *gwhedh– “ask/pray” and it’s dialectal greek cognate thessasthai meaning the same thing. So the root *gwhedh- can explain every variant of Thessalos and even the Macedonian Bettalos , sinse we have already seen *gwh becoming «β» in greek in the variants βούλομαι/βέλλομαι for “will”/”want” from PIE *gwhel-.

From all the above we may infer that Thessaloi are the ones who “process the questions(*gwhedh-dhal >> *gwhet-thal) and they took their name when they were holding the Dodonaean Oracle before migrating into historical Thessaly and leaving it to the Thesprotoi the first (“protos”) of the Epirotans who took possession of the oracle (*gwhedh- >> Thes-) before it passed in Molossian hands. So this etymology for the Thessaloi does not only fits well with their original Dodonaean homeland , but it also finds its confirmation in the name of the Thesprotoi , which also fits well with their history !

Now knowing that the labiovelars were intact in Greek at least until 1200 BC and the migration of the Thessalians from Dodona to historical Thessaly is dated around 1150 BC , we may postulate that around 1000 BC a common panhellenic term *gwhetthaloi existed before the two variants of Grassman’s law and the preference for labials or dentals have created all the known historical variants of the name. This presupposes e post-mycenaean operation of Grassman’s law (canonical & anticanonical) and this has already been suggested by Chadwick in page 397 of “A History of Ancient Greek : From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity” (CUP , 2007 , edited by A.F. Christidis) where he states:

“This seems to prove that the rule of Classical Greek , that aspirates cannot stand in adjucent syllables , had not yet begun to operate.”

What does all this analysis have to do with our aberrant «μακεδονιστί» variant δάλλω of “standard” greek θάλλω found among the northern greek dialects ?

The relation is that we have seen Thessalos (*gwhedh-dhal) containing the root *dhal- in it and we know that its Thessalian variant is Petthalos. Now compare Petthalos with the name Pedallos found in Boeotian Orchomenos [IG VII.3193 , shortly after 220 BC].

It is obvious that Pedallos is a «μακεδονιστί» variant of Petthalos , but it can’t be Macedonian sinse as we’ve said above the macedonian name Bettalos strongly suggest a different term for “Thessalian” in the Macedonian dialect. So just like the Perrhaebian Drebelaos , the unique Boeotian Pedallos (opposed to the standard Boeotian Phettalos) also shows aberrant «μακεδονιστί» developments that are unknown in Macedonian proper and so for another time it confirms my suggestion that what we call “aberrant «μακεδονιστί» ” must be seen as a more geberalized “aberrant «βορειοελληνιστί» ” trait !

At this point I must also admit the possible pitfall. Knowing that the Aeolians used πεδά instead of “standard greek” μετά , then the name Pèdallos rather than a variant of Petthalos it could be an Aeolian variant of Mètallos , just like Pedagenes seems to be an Aeolian variant of Metagenes.

21) Witnessing Secondary Aspiration by Analogy in action

So far I have talked more than once about intra-greek secondary aspiration by analogy (lexical diffusion) as a mechanism in position to explain rationally many of the «μακεδονιστί» terms found in various greek dialects along with the “standard” ones found in others. At this point I would like to present the mechanism itself operating on a well documented , tangible and transparent case.

Let’s consider the greek word for “nobody“/”not even oneοὐδείς [oudeis] (male) , οὐδεμία [oudemia](female) ουδέν(α) [ouden(a)](neutral). In reality it’s a contracted form of “oude” [none, not even] + pronoun “heis” (m) / “mia” (f) / “en(a)” (n).

From the beginning of the alphabetic period till 400 BC , the terms are used exclusively with a δ». For instance we find oudeis in Herodotus , Thucydides used exclusivelly as in :

[Hdt. , IX.42.1] «τούτου δὲ οὕτω δικαιεῦντος ἀντέλεγε οὐδείς, ὥστε ἐκράτεε τῇ γνώμῃ· τὸ γὰρ κράτος εἶχε τῆς στρατιῆς οὗτος ἐκ βασιλέος, ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ Ἀρτάβαζος.»[Thuc. , VI.27.2] «καὶ τοὺς δράσαντας ᾔδει οὐδείς, ἀλλὰ μεγάλοις μηνύτροις δημοσίᾳ οὗτοί τε ἐζητοῦντο καὶ προσέτι ἐψηφίσαντο, καὶ εἴ τις ἄλλο τι οἶδεν ἀσέβημα γεγενημένον, μηνύειν ἀδεῶς τὸν βουλόμενον καὶ ἀστῶν καὶ ξένων καὶ δούλων.»

Now Geoffrey Horrock’s (Greek: A history of the language and its speakers , 1997) in page 130 of the greek translation notes that in Athens from 378 BC onwards the term oudeis is substituted by outheis (οὐθείς) and from there and on outheis is a “marker” of pure Athenaean Attic. Through out the Hellenistic period it is also sporadically found outside Attica , where though oudeis remains the far more frequent term , and at the end of antiquity otheis is forgotten , meanwhile oudeis is still used in modern greek . Why did the Athenaeans changed the δ» with «θ» in the middle of the classical period ?

As we said oudeis derives from oude + heis >> oudheis >> oudeis. That is in the case of the male form oudeis all Greeks have made a «μακεδονιστί» choise by deciding to deaspirate the secondary formed /dh/. When the Athenaean masters of the speech re-viewed the word’s etymology they choose to turn the original and panhellenic voiced stop «δ» in the voiceless aspirate «θ» , like epi– + hippos >> ephippos (ἔφιππος).

Although the Athenaean variant outheis is etymologically and linguistically correct , the fact remains that all Greeks had naturally used for centuries the aberrant «μακεδονιστί» variant oudeis , and the same aberrant term finally managed to eliminate its correct counterpart at the end of antiquity.

For Elean , Delphic and Thessalian 4th century BC inscriptions using oudeis watch [IvO 293 , FD III 4:460 , IG IX,2 249] , meanwhile for contemporary Athenaean inscriptions using outheis watch [CID 4,119,G , CEG 2,611].

The interesting part is that outheis caused a “lexicon diffusion” and by analogy the late 4th century BC Athenaean speakers have also turned the etymologically & linguistically correct forms oude , oudemia , ouden(a) into outhe , outhemia , outhen(a) and the prestise of the “pure Attic speech” has even exported them outside Attica (SEG 3:101 , Priene 106) !!!

So we arrive in the 3rd century BC and besides oudemia and oudena and even oude we have the “etymologically & linguistically unexplainedouthemia , outhena and outhe !!!

On a bird’s-eye view we would have classified oudemia and oudena as aberrant «μακεδονιστί» variants of “standard” greek outhemia , outhena and the whole incident must warn us of the possible pitfalls in saying that “xandos is an aberrant «μακεδονιστί» form of xanthos (*scand-) , dorax of thorax (*doru- ??) etc “.


I have presented countless examples of «μακεδονιστί» terms of both panhellenic and dialectal use. The dialectal elements are basically concentrated in the Northern Greek Group acting as an indicator of common origin between the Macedonians , the Aeolians , the Dorians and the other Northwestern Greeks instead of isolating the Macedonians from all the other greek dialects as it has been advocated for years. Furthermore, the fact that these terms are frequent in the Homeric Epics due to their Aeolian component besides the Ionian one indicates that these “phonologically aberrant” features (as we have called them for many years) are intrinsic developents of the Northern Greek Group and not non-greek influences , sinse the Asian Aeolians and the Dorians have never really had any contact with the Illyrians and had a historically instantaneous and indirect contact with the Phrygians who prompted their macrochronic and long-distance migrations (the Phrygians pushed the northern most greeks , who pushed other greeks beneath them who pushed the Aeolians to the Thessalian coast and prompted their migration).

This means that Macedonians and the migrating northern Greeks (Dorians and Aeolians) have started from exactly the same grade of phonological aberrancy , but the former preserved and partially increased it due to the contact with the Phrygians (Brixhe’s model of phonological osmosis) , meanwhile the latter decreased it due to the influence of the “Mycenaean” South Greek substrata that they have encountered in their historical locations (southernization).

In a lingusitic framework where Greek can aspirate secondarily (*scand- >> ksanthos , Hakwa- >> Haka- >> akha- , oudemia > outhemia) – as can Sanskrit (PIE *h2ost-“bone” >> Hast- >> asthi , but greek oston)- and even deaspirate PIE aspirates directly as in *bhrem >> bronte , hupsibremetes and *dhghom >> gdon >> Gaia , Da , Diwona , Dona etc) and even indirectly (“occult nasal effect” as *lambh- >> *lamph >>laph- but also >> lamb- >> lab- in λαμβάνω , λάφυρον , λαβή ) then the “old argument” of macedonian «β,γ δ» as indicator of a possible non greek speech – especially when everything else indicates the opposite scenario – is more than obsolete and it is only disappointing watching it in recent IE linguistic books.

23) Evidence of Southernization

To everybody who has followed my analysis so far must have become clear that the basic difference between Macedonians and the Doric-Aeolian populations is that the latter have been “southernizedafter their migration in ex-mycenaean territories , where they have interacted with a substantial south-greek speaking substratum. At this point I would like to present tangible evidence of “Southernization” and the effects that the latter had on modulating the original northern greek speech of the migrants.

Lets start with the Dorians :

i) The Lakonians used almost exclusively the south Greek “s”-variant of “Poseidon” («Πότις/Πόσις Δᾶς» = “Husbund of the Earth” , Lakonian Ποσοιδᾶν later Ποhοιδᾶν because of the Lakonian tendency to continue substituting the intervocalic s by spiritus asper , a phenomenon that in all the other greek dialects had been terminated before the alphabetic period) . In all the other northern greek dialects the Archaic “t”-form Ποτίδας is being preserved in dialectal level. That the Lakonian variant is a loan from the pre-Doric substratum is easily understood if we consider that the Arkadian and Ionian (pre-doric substrata) variants were respectively Ποσοιδῶν and Ποσειδῶν.

ii) Geoffrey Horrocks in his “Greek: A history of the language and its speakers” (1997) , in page 14 of the original (79 of the greek translation) mentions an innovation characterizing exclusively Dorians and Attic-Ionians , but absent in both Arkadians and Northwestern Greeks. Arkadian (conservative south-greek dialect) and NW Greek (conservative northern greek dialect) have preserved the use of the preposition ἐν both locatively (“in” + dative) and allatively (“into” + accusative). Doric and Attic-Ionian on the other hand for the allative use have added a final s in “en” forming “ens” , which after semplification and compensatory lengthening gave ἐς and εἰς. This is an important “loan” from the Ionian substratum into Doric and the Doric-Ionian interaction can be attested by the Herodotean testimony :

iii) In [I.145] Herodotus mentions the pre-Doric Ionian presense in Peloponnese , meanwhile in [VIII.73] he states that the Kynourians were native Ionians who in time have adopted the Doric speech :

«οἱ δὲ Κυνούριοι αὐτόχθονες ἐόντες δοκέουσι μοῦνοι εἶναι Ἴωνες, ἐκδεδωρίευνται δὲ ὑπό τε Ἀργείων ἀρχόμενοι καὶ τοῦ χρόνου, ἐόντες Ὀρνεῆται καὶ οἱ περίοικοι.»The Kynurians, who are natives of the soil, seem alone to be Ionians, but they have become Dorians completely because they are subject to the Argives and by lapse of time, being originally citizens of Orneai or the dwellers in the country round Orneai.”

The same can be said about the coastal population of East Argolis (Epidauros) and JM Hall in “ hellenicity” (2001 , The University of Chicago Press) , page 54 states :

“The combined evidence of literature , myth , archaeology and linguistics suggests that political struggles over the Argive Plain during the later eighth century resulted in two competing myths of ethnic origin . The population of the western side of the plain , including the city of Argos itself , claimed extraneous origins outside the Argolid […] and were to call themselves Dorians. Conversely , the populations of the Eastern side of the plain (including Mykenai , Tiryns and Mideia) reacted by stressing their ancestral origins in the Argolid […] articulated in the myth of the “Return of the Herakleidai” […]”

iv) If to all that we add the strange phenomenon of the Double Lakonian Royal House , both claiming “Achaean” origins from the Herakleidai (In Herodotus [V.72] the Spartan king Cleomenes identifies him self as “Achaean and not Dorian“) and the absorption by Doric Apollo of pre-doric traits (YakinthosApollo Karneios in Lakonia , MalosApollo Maleates in Epidaurus) then we can be almost certain of the important influence that the pre-doric substrata had on the formation of the historical Dorians.

Returning to the historical Aeolians and their pre-Thessalian substratum (“Aeolian”) , Horrocks (1997) in page 15 (80 of the greek translation) states :

The Aeolic dialects are also commonly regarded as being largely post-mycenaean developments , originally only weakly differentiated from West Greek in the Bronze Age. One possibility is that Aeolic formed a kind of bridge between southern “East” Greek and northern “West” Greek at that time , sinse there’s evidence that proto-Aeolic had already incorporated a number of East (south) Greek features (e.g. 1pl. verb inflection -μεν [-men] in place of West Greek -μες [-mes]) into it’s otherwise broadly West (north) Greek make up.

In the etymology of Thessaly we have already talked about the migration of the Thessalians from Dodona in “Pelasgian Plain”. What I’d like to add here is the presence in Thessaly of an enslaved pre-Thessalian substratum (“Penestai“) similarly to the Lakonian pre-Doric (mostly) “Helots“. A plausible scenario for Thessaly is a model of two waves of northern greek invaders : A first wave of undifferentiated northern-greek speakers from the Boion range in southwestern Macedonia and the near by (modern Konitsa) pass of the Aous river who after interacting with the native “Achaean” (south greek) substratum formed a proto-Aeolic dialect around 1250 BC and a second invasion of a more differentiated NW greek speakers who came from Dodona some time around 1150 BC and after mixing with the earlier proto-Aeolians gave the historical Thessalian population. The Earlier proto-Aeolians who haven’t mixed (or better have mixed less) with the proto-Thessalians gave the historical Boeotians (Βοιωτός = Aeolian form of Βόιο(ν)-ώτης = “descending from Boion” like Ἠπειρώτης NW Greek Ἀπειρώτας) and the historical Magnetes and Perrhaebians (the last as we’ve said at the beginning seem to have maintained the memory of coming from the Aous River cross point in their name Περῥαιβοί = Aeolian Περῥάω for Ionian Πειράω = “cross through” (common origin from perw-) + Αἴβας = ΑἴFας/Ἀὠος or PIE *h2eb– “river”.

The southernization will continue in the Aeolians who have crossed the aegean due to the heavy Ionian influence.

Now , after presenting the evidence of “Southernization” in Dorians and Aeolians one might wonder : Yes it occured , but how much did it actually modified the original northern greek speech ?

In my opinion , the answer to this question comes from Thucydides himself. In [III.94] he labels the uncouth NW Greek dialect of the Aetolian Eurytanes as “the most unintelligible one” ( «ἀγνωστότατοι δὲ γλῶσσαν») , meanwhile in [II.68] talking about the uncouth/”barbarian” NW Greek speakers of Amphilokhian argos he says that “they have started to speak greek when they adopted the Corinthean Doric of the Ambrakiot Corinthean colonists :

[II.68] «᾿Αμπρακιώτας ὁμόρους ὄντας τῇ ᾿Αμφιλοχικῇ ξυνοίκους ἐπηγάγοντο, καὶ ἡλληνίσθησαν τὴν νῦν γλῶσσαν τότε πρῶτον ἀπὸ τῶν ᾿Αμπρακιωτῶν ξυνοικησάντων· οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι ᾿Αμφίλοχοι βάρβαροί εἰσιν

The point clear : Thucydides labels as “Greek speech” what he (an educated speaker of a south greek dialect) is able to understand. Corinthean Doric (a southernized northwestern greek dialect) is “Greek” (“well intelligible“) for him , meanwhile the uncouth (unsouthernized) northwestern greek of the Aetolians and the Amphilokhians is labeled as “non-greek”/”barbarian” (“weakly intelligible” , sinse “mostly unintelligible” is definitely an exaggeration). All this testifies tangibly of the importance and the magnitude of the presence of linguistic southernization during the formation of the Dorian and Aeolian dialects and its lack in the Macedonian and Aetolian ones (Livy [31.29.3] “Aetolas , Acarnanas , Macedonas , ejusdem linguae homines“).

24) A further confirmation of Northern Greek Linguistic Unity

In this last topic I’d like to speak about an important isogloss that I see connecting Dorians , Macedonians and Thessalian Aeolians. That is to preserve remnants of labiovelars (kw,gw) turning into “k” instead of the usual “p” and “t”.

I will start from a note from the bookThe Horse , the Wheel and Language” by David Anthony (Princeton University Press , 2008). In page 472 , note 11 he is refering to an article of the linguist Theodora Bynon (Bynon 1977:72) according to which :

“Mycenaean was in transitional state in 1350 BC when it was recorded. Some Indo-European words with /kw/ has already shifted to /k/ in mycenaean. The alternation between *kw and *p probably was already present in some dialects of Proto-Indo-European”.

This is important because it permites us to link some eccentric /k/ found in the Macedonian , Dorian and Thessalian dialects with the fact that around 1350 BC all these were living together around Pindus and the Thessalo-Macedonian borders (Herodotus I.56 : Dorians-Makednoi /Histiaiotis-Pindos , Hesiod “Catalogue of women” , fragment 7 : Macedonians and Magnetes/Pieria-around Olympus) and so present them as an isogloss.

1) The mycenaean Greek word for “horse” hikwos [“i-qo”] has normally turned the labiovelar /kw/ in the /pp/ of hippos. In Macedonia and in the Dorian cities of Epidaurus and Taras the variant hikkos has been found in the personal names : Ἱκκότας , Ἱκκότιμος and Ἴκκος :

2) The Thessalians (of Pelasgiotis mostly) used the interrogative pronoun Κὶς instead of Τὶς both deriving from PIE *Kwis.

3) The macedonian homeland Pieria , a region known to Homer and Hesiod and it means “prosperous/rich land” as it is related to the terms Pieira = “fat”/”rich”/”fertile”(Iliad.XVIII.541 , Odyssey.II.328) , Piar = “topmilk”/”fat of the milk” and the homeric adjective piôn = “fat”. Mallory & Adams present an PIE root *pihwr-“fat(ness)” [PIE,260,261] , which seems to present cognates in other languages , one of which is the name of Ireland , and recording Bynon’s obseration that many PIE dialects were interchanging /p/ with /kw/ I have to say that I find attractive the idea of an ultimate origin of the “p” terms realted to “prosperous”-“rich”-“fertile”-“fat” i nthe PIE root *kwei-“built” , which probably gave the greek verb ποιῶ meaning “to produce”-“to make” (hence poet). The semantic link between “produce” and “fertile”-“prosperous” is far than obvious.

If this is the case then the toponym Kierion in Thessaliotis (south Thessaly) and it’s river Kouarios (which has an “ou” denoting the earlier labiovelar /kw/) must be seen as the “k-analogs” of Pieria-Piar.

4) Finally , the Macedonians preserve an other “k-form”. In trying to find the common PIE origin of the various words for “war” : English war , Latin bellum , Italian-spanish-Portuguese Guerra and Greek polemos-ptolemos I came up with the root *gwel-“strike”/”stab”/”pierce” and it’s related cognate *gweru-“spear” [PIE,245]. English “War” is related to *gweru as “womb” is related to *gwelbhus (Greek delphus , belphus and possibly Doric-Macedonian belbus from the toponyms Belbina , Belbinitis in South Greece and Belbendos in Macedonia. Belbendos as “mother-land” is of extreme interest because somewhere near it is located Lebaia the legendary settlement from where the Macedonians have startd to expand) , meanwhile Latin Bellum is related to to *gwel– as bos relates to *gwous , meanwhile the modern Italian Guerra (probably a foreign loan) preserves the labiovelar intact. Greek ptolemos is interesting. From *gwel- we must devoice the labiovelar in *kwel which generates the root ptol- exactly as pemptos derives from *penkwe and aphthonos from from *gwhonos. If this is the case then in the Macedonian variant Ktolemmas instead of the usual Ptolemmas and Ptolemaios must be seen as another /kw/->/k/ expression.

5) I have already talked earlier about Charybdis (Χάρυβδις) viewed as Akha-rubdis “water resorber” , from Aeolian greek rubdein = “to resorb” and from PIE *h(a)ekweh(a)-“water”. The derivation includes laryngeal shift and secondary aspiration (Hakw- >> Hak- >> akH- >> akh-) operating in a delabialized labiovelar (kw>>k).


(Updated 01-09-2009)

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