Report | Aeolian Origins
|March 15, 2019||Posted by Roger Woodard under E-journal, Language/Literature, Reports|
Citation with persistent identifier: Woodard, Roger. “Aeolian Origins.” CHS Research Bulletin 7 (2019). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:WoodardR.Aeolian_Origins.2019
In recent years it has been claimed that there is no archaeological evidence for the traditionally held view of a migration of Aeolian Greeks from Balkan Hellas to Anatolia in the early Iron Age. The implications of such a claim are quite significant, as there undoubtedly exists an Aeolic dialect group, composed of Lesbian, Thessalian, and Boeotian – all descended from a Common Aeolic dialect. Therefore, I propose, if an early Iron-Age migration of Aeolic speakers from the Balkan peninsula to Anatolia never occurred, then Common Aeolic was already spoken in Anatolia in the Bronze Age. In other words, (1) Common Aeolic was the language of the Ahhiyawa (Achaeans), the Mycenaean community of western coastal Anatolia; (2) Lesbian is the in situ dialect of the descendants of that community; and (3) Thessalian and Boeotian are the dialects descended from Aeolians who migrated from Anatolia to Balkan Hellas in the Iron Age (which the archaeology does not nullify). My project focuses on linguistic, literary, and cultural evidence pertinent to evaluation of this “reverse” migration hypothesis and an exploration of its implications.
In Hesperia 77:399–430 Rose argues that there is no archaeological evidence for the traditionally held view of a migration of Aeolian Greeks from Balkan Hellas to Anatolia in the early Iron Age. I am accepting this argument as a working model. The implications of doing so are quite significant, as there undoubtedly exists an Aeolic dialect group, composed of Lesbian, Thessalian, and Boeotian – all descended from a Common Aeolic dialect. The working hypotheses of this monograph-length project are, thus, that (1) Common Aeolic was the language of the Ahhiyawa (Achaeans), the Mycenaean community of western coastal Anatolia; (2) Lesbian is the in situ dialect of the descendants of that community; and (3) Thessalian and Boeotian are the dialects descended from Aeolians who migrated from Anatolia to Balkan Hellas in the Iron Age (which the archaeology does not nullify).
Consequent to these hypotheses I am exploring the nature of Common Aeolic as a dialect spoken by a Mycenaean community separated from the Mycenaean homeland, surrounded by speakers of non-Greek languages, from the perspective of recent sociolinguistic work on language varieties whose speakers are isolated from their community of origin. Such studies reveal two recurring conditions: (1) commonly, a preservation of linguistic features in the isolated community of speakers that have disappeared in the language homeland; and (2) sporadically, occurrence of accelerated change of particular elements of the isolated language. Findings from this sociolinguistic work are brought to bear on interpreting the Aeolic preservation of primitive Greek features and distinctive Common Aeolic innovations. Conversely, Boeotian and Thessalian, with their conspicuous West Greek features, are examined in light of recent studies of contact-induced language change characterizing linguistic systems that are integrated into distinct language communities by speaker influx.
The Linear B documents preserve evidence of two separate dialects of Mycenaean Greek. These have been conventionally identified as Normal Mycenaean (the common linguistic form) and Special Mycenaean (identified by a small set of distinctive isoglosses). In this project I am reconsidering Special Mycenaean and exploring the prospect of adding additional isoglosses to the Special-Mycenaean feature set in light of the hypothesis that Common Aeolic was the language of the Mycenaean community of Anatolia.
I am examining the matter of Mycenaean patronymic adjectives, a formation shared with Aeolic and no other Greek dialect. The same feature, however, also characterizes Anatolian Indo-European. I am exploring the idea that Mycenaeans in western coastal Anatolia acquired this kinship formant through intermarriage with native Anatolian peoples and transmitted it to Balkan Mycenaean communities. Relevant here is a predominance of Mycenaean patronymics in Linear B inventories of hekwetai ‘warrior allies’; this correlation entails, I propose, that the Mycenaean term hekwetās principally references Anatolian Mycenaean warriors present among the warrior bands enumerated in the Linear B documents. This scenario suggests that movement of Anatolian Mycenaeans to the Balkan was a phenomenon of the Bronze Age as well, and in any case we should likely envision back-and-forth trafficking between the Mycenaeans of the Balkan peninsula and western coastal Anatolia in this period.
Foundation traditions that tie Boeotian and Thessalian cities to western coastal Anatolia are an important topic for this project. I am exploring traditions such as the following: the Hesiodic tradition of Boeotian settlement by Hesiod’s father Dius, coming out of Anatolian Cyme; various mythoi associated with Boeotus and Aeolus; the settlement of Thessaly by Thessalus of Cos; the foundation of Boeotian Thebes by the brothers Amphion and Zethus, their affiliation with the motif of the Indo-European divine twins (called Dioscuri, Leucopoli, and Leucippi), and distinct eastern Mediterranean elements in their dossier; the separate tradition of the foundation of Thebes by the Cadmeans and Anatolian features of the tradition.
As a community of Greeks that took shape in Bronze-Age Anatolia, intermarrying with native Anatolian peoples, the early Aeolians are situated crucially at the crossroads of inherited Indo-European tradition (likely more pronounced in the Mycenaean era than later) and borrowed eastern Mediterranean tradition. Given the hypothesis advanced in this project, the Aeolian community of Anatolia, like the neighboring Greeks of Cyprus, would have escaped the destructions of ca. 1200 BC that brought about the demise of Mycenaean kingdoms in Greece and the Hittite empire in Anatolia. In this light the early Aeolians, like the Cypriot Greeks, must be seen as playing a significant role in the dissemination of “Near Eastern” traditions to early Iron-Age Greece. At the same time, there is evidence of the archaic Aeolian preservation of Indo-European myth. For instance, I am examining the myth of the Seven Against Thebes, which I believe provides evidence of a conspicuous presence of both strains: while some elements of the myth are paralleled in south Anatolian and Syro-Palestinian tradition, others appear to be reflected in the Rig Veda and the Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki. An epic tradition of the heroic defense of an Aeolian city weaves together (borrowed) eastern Mediterranean and (inherited) Indo-European tradition. And related to this aspect of the project, though to a degree distinct from it, is a reconsideration of the Aeolic element of epic language.
During the period of residency at the Center for Hellenic Studies in fall 2018 I completed a first draft of the monograph and revised the first nine chapters of the work. Revision will continue during spring and summer 2109. The implications of this research are potentially significant as it substantially changes our understanding of the migratory trajectory of the Aeolians and informs our interpretation of Mycenaean Anatolia and the transition to post-Mycenaean Anatolian Greek culture. It also gives greater breadth and clarity to our view of how a Greek culture of Indo-European ancestry progressively incorporated eastern Mediterranean elements and, potentially, of the process by which Homeric epic tradition took shape in a “continuously” Aeolian Anatolia. In broader perspective, the project underscores the fundamental migratory nature of the human species, a phenomenon of particular visibility at the present moment.
Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. and R. M. W. Dixon (eds.). 2001. Areal Diffusion and Genetic Inheritance: Problems in Historical Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Allen, W. Sidney. 1981. Vox Graeca. Reprinted second edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ammon, Ulrich (ed.). 1989. Status and Function of Languages and Language Varieties. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Barber, Peter J. 2013. Sievers’ Law and the History of Semivowel Syllabicity in Indo-European and Ancient Greek. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bile, Monique. 1988. Le dialecte crétois ancien. Paris: Libraire Orientaliste Paul Geuthner.
Blümel, Wolfgang. 1982. Die aiolischen Dialekte: Phonologie und Morphologie der inschriftlichen Texte aus generativer Sicht. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
Brixhe, Claude. 1976. Le dialecte grec de Pamphylie. Paris: Libraire d’Amérique et d’Orient Adrien-Maisonneuve.
Buck, Carl Darling. 1955. The Greek Dialects. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Carlier, Pierre. 1999. “Les mentions de la parenté dans les textes mycéniens.” In Deger-Jalkotzy, Hiller, and Panagl 1999, vol. 1, pp. 185–193.
Deger-Jalkotzy, Sigrid; Stefan Hiller; and Oswald Panagl (eds.). 1999. Floreant studia Mycenaea: Akten des X. Internationalen Mykenologischen Colloquiums in Salzburg vom 1.–5. Mai 1995. 2 volumes. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Dubois, Laurent. 1988. Recherches sur le dialecte arcadien. Louvain-la-Neuve : Peeters.
Dumézil, Georges. 1970. The Destiny of the Warrior. Translated by Alf Hiltebeitel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
________. 1995. Mythe et épopée. 3 volumes. Corrected edition. Paris: Gallimard.
Forbes, Kathleen. 1958. “Medial Intervocalic -ρσ-, -λσ- in Greek.” Glotta 36:235–272.
Guy, Gregory R.; Crawford Feagin; Deborah Schiffrin; and John Baugh (eds.). 1997. Towards a Social Science of Language. Volume 1. Variation and Change in Language and Society. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Hedblom, Folke. 1980. “Swedish Dialects in the Midwest: Notes from Field Research.” In Schach 1980, pp. 29–47.
Heubeck, Alfred. 1961. Praegraeca: Sprachliche Untersuchungen zum vorgriechisch-indogermanischen Substrat. Erlangen: Universitätsbund Erlangen.
Hodot, René. 1990. Le dialecte éolien d’Asie. La langue des inscriptions VIIe s. a.C.–IVe s. p.C. Paris: Édition Recherche sur les civilisations.
Jahr, Ernst Håkon (ed.). 1992. Language Contact: Theoretical and Empirical Studies. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Jamison, Stephanie W.; H. Craig Melchert; and Brent Vine (eds.). 2011. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference. Bremen: Hempen Verlag.
Kronasser, Heinz (ed.). 1956. ΜΝΗΜΕΣ ΧΑΡΙΝ. 3 volumes. Vienna: Verlag der Wiener Sprachgesellschaft.
Laroche, Emmanuel. 1956. “Notes de toponymie anatolienne. ” In Kronasser 1956, vol. 2, pp. 1–7.
Miller, D. Gary. 2014. Ancient Greek Dialects and Early Authors: Introduction to the Dialect Mixture in Homer, With Notes on Lyric and Herodotus. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Milroy, James and Lesley Milroy. 1985. “Linguistic Change, Social Network and Speaker Innovation.” Journal of Linguistics 21:339–384.
Montgomery, Michael B. and Cecil Ataide Melo. 1990. “The Phonology of the Lost Cause: The English of the Confederados in Brazil.” English World-Wide 11:195–216.
Morpurgo Davies, Anna. 1968. “Thessalian Patronymic Adjectives.” Glotta 46:85–106.
________. 1976. “The -εσσι Datives, Aeolic -ss-, and the Lesbian Poets.” In Morpurgo Davies and Meid 1976, pp. 181–197.
Morpurgo Davies, Anna and Wolfgang Meid (eds.). 1976. Studies in Greek, Italic, and Indo-European Linguistics Offered to Leonard R. Palmer on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck.
Mühlestein, Hugo. 1956. Die o-ka Tafeln von Pylos: Ein mykenischer Schiffskatalog?. Basel: Selbstverlag.
Nagy, Gregory. 1968. “On Dialectal Anomalies in Pylian Texts.” In Atti e memorie del 1° congresso internazionale di micenologia, vol. 2, pp. 663–679. Rome: Edizioni dell’ Ateneo, and http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:Nagy.On_Dialectical_Anomalies_in_Pylian_Texts.1968.
________. 1999. The Best of the Achaeans: Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry. Revised edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
________. 2011. “The Aeolic Component of Homeric Diction.” In Jamison, Melchert, and Vine 2011, pp. 133–179. Expanded version: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:Nagy.The_Aeolic_Component_of_Homeric_Diction.2011.
________. 2013. The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Ornstein-Galacia, Jacob L. 1989. “Regressed Varieties of Language.” In Ammon 1989, pp. 291–323.
Palmer, L. R. 1955. Achaeans and Indo-Europeans: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered Before the University of Oxford on 4 November 1954. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
________. 1965. Mycenaeans and Minoans: Aegean Prehistory in the Light of the Linear B Tablets. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
________. 1969. The Interpretation of Mycenaean Greek Texts. Enlarged and corrected edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Palmer, L. R. and John Chadwick (eds.). 1966. Proceedings of the Cambridge Colloquium on Mycenaean Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Risch, Ernst. 1966. “Les différences dialectales dans le mycénien.” In Palmer and Chadwick 1966, pp. 150–157.
Rose, C. Brian. 2008. “Separating Fact from Fiction in the Aiolian Migration.” Hesperia 77:399–430.
Ruijgh, C. J. 1967. Études sur la grammaire et le vocabulaire du grec mycénien. Amsterdam : Adolf M. Hakkert.
Schach, Paul (ed.). 1980. Languages in Conflict: Linguistic Acculturation on the Great Plains. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.
Stephens, Laurence D. and Roger D. Woodard. 1986. “The Palatalization of the Labiovelars in Greek: A Reassessment in Typological Perspective.” Indogermanische Forschungen 91:129–154.
Trudgill, Peter. 1989. “Contact and Isolation in Linguistic Change.” In Breivik and Jahr 1989, pp. 227–238.
________. 1992. “Dialect Typology and Social Structure.” In Jahr 1992, pp. 195–212.
________. 1997. “Dialect Typology: Isolation, Social Network and Phonological Structure.” In Guy et al. 1997, pp. 3–21.
________. 2011. Sociolinguistic Typology: Social Determinants of Linguistic Complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Thumb, Albert and E. Kieckers. 1932. Handbuch der griechischen Dialekte. Part 1. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.
Thumb, Albert and A. Scherer. 1959. Handbuch der griechischen Dialekte. Part 2. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.
Ventris, Michael and John Chadwick. 1973. Documents in Mycenaean Greek. Second edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Vottéro, Guy. 1987. “L’expression de la filiation en béotien.” In Actes de la première Rencontre internationale de dialectologie grecque, pp. 211–231. Nancy: Presses Universitaires de Nancy.
Wathelet, Paul. 1970. Les traits éoliens dans la langue de l’épopée grecque. Rome: Edizioni dell’ Ateneo.
Watkins, Calvert. 2001. “An Indo-European Linguistic Area and its Characteristics: Ancient Anatolia. Areal Diffusion as a Challenge to the Comparative Method?” In Aikhenvald and Dixon 2001, pp. 44–63.
Woodard, Roger D. 1986. “Dialectal Differences at Knossos.” Kadmos 25:49–74, and http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:WoodardR.Dialectal_Differences_at_Knossos.1986.
________. 1997. Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer: A Linguistic Interpretation of the Origin of the Greek Alphabet and the Continuity of Ancient Greek Literacy. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
________. 2013. Myth, Ritual, and the Warrior in Roman and Indo-European Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.