One of the interesting things about Greek literature is the role of dialect. Several genres were associated with a particular dialect. The dialect of Homer is primarily Ionic with a strong mix Aeolic elements. All subsequent authors of epic used this dialect even when their own native dialect would have been quite different, as in the case of Hesiod. Even Nonnos writing 1200 years after Homer used a sylized Epic dialect for the Dionysiaca.

When an author composed choral lyric poetry, he used Doric. But he did not use the true Doric of a poet like Alcman, but rather he overlaid his language with a Doric patina. This patina appears in the work of Pindar, Simonides, Bacchylides and the choral parts of Attic drama.

The choral poets were, like all Greek poets, deeply influenced by Homer. The language of Homer is a major ingredient in the choral language, which extends to the inclusion of some Aeolic forms. Additional, non-Homeric Aeolic forms also occur.

Choral Doric Features

Original long alpha is retained, as in the Aeolic dialect. This is most visible in the first declension: νίκα, νίκας, νίκᾳ, νίκαν.

First declension genitive plural contracts to ‐ᾶν. Take care to distinguish this from the accusative singular.

τύ for Attic-Ionic σύ. For the possessive σός Doric has τεός, τεά, τεόν.

τοί for οἱ, ταί for αἱ.

3rd person singular accusative pronoun may be μιν as in Epic, or νιν.

3rd person plural present in Doric ‐οντι or Aeolic ‐οισι for ‐ουσι.

(Aeolic) Feminine present and 2nd aorist participles in ‐οῖσα.

(Aeolic) Aorist participles in ‐αις.

(Epic) 2nd declension genitive singular in ‐οιο.

(Epic) 3rd declension dative plural in ‐εσσι.

(Epic) Infinitive in ‐μεν.

(Epic) ὁ, ἡ, τό as either a demonstrative or a relative pronoun. Note that Doric τάν = τήν and τᾶν = τῶν (< τάων) for the feminine.