The Composition of the Homeric Dialect

Greek Historical Linguistics
Topic 3: Homer and the Epic Dialect
There is general agreement that the language of the Homeric epics is not a manifestation
of a single dialect. What are the different dialect features found in Homer, how did they make
their way into his language, and what does this mean for the prehistory of the epic tradition?
Try to read as much of the below as possible; skim books, use indices where necessary.
Chadwick, J. (1990). The descent of the greek epic. Journal of Hellenic Studies 110, 174–177.
Hackstein, O. (2002). Die Sprachform der homerischen Epen. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert.
Hainsworth, B. and G. Kirk (1993). The Iliad: A Commentary, Volume III (books 9–12). Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
|| esp. pp. 1–32 on Formulae
Hajnal, I. (2003). Troia aus sprachwissenschaftlicher Sicht: die Struktur einer Argumentation. Innsbruck: Institut
für Sprachwisschenschaft und Literaturen, Abteilung Sprachwissenschaft.
Haug, D. (2002). Les phases de l’évolution de la langue épique: trois études de linguistique homérique. Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht.
Heubeck, A. and A. Hoekstra (1989). A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. II, books IX–XVI. Oxford: Clarendon
|| esp. Hoekstra’s introdcution on the poetic dialect (pp. 147–160)
Heubeck, A., S. West, and B. Hainsworth (1988). A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. I, books I–VIII. Oxford:
Clarendon Press.
|| esp. Hainsworth on the epic dialect (pp. 24–32) and West on transmission (33–50)
Horrocks, G. (1997). Homer’s dialect. In I. Morris and B. B. Powell (Eds.), A New Companion to Homer, pp.
193–217. Leiden: Brill.
Janko, R. and G. Kirk (1991). The Iliad: A Commentary, Volume IV (books 13–16). Cambridge: Cambridge University
|| esp. pp. 8–19 (epic diction) and 20–38 (text and transmission)
Palmer, L. R. (1962). The language of homer. In A. Wace and F. Stubbings (Eds.), A Companion to Homer, pp.
75–178. London: Macmillan.
Peters, M. (1986). Zur frage einer “achäischen phase” des griechischen epos. In o-o-pe-ro-si. Festschrift für Ernst
Risch, pp. 303–319. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Ruijgh, C. J. (1986). Le mycénien et homère. In A. Morpurgo Davies and Y. Duhoux (Eds.), Linear B, A 1984 Survey.
proceedings of the Mycenaean Colloquium of the VIIIth Congress of the International Federation of the Societies of
Classical Studies (Dublin, 27 August-1st September 1984), pp. 143–190. Louvain-la-Neuve: Cabay.
Ruijgh, C. J. (1995). D’homère aux origines proto-mycéniennes de la tradition épiques. analyse dialectologique
du langage homérique avec un excursus sur la création de l’alphabet grec. In J. P. Crielaard (Ed.), Homeric
Questions, pp. 1–96. Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben.
West, M. L. (1988). The rise of the greek epic. Journal of Hellenic Studies 108, 151–172.