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Attic Greek is the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
dialect of the ancient region of
Attica Attica ( el, Αττική, Ancient Greek ''Attikḗ'' or , or ), or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital city, capital of Greece and its countryside. It is a peninsula projecting into the ...

Attica
, including the ''
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, , ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "" in Greek. In , it originally referred to an administrative and religious city center, as distinct from the rest of the city. Later, it also came to mean the body of cit ...

polis
'' of
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...
. Often called classical Greek, it was the
prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Films *Prestige (film), ''Prestige'' (film), a 1932 American film directed ...
dialect of the Greek world for centuries and remains the standard form of the language that is taught to students of
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
. As the basis of the Hellenistic
Koine Koine Greek (;. Modern , ), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Gre ...
, it is the most similar of the ancient dialects to later Greek. Attic is traditionally classified as a member or sister dialect of the
Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in ancient Greek and Latin poetry * Ionian mode, a musical mode or a diatonic scale Places and peoples * Ionian, of or from Ionia, an ancient region in western An ...
branch.


Origin and range

Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
is the primary member of the Hellenic branch of the
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcontinent and the Iranian Plateau. Some European languages of ...
language family. In ancient times, Greek had already come to exist in several dialects, one of which was Attic. The earliest attestations of Greek, dating from the 16th to 11th centuries BC, are written in
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or ...
, an archaic writing system used by the
Mycenaean Greeks Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features ...
in writing their language; the distinction between
Eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct American airline that operated from 1926 to 1991 *Eastern Air Lin ...
and Western Greek is believed to have arisen by Mycenaean times or before.
Mycenaean Greek Mycenaean Greek is the most ancient attested form of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of lan ...
represents an early form of Eastern Greek, the group to which Attic also belongs. Later Greek literature wrote about three main dialects:
Aeolic In linguistics, Aeolic Greek (), also known as Aeolian (), Lesbian or Lesbic dialect, is the set of dialects of Ancient Greek spoken mainly in Boeotia; in Thessaly; in the Aegean island of Lesbos; and in the Greek colonies of Aeolis in Anatolia ...
,
DoricDoric may refer to: * Doric, of or relating to the Dorians of ancient Greece ** Doric Greek, the dialects of the Dorians * Doric order, a style of ancient Greek architecture * Doric mode, a synonym of Dorian mode * Doric dialect (Scotland) * Doric C ...
, and
Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in ancient Greek and Latin poetry * Ionian mode, a musical mode or a diatonic scale Places and peoples * Ionian, of or from Ionia, an ancient region in western An ...
; Attic was part of the Ionic dialect group. "
Old Attic Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire Old (previously Wold and befor ...

Old Attic
" is used in reference to the dialect of
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
(460–400 BC) and the dramatists of 5th-century Athens whereas "
New Attic New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Albums and EPs * ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartney, 2013 * ''New'' (EP), by Regurgitator, ...
" is used for the language of later writers following conventionally the accession in 285 BC of Greek-speaking
Ptolemy II ; egy, Userkanaenre wikt:mry-jmn, Meryamun#Clayton06, Clayton (2006) p. 208 , predecessor = Ptolemy I Soter , successor = Ptolemy III Euergetes , horus = ''ḥwnw-ḳni'Khunuqeni''The brave youth , nebty = ''wr-pḥtj ...
to the throne of the
Kingdom of Egypt The Kingdom of Egypt ( ar, المملكة المصرية, Al-Mamlaka Al-Miṣreyya, The Egyptian Kingdom) was the legal form of the Egyptian state during the latter period of the Muhammad Ali dynasty#REDIRECT Muhammad Ali dynasty The Muhamm ...
. Ruling from
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...

Alexandria
, Ptolemy launched the Alexandrian period, during which the city of Alexandria and its expatriate Greek-medium scholars flourished. The original range of the spoken Attic dialect included
Attica Attica ( el, Αττική, Ancient Greek ''Attikḗ'' or , or ), or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital city, capital of Greece and its countryside. It is a peninsula projecting into the ...

Attica
and a number of the
Aegean Islands The Aegean Islands ( el, Νησιά Αιγαίου, Nisiá Aigaíou; tr, Ege Adaları) are the group of islands in the Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between ...
; the closely related Ionic was also spoken along the western and northwestern coasts of
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
in modern
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
, in
Chalcidice Chalkidiki (; el, Χαλκιδική, Halkidhikí, ) also spelled ''Chalkidike'', ''Chalcidice'', ''Khalkidhiki'', or ''Halkidiki'', is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water ...
,
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
,
Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ; grc, Εὔβοια ) is the second-largest List of islands of Greece, Greek island in area and population, after Crete. It is separated from Boeotia ...

Euboea
, and in some colonies of
Magna Graecia Magna Graecia (, ; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic ...

Magna Graecia
. Eventually, the texts of literary Attic were widely studied far beyond their homeland: first in the classical civilizations of the Mediterranean, including in
Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
and the larger
Hellenistic world The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium The Battle of Actium was a naval battle in t ...
, and later in the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether ...

Muslim world
, Europe, and other parts of the world touched by those civilizations.


Literature

The earliest
Greek literature Greek literature () dates back from the ancient Greek literature Ancient Greek literature is literature written in the Ancient Greek language from the earliest texts until the time of the Byzantine Empire. The earliest surviving works of anci ...
, which is attributed to
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
and is dated to the eighth or seventh centuries BC, is written in "Old Ionic" rather than Attic. Athens and its dialect remained relatively obscure until the establishment of its
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to cho ...
following the reforms of
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, Σόλων Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων ''Sólōn'' ;  BC) was an Archaic Greece#Athens, Athenian statesman, lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, e ...

Solon
in the sixth century BC; so began the
classical periodClassical period may refer to: *Classical Greece, specifically of the 5th and 4th centuries BC *Classical antiquity, in the Greco-Roman world *Classical India, an historic period of India (c. 322 BC - c. 550 CE) *Classical period (music), in music ...
, one of great Athenian influence both in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean. The first extensive works of literature in Attic are the plays of dramatists
Aeschylus Aeschylus (, ; grc-gre, Αἰσχύλος ''Aiskhylos'', ; c. 525/524 – c. 456/455 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kin ...
,
Sophocles Sophocles (; grc, Σοφοκλῆς, ; 497/6 – winter 406/5 BC)Sommerstein (2002), p. 41. is one of three ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient ...

Sophocles
,
Euripides Euripides (; grc, Εὐριπίδης ''Eurīpídēs'', ; ) was a of . Along with and , he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom any plays have survived in full. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him, but t ...

Euripides
, and
Aristophanes Aristophanes (; grc, Ἀριστοφάνης, ; c. 446 – c. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme 250px, Pinakia, identification tablets (name, father's name, deme) used for tasks like jury selection, Museum at the Ancient Agora of Athen ...

Aristophanes
dating from the fifth century BC. The military exploits of the Athenians led to some universally read and admired history, as found in the works of
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
and
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, Ξενοφῶν Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens monta ...

Xenophon
. Slightly less known because they are more technical and legal are the orations by
Antiphon An antiphon (Greek language, Greek ἀντίφωνον, ἀντί "opposite" and φωνή "voice") is a short chant in Christianity, Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose a ...
,
Demosthenes Demosthenes (; el, Δημοσθένης, translit=Dēmosthénēs; ; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a statesman and orator of . His constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight in ...

Demosthenes
,
Lysias Lysias (; el, Λυσίας; c. 445 – c. 380 BC) was a logographer (speech writer) in Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek D ...

Lysias
,
Isocrates Isocrates (; grc, Ἰσοκράτης ; 436–338 BC) was an ancient Greek rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Tri ...
, and many others. The Attic Greek of philosophers
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thoug ...

Plato
(427–347 BC) and his student
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
(384–322 BC) dates to the period of transition between Classical Attic and Koine. Students who learn Ancient Greek usually begin with the Attic dialect and continue, depending upon their interests, to the later Koine of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
and other early Christian writings, to the earlier
Homeric Greek Homeric Greek is the form of the Greek language that was used by Homer in the ''Iliad'' and ''Odyssey'' and in the Homeric Hymns. It is a literary dialect of Ancient Greek consisting mainly of Ionic Greek, Ionic and Aeolic Greek, Aeolic, with a fe ...
of
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
and
Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'', 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. He is generally regarded as the first written ...
, or to the contemporaneous
Ionic Greek Ionic Greek ( grc, Ἑλληνική Ἰωνική, Hellēnikē Iōnikē) was a of the Attic–Ionic or Eastern of . History The Ionic dialect appears to have originally spread from the Greek mainland across the at the time of the s, around t ...
of
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), ge ...
and
Hippocrates Hippocrates of Kos (; grc-gre, Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Κῷος, Hippokrátēs ho Kôios; ), also known as , was a of the (), who is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the . He is traditionally referred to as the "Father of ...

Hippocrates
.


Alphabet

Attic Greek, like other dialects, was originally written in a local variant of the Greek alphabet. According to the classification of
archaic Greek alphabets Many local variants of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was the first alphabetic script in ...
, which was introduced by
Adolf Kirchhoff Johann Wilhelm Adolf Kirchhoff (6 January 1826 – 26 February 1908) was a German classical scholar and epigraphist. Biography The son of historical painter Johann Jakob Kirchhoff, he was born in Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, cap ...
, the old-Attic system belongs to the "eastern" or "blue" type, as it uses the letters and with their classical values ( and ), unlike "western" or "red" alphabets, which used for and expressed with . In other respects, Old Attic shares many features with the neighbouring
Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ; grc, Εὔβοια ) is the second-largest List of islands of Greece, Greek island in area and population, after Crete. It is separated from Boeotia ...

Euboea
n alphabet (which is "western" in Kirchhoff's classification). Like the latter, it used an L-shaped variant of
lambda Lambda (; uppercase , lowercase ; el, λάμ(β)δα, ''lám(b)da'') is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet, representing the sound Dental, alveolar and postalveolar lateral approximants, /l/. In the system of Greek numerals, lambda has a v ...

lambda
() and an S-shaped variant of
sigma Sigma (uppercase Letter case is the distinction between the Letter (alphabet), letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minuscule'') in the written represent ...

sigma
(). It lacked the consonant symbols xi () for and psi () for , expressing these sound combinations with and , respectively. Moreover, like most other mainland Greek dialects, Attic did not yet use
omega Omega (; capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (o ...

omega
() and
eta Eta (uppercase , lowercase ; grc, ἦτα ''ē̂ta'' or ell, ήτα ''ita'' ) is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is ...

eta
() for the long vowels and . Instead, it expressed the vowel phonemes with the letter (which corresponds with classical , , ) and with the letter (which corresponds with , , and in later classical orthography). Moreover, the letter was used as
heta Heta is a conventional name for the historical Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was the first a ...

heta
, with the consonantal value of rather than the vocalic value of . In the fifth century, Athenian writing gradually switched from this local system to the more widely used
Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in ancient Greek and Latin poetry * Ionian mode, a musical mode or a diatonic scale Places and peoples * Ionian, of or from Ionia, an ancient region in western An ...
alphabet, native to the eastern
Aegean Islands The Aegean Islands ( el, Νησιά Αιγαίου, Nisiá Aigaíou; tr, Ege Adaları) are the group of islands in the Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between ...
and Asia Minor. By the late fifth century, the concurrent use of elements of the Ionic system with the traditional local alphabet had become common in private writing, and in 403 BC, it was decreed that public writing would switch to the new Ionic orthography, as part of the reform following the
Thirty Tyrants The Thirty Tyrants ( grc, οἱ τριάκοντα τύραννοι, ''hoi triákonta týrannoi'') were a pro-Spartan oligarchy installed in Classical Athens, Athens after its defeat in the Peloponnesian War in 404 BCE. Upon Lysander's request, the ...
. This new system, also called the "Eucleidian" alphabet, after the name of the
archon ''Archon'' ( gr, ἄρχων, árchōn, plural: ἄρχοντες, ''árchontes'') is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem αρχ-, meanin ...

archon
Eucleides Eucleides ( grc-gre, Εὐκλείδης) was archon ''Archon'' ( gr, ἄρχων, árchōn, plural: ἄρχοντες, ''árchontes'') is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculi ...
, who oversaw the decision, was to become the Classical Greek alphabet throughout the Greek-speaking world. The classical works of Attic literature were subsequently handed down to posterity in the new Ionic spelling, and it is the classical orthography in which they are read today.


Phonology


Vowels


Long a

Proto-Greek The Proto-Greek language (also known as Proto-Hellenic) is the Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with t ...
long ''ā'' → Attic long ''ē'', but ''ā'' after ''e, i, r''. ⁓ Ionic ''ē'' in all positions. ⁓ Doric and Aeolic ''ā'' in all positions. * Proto-Greek and Doric ''mātēr'' → Attic ''mētēr'' "mother" * Attic ''chōrā'' ⁓ Ionic ''chōrē'' "place", "country" However, Proto-Greek ''ā'' → Attic ''ē'' after ''w'' (
digamma Digamma, waw, or wau (uppercase: Ϝ, lowercase: ϝ, numeral: ϛ) is an archaic letter of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the ...
), deleted by the Classical Period. * Proto-Greek ''korwā'' → early Attic-Ionic ''*korwē'' → Attic ''korē'' (Ionic ''kourē'')


Short a

Proto-Greek ''ă'' → Attic ''ě''. ⁓ Doric: ''ă'' remains. * Doric ''Artamis'' ⁓ Attic ''
Artemis
Artemis
''


Sonorant clusters

Compensatory lengthening Compensatory lengthening in phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound system of any particular la ...
of vowel before cluster of sonorant (''r'', ''l'', ''n'', ''m'', ''w'', sometimes ''y'') and ''s'', after deletion of ''s''. ⁓ some Aeolic: compensatory lengthening of sonorant. :
PIE A pie is a baked Baking is a method of preparing food that uses dry heat, typically in an oven, but can also be done in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked. Heat is grad ...
''VsR'' or ''VRs'' → Attic-Ionic-Doric-Boetian ''VVR''. : ''VsR'' or ''VRs'' → Lesbian-Thessalian ''VRR''. * Proto-Indo-European ''*es-mi'' (athematic verb) → Attic-Ionic ''ēmi'' (= εἰμί) ⁓ Lesbian-Thessalian ''emmi'' "I am"


Upsilon

Proto-Greek and other dialects' (English ''food'') became Attic (pronounced as German ''ü'', French ''u'') and represented by ''y'' in Latin transliteration of Greek names. * Boeotian kourios ⁓ Attic
kyrios
kyrios
"lord" In the
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
s ''eu'' and ''au'', upsilon continued to be pronounced .


Contraction

Attic contracts more than Ionic does. ''a'' + ''e'' → long ''ā''. * ''nika-e'' → ''nikā'' "conquer (thou)!" ''e'' + ''e'' → ē (written ''ει'': spurious diphthong) * PIE ''*trey-es'' → Proto-Greek ''trees'' → Attic ''trēs'' = τρεῖς "three" ''e'' + ''o'' → ''ō'' (written ου: spurious diphthong) * early ''*genes-os'' → Ionic ''geneos'' → Attic ''genous'' "of a kind" (genitive singular: Latin ''generis'', with ''r'' from
rhotacism
rhotacism
)


Vowel shortening

Attic ''ē'' (from ''ē''-grade of
ablaut In linguistics, the Indo-European ablaut (, from Standard High German, German '':wikt:Ablaut#German, Ablaut'' ) is a system of apophony in the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). An example of ablaut in English is the Germanic strong verb, stron ...
or Proto-Greek ''ā'') is sometimes shortened to ''e'': # when it is followed by a short vowel, with lengthening of the short vowel (
quantitative metathesis Quantitative metathesis (or transfer of quantity)Herbert Weir Smyth, Smyth, ''Greek Grammar''paragraph 34on Christian Classics Ethereal Library, CCEL: transfer of quantity is a specific form of ''metathesis (linguistics), metathesis'' or ''transposi ...
): ''ēo'' → ''eō'' # when it is followed by a long vowel: ''ēō'' → ''eō'' # when it is followed by ''u'' and ''s'': ''ēus'' → ''eus'' (
Osthoff's law Osthoff's law is an Indo-European sound law A sound change, in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical ling ...
): * ''basilēos'' → ''basileōs'' "of a king" (genitive singular) * ''basilēōn'' → ''basileōn'' (genitive plural) * ''basilēusi'' → ''basileusi'' (dative plural)


Hyphaeresis

Attic deletes one of two vowels in a row, called hyphaeresis (). * Homeric ''boē-tho-os'' → Attic ''boēthos'' "running to a cry", "helper in battle"


Consonants


Palatalization

PIE ''*ky'' or ''*chy'' → Proto-Greek ''ts'' ( palatalization) → Attic and Euboean Ionic ''tt'' — Cycladean/Anatolian Ionic and Koine ''ss''. * Proto-Greek ''*glōkh-ya'' → Attic ''glōtta'' — East Ionic ''glōssa'' "tongue" Sometimes, Proto-Greek *ty and *tw → Attic and Euboean Ionic ''tt'' — Cycladean/Anatolian Ionic and Koine ''ss''. * PIE ''*kwetwores'' → Attic ''tettares'' — East Ionic ''tesseres'' "four" (Latin ''quattuor'') Proto-Greek and Doric ''t'' before ''i'' or ''y'' → Attic-Ionic ''s'' (palatalization). * Doric ''
ti
ti
-
the ''The'' () is a grammatical article in English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers, or speakers. It is the definite article in English. ''The'' is the m ...
-nti'' → Attic ''tithēsi'' = τίθεισι "he places" (
compensatory lengthening Compensatory lengthening in phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound system of any particular la ...
of ''e'' → ''ē'' = spurious diphthong ει)


Shortening of ''ss''

Doric, Aeolian, early Attic-Ionic ''ss'' → Classical Attic ''s''. * PIE → Homeric (''messos'') (palatalization) → Attic (''mesos'') "middle" *Homeric → Attic "I performed (a ceremony)"'' *Proto-Greek → Homeric → Attic "by foot" *Proto-Greek → dialectal → Attic


Loss of ''w''

Proto-Greek ''w'' (
digamma Digamma, waw, or wau (uppercase: Ϝ, lowercase: ϝ, numeral: ϛ) is an archaic letter of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the ...
) was lost in Attic before historical times. * Proto-Greek ''korwā'' Attic ''korē'' "girl"


Retention of ''h''

Attic retained Proto-Greek ''h-'' (from
debuccalization Debuccalization or deoralization is a sound change A sound change, in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historica ...
of Proto-Indo-European initial ''s-'' or ''y-''), but some other dialects lost it ('' psilosis'' "stripping", "de-aspiration"). * Proto-Indo-European ''*si-sta-mes'' → Attic ''histamen'' — Cretan ''istamen'' "we stand"


Movable ''n''

Attic-Ionic places an ''n'' ( movable nu) at the end of some words that would ordinarily end in a vowel, if the next word starts with a vowel, to prevent ''
hiatus Hiatus may refer to: *Hiatus (linguistics), the lack of a consonant separating two vowels in separate syllables *Hiatus (television), a break of several weeks or more in television scheduling *Hiatus (anatomy), a natural fissure in a structure *Hi ...
'' (two vowels in a row). The movable nu can also be used to turn what would be a short syllable into a
long syllableIn linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include pho ...
for use in
meter The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English ...
. * ''pāsin élegon'' "they spoke to everyone" vs. ''pāsi legousi'' * ''pāsi(n)'' ''dative plural of'' "all" * ''legousi(n)'' "they speak" (third person plural, present indicative active) * ''elege(n)'' "he was speaking" (third person singular, imperfect indicative active) * ''titheisi(n)'' "he places", "makes" (third person singular, present indicative active: athematic verb)


Rr instead of rs.

Attic and Euboean Ionic use rr in words, when Cycladean and Anatolian Ionic use rs: * Attic χερρόνησος → East Ionic χερσόνησος "peninsula" * Attic ἄρρεν → East Ionic ἄρσεν "male" * Attic θάρρος → East Ionic θάρσος "courage".


Attic replaces the Ionic ''-σσ'' with ''-ττ''

Attic and Euboean Ionic use tt, while Cycladean and Anatolian Ionic use ss: * Attic γλῶττα → East Ionic γλῶσσα "tongue" * Attic πράττειν → East Ionic πράσσειν "to do, to act" * Attic θάλαττα → East Ionic θάλασσα "sea".


Morphology

* Attic tends to replace the ''-ter'' "doer of" suffix with ''-tes'': ''dikastes'' for ''dikaster'' "judge". * The Attic adjectival ending ''-eios'' and corresponding noun ending, both having two syllables with the
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
''ei'', stand in place of ''ēios'', with three syllables, in other dialects: ''politeia'', Cretan ''politēia'', "constitution", both from ''politewia'' whose ''w'' is dropped.


Grammar

Attic Greek grammar follows
Ancient Greek grammar Ancient Greek grammar is morphologically complex and preserves several features of Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. Its proposed features have been derived by ...
to a large extent. References to Attic Grammar are usually in reference to peculiarities and exceptions from Ancient Greek Grammar. This section mentions only some of these Attic peculiarities.


Number

In addition to singular and plural numbers, Attic Greek had the
dual number In algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. I ...
. This was used to refer to two of something and was present as an inflection in nouns, adjectives, pronouns and verbs (any categories inflected for number). Attic Greek was the last dialect to retain it from older forms of Greek, and the dual number had died out by the end of the 5th century BC. In addition to this, in Attic Greek, any plural neuter subjects will only ever take singular conjugation verbs.


Declension

With regard to
declension In linguistics, declension is the changing of the form of a word, generally to express its syntactic function in the sentence, by way of some inflection. The inflectional change of verbs is called Grammatical conjugation, conjugation. Declensions ...
, the stem is the part of the declined word to which case endings are suffixed. In the alpha or first declension feminines, the stem ends in long ''a'', which is parallel to the Latin first declension. In Attic-Ionic the stem vowel has changed to ''ē'' in the singular, except (in Attic only) after ''e'', ''i'' or ''r''. For example, the respective nominative, genitive, dative and accusative singular forms are ''gnome'', ''gnomes'', ''gnome(i)'', ''gnomen'', "opinion" but ''thea'', ''theas'', ''thea(i)'', ''thean'', "goddess". The plural is the same in both cases, ''gnomai'' and ''theai'', but other sound changes were more important in its formation. For example, original ''-as'' in the nominative plural was replaced by the diphthong ''-ai'', which did not change from ''a'' to ''e''. In the few ''a''-stem masculines, the genitive singular follows the second declension: ''stratiotēs'', ''stratiotou'', ''stratiotēi'', etc. In the omicron or second declension, mainly masculines (but with some feminines), the stem ends in ''o'' or ''e'', which is composed in turn of a root plus the
thematic vowel In Indo-European studies, a thematic vowel or theme vowel is the vowel or from ablaut placed before the ending of a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word. Nouns, adjectives, and verbs in the Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages ar ...
, an ''o'' or ''e'' in
Indo-European ablaut The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
series parallel to similar formations of the verb. It is the equivalent of the Latin second declension. The alternation of Greek ''-os'' and Latin ''-us'' in the nominative singular is familiar to readers of Greek and Latin. In Attic Greek, an original
genitive In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, a ...
singular ending ''*-osyo'' after losing the ''s'' (like in the other dialects) lengthens the stem ''o'' to the spurious diphthong ''-ou'' (see above under Phonology, Vowels): logos "the word" ''logou'' from *''logosyo'' "of the word". The dative plural of Attic-Ionic had ''-oisi'', which appears in early Attic but later simplifies to ''-ois'': ''anthropois'' "to or for the men".


Classical Attic

Classical Attic may refer either to the varieties of Attic Greek spoken and written in Greek
majuscule Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or ...
in the 5th and 4th centuries BC ( Classical-era Attic) or to the Hellenistic and Roman era standardized Attic Greek, mainly on the language of
Attic orators The ten Attic orators were considered the greatest orator An orator, or oratist, is a public speaker, especially one who is eloquent or skilled. Etymology Recorded in English c. 1374, with a meaning of "one who pleads or argues for a cause", f ...
and written in Greek
uncial Uncial is a majuscule Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that ...

uncial
. Attic replaces the Ionic ''-σσ'' with ''-ττ'' : * Attic γλῶττα → Ionic γλῶσσα "tongue" * Attic πράττειν → Ionic πράσσειν "to do, to act, to make" * Attic θάλαττα → Ionic θάλασσα "sea"


Varieties

* The
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, normally Spoken language, spoken informally rath ...
and poetic dialect of
Aristophanes Aristophanes (; grc, Ἀριστοφάνης, ; c. 446 – c. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme 250px, Pinakia, identification tablets (name, father's name, deme) used for tasks like jury selection, Museum at the Ancient Agora of Athen ...

Aristophanes
. * The dialect of
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
(mixed Old Attic with
neologisms A neologism (; from Ancient Greek, Greek νέο- ''néo-'', "new" and λόγος ''lógos'', "speech, utterance") is a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been ...
). * The dialect and the orthography of Old Attic inscriptions in Attic alphabet before 403 BC. The Thucydidean orthography is similar. * The conventionalized and poetic dialect of the Attic tragic poets, mixed with
Epic Epic commonly refers to: * Epic poetry, a long narrative poem celebrating heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation * Epic film, a genre of film with heroic elements Epic or EPIC may also refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media ...
and
Ionic Greek Ionic Greek ( grc, Ἑλληνική Ἰωνική, Hellēnikē Iōnikē) was a of the Attic–Ionic or Eastern of . History The Ionic dialect appears to have originally spread from the Greek mainland across the at the time of the s, around t ...
and used in the episodes. (In the choral odes, conventional
DoricDoric may refer to: * Doric, of or relating to the Dorians of ancient Greece ** Doric Greek, the dialects of the Dorians * Doric order, a style of ancient Greek architecture * Doric mode, a synonym of Dorian mode * Doric dialect (Scotland) * Doric C ...
is used). * Formal Attic of
Attic orators The ten Attic orators were considered the greatest orator An orator, or oratist, is a public speaker, especially one who is eloquent or skilled. Etymology Recorded in English c. 1374, with a meaning of "one who pleads or argues for a cause", f ...
,
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thoug ...

Plato
,Platonic style is poetic
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, Ξενοφῶν Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens monta ...

Xenophon
and
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
, imitated by the Atticists or Neo-Attic writers, and considered to be ''good'' or ''Standard'' Attic.


See also


Notes


References

* * * *


Further reading

*Allen, W. Sidney. 1987. ''Vox Graeca: The pronunciation of Classical Greek.'' 3rd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. *Bakker, Egbert J., ed. 2010. ''A companion to the Ancient Greek language.'' Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. *Christidis, Anastasios-Phoivos, ed. 2007. ''A history of Ancient Greek: From the beginnings to Late Antiquity.'' Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. *Colvin, Stephen C. 2007. ''A historical Greek reader: Mycenaean to the koiné.'' Oxford: Oxford University Press. *Horrocks, Geoffrey. 2010. ''Greek: A history of the language and its speakers.'' 2nd ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. *Palmer, Leonard R. 1980. ''The Greek language.'' London: Faber & Faber. *Teodorsson, Sven-Tage. 1974. ''The phonemic system of the Attic dialect 400–340 BC.'' Gothenburg, Sweden: Institute of Classical Studies, University of Göteborg. *Threatte, Leslie. 1980–86. ''The grammar of Attic inscriptions.'' 2 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter. *Γεώργιος Μπαμπινιώτης, Συνοπτική Ιστορία τής Ελληνικής γλώσσας, Athens 2002.


External links


English-Attic Dictionary (Woodhouse)

Perseus Digital Library

Greek Word Study Tool (Perseus)

A Greek Grammar for Colleges (Smyth)

Syntax of Classical Greek (Gildersleeve)


- Provides Attic Greek audio recordings

{{Authority control Varieties of Ancient Greek
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
Languages of ancient Macedonia Languages attested from the 5th century BC 5th-century BC establishments in Greece Languages extinct in the 3rd century BC