On 11/02/2013 16:18, David McCann wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:54:14 +0100 BPJ <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>> Interestingly there is evidence that there were some
>> dialects of modern Greek, one of them that of Athens,
>> where /y/ of whaever origin merged with /u/ instead of
>> /i/ but apparently they all went extinct with the
>> influx of eastern Greek refugees early in the 20th
>> century.
> That's Tsakonian in the Morea, not yet extinct. It's
> directly descended from Doric.

Glad it's still extant. But there does seem to be
disagreement among scholars about how much is derived from
'pure' Doric and how much shows Koine influence.  The
apparent reflex of /u/ for Koine /y/ is considered by some
to be due to and intermediate /ju/ <-- /y/.

Certainly in Koine does seem to have affected all dialects,
so it would not be surprising if there was a mix; possible
some instances of /u/are survivals of Doric and some are
pronunciation of Koine /y/ as [ju] by Doric speakers.  It
seems a matter of debate.

> The Old Athenian dialect is a different matter. That
> died out when Athens replaced Nafplio as the capital and
> was filled with migrants from the Morea. If I remember
> correctly, OA was characterised by /k/ > /č/ before
> front vowels, among other things.

A common feature - it's still there in Cretan Greek, where
even the French _kilo_ is pronounced /ʧilo/   :)

On 11/02/2013 17:20, BPJ wrote:
> I said that /y/ whether from υ υι or οι merged with /u/
> rather than /i/, not that they preserved ancient /u/.
> Only Tsakonian did that.

Even that, apparently, is debated.  I'm not saying whether
/y/ did or did not merge with /u/ - I'd just be happier with
clear examples.

> dialect showed e.g. initial /ju/ from */y/. Front vowels
> can be simply retracted. It happened e.g. in some
> dialects of Emglish. "Cudgel" is a dialect form of OE
> "cycgel" which found its way into standard English.

Yes, the common pronunciation of _déja vu_ as "day-zhah voo"
(which really does make me wince) constantly reminds me.

"language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
for individual beings and events."
[Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]