I'm writing a cross-dialectical description with three distinct dialects, and would like to indicate with a superscript symbol which dialect a given word/phrase comes from to aid the reader. I thought of raised *s and daggers, but that looks strange. Raised numbers seem to indicate footnotes. Have you ever come across an intuitive solution to this in text?
There isn't a standard way to do this. Rather you can establish symbols or very short abbreviations and write it before the sentence. But it also depends on how you want to represent these examples.
If I understand what you want to do then: Are they linguistic glosses? Then you can just write it in full form, like:
Or just an itemized list? Then you can use conventional abbreviations or create new ones for rare languages, like:
Or inline (you could change size, boldness to your liking, this is just an example):
Note that the asterisk has an already established use within linguistics and it would be very confusing of you to adopt it for other purposes.