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Greek orthographyThe orthography of the Greek language ultimately has its roots in the adoption of the Greek alphabet in the 9th century BC. Some time prior to that, one early form of Greek, Mycenaean language, Mycenaean, was written in Linear B, although there was a ...
has used a variety of
diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembled on a composing stick using pieces that ...
s starting in the
Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...
. The more complex polytonic orthography ( el, πολυτονικό σύστημα γραφής, translit=polytonikó sýstīma grafīs), which includes five diacritics, notates
Ancient Greek phonology Ancient Greek phonology is the reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for "re ...
. The simpler monotonic orthography ( el, μονοτονικό σύστημα γραφής, translit=monotonikó sýstīma grafīs), introduced in 1982, corresponds to
Modern Greek phonology This article deals with the phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound system of any particular ...
, and requires only two diacritics. Polytonic orthography () is the standard system for
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
and
Medieval Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek language between the end of Classical antiquity in the 5th–6th centuries and the end of the Middle Ages, conventionally dated to the Fall of Constantino ...
. The
acute accent The acute accent, , is a used in many modern written languages with s based on the , , and scripts. Uses History An early precursor of the acute accent was the , used in inscriptions to mark . Pitch Ancient Greek The acute accent was ...

acute accent
(´), the
circumflex The circumflex is a diacritic in the Latin script, Latin and Greek alphabet, Greek scripts that is used in the written forms of many languages and in various romanization and Transcription (linguistics), transcription schemes. It received its E ...
(˜), and the
grave accent The grave accent ( ` ) ( or ) is a diacritical A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph In typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assem ...

grave accent
(`) indicate different kinds of
pitch accent A pitch-accent language is a language that has word accents in which one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a contrasting pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency ...
. The
rough breathing In the polytonic orthography Greek orthographyThe orthography of the Greek language ultimately has its roots in the adoption of the Greek alphabet in the 9th century BC. Some time prior to that, one early form of Greek, Mycenaean language, My ...
() indicates the presence of the sound before a letter, while the
smooth breathing The smooth breathing ( grc, ψιλὸν πνεῦμα, psilòn pneûma; ell, ψιλή ''psilí''; la, spīritus lēnis) is a diacritical mark A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph adde ...
(᾿) indicates the absence of . Since in Modern Greek the pitch accent has been replaced by a dynamic accent (stress), and was lost, most polytonic diacritics have no phonetic significance, and merely reveal the underlying Ancient Greek
etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identi ...
. Monotonic orthography () is the standard system for
Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the official standardized form of the l ...
. It retains two diacritics: a single accent or ''tonos'' (΄) that indicates stress, and the diaeresis (¨), which usually indicates a
hiatus Hiatus may refer to: *Hiatus (linguistics), the lack of a consonant separating two vowels in separate syllables *Hiatus (television), a break of several weeks or more in television scheduling *Hiatus (anatomy), a natural fissure in a structure *Hi ...
but occasionally indicates a
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
: compare modern Greek (, "lamb chops"), with a diphthong, and (, "little children") with a simple vowel. A ''tonos'' and a ''diaeresis'' can be combined on a single vowel to indicate a stressed vowel after a hiatus, as in the verb (, "to feed"). Although it is not a diacritic, the
hypodiastole The hypodiastole (Byzantine Greek, Greek: , , ), also known as a diastole,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "diastole, ''n.''" Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1895. was an interpunct developed in late Ancient Greek, Ancient and Byzantine Gree ...
(
comma The comma is a punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of written text, wh ...

comma
) has in a similar way the function of a sound-changing diacritic in a handful of Greek words, principally distinguishing (, "whatever") from (, "that").Nicolas, Nick.
Greek Unicode Issues: Punctuation
". 2005. Accessed 7 Oct 2014.


History

The original
Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was the first alphabetic script in history to have distinct letters for vowels ...

Greek alphabet
did not have diacritics. The Greek alphabet is attested since the 8th century BC, and until 403 BC, variations of the Greek alphabet—which exclusively used what are now known as
capitals Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter, an upper-case letter in any type of writing * Capital city, the area of a country, province, region, or state, regarded as enjoying primary status, usually but not always the seat of the governm ...
—were used in different cities and areas. From 403 on, the Athenians decided to employ a version of the Ionian alphabet. With the spread of
Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
, a continuation of the
Attic An attic (sometimes referred to as a ''loft 's Near West Side A loft is a building's upper storey or elevated area in a room directly under the roof (American usage), or just an attic: a storage space under the roof usually accessed by a lad ...
dialect, the Ionic alphabet superseded the other alphabets, known as epichoric, with varying degrees of speed. The Ionian alphabet, however, also only consisted of capitals.


Introduction of breathings

The rough and smooth breathings were introduced in classical times in order to represent the presence or absence of an in
Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociolinguistics), prestige diale ...
, which had adopted a form of the alphabet in which the letter Η (
eta Eta (uppercase , lowercase ; grc, ἦτα ''ē̂ta'' or ell, ήτα ''ita'' ) is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is ...

eta
) was no longer available for this purpose as it was used to represent the
long vowel In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
.


Introduction of accents

During the Hellenistic period (3rd century BC),
Aristophanes of Byzantium __NOTOC__ Aristophanes of Byzantium Byzantium () or Byzantion ( grc-gre, Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divide ...
introduced the breathings—marks of aspiration (the aspiration however being already noted on certain inscriptions, not by means of diacritics but by regular letters or modified letters)—and the accents, of which the use started to spread, to become standard in the Middle Ages. It was not until the 2nd century AD that
accentsAccent may refer to: Speech and language * Accent (sociolinguistics), way of pronunciation particular to a speaker or group of speakers * Accent (phonetics), prominence given to a particular syllable in a word, or a word in a phrase ** Pitch accen ...
and breathings appeared sporadically in
papyri Papyrus ( ) is a material similar to thick paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically or chemically processing cellulose fibres derived from wood, Textile, rags, poaceae, grasses or other vegetable sources in water, dr ...

papyri
. The need for the diacritics arose from the gradual divergence between spelling and pronunciation.


Uncial script

The
majuscule Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or i ...
, i.e., a system where text is written entirely in
capital letters Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the Letter (alphabet), letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minuscule'') in the written representation ...

capital letters
, was used until the 8th century, when the
minuscule Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the Letter (alphabet), letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minuscule'') in the written representation ...
polytonic supplanted it.


Grave accent rule

By the
Byzantine period The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
, the modern rule which turns an
acute accent The acute accent, , is a used in many modern written languages with s based on the , , and scripts. Uses History An early precursor of the acute accent was the , used in inscriptions to mark . Pitch Ancient Greek The acute accent was ...

acute accent
(''oxeia'') on the last syllable into a
grave accent The grave accent ( ` ) ( or ) is a diacritical A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph In typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assem ...

grave accent
(''bareia'')—except before a punctuation sign or an
enclitic In morphology and syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word ...
—had been firmly established. Certain authors have argued that the grave originally denoted the absence of accent; the modern rule is, in their view, a purely orthographic convention. Originally, certain proclitic words lost their accent before another word and received the grave, and later this was generalized to all words in the orthography. Others—drawing on, for instance, evidence from
ancient Greek music The music of ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, ant ...
—consider that the grave was "linguistically real" and expressed a word-final modification of the acute pitch.


Stress accent

In the later development of the language, the ancient
pitch accent A pitch-accent language is a language that has word accents in which one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a contrasting pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency ...
was replaced by an intensity or stress accent, making the three types of accent identical, and the sound became silent.


Simplification

At the beginning of the 20th century (official since the 1960s), the grave was replaced by the acute, and the
iota subscript The iota subscript is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A le ...
and the breathings on the rho were abolished, except in printed texts. Greek
typewriters File:Typewriter.ogv, Video showing the operation of a typewriter A typewriter is a machine, mechanical or electromechanical machine for typing characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array of Button (control), keys, and each one causes a dif ...

typewriters
from that era did not have keys for the grave accent or the iota subscript, and these diacritics were also not taught in primary schools where instruction was in
Demotic Greek Demotic Greek or Dimotiki ( el, Δημοτική Γλώσσα, , , lit. "language of the people") was a colloquial vernacular form of Modern Greek, in common use from the founding of the Greek state in 1821 until the resolution of the Greek langu ...
.


Official adoption of monotonic system

Following the official adoption of the demotic form of the language, the monotonic orthography was imposed by law in 1982. The latter uses only the acute accent (or sometimes a
vertical bar The vertical bar, , is a glyph with various uses in mathematics, computing, and typography. It has many names, often related to particular meanings: Sheffer stroke (in mathematical logic, logic), pipe, vbar, stick, vertical line, bar, verti-bar ...
, intentionally distinct from any of the traditional accents) and diaeresis and omits the breathings. This simplification has been criticized on the grounds that polytonic orthography provides a cultural link to the past.


Modern use of polytonic system

Some individuals, institutions, and publishers continue to prefer the polytonic system (with or without grave accent), though an official reintroduction of the polytonic system does not seem probable. The
Greek Orthodox The name Greek Orthodox Church ( Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία, ''Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía'', ), or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox ...
church, the daily newspaper ''
Estia ''Estia'' ( el, Ἑστία, , hearth) is a Greek national daily broadsheet newspaper published in Athens, Greece. It was founded in 1876 as a literary magazine and then in 1894 has been transformed into a newspaper, making it Greece's oldest daily ...
,'' as well as books written in ''
Katharevousa Katharevousa ( el, Καθαρεύουσα, , literally "purifying anguage) is a conservative Conservatism is a Political philosophy, political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions. The central tenets of conservati ...
'' continue to use the polytonic orthography. Though the polytonic system was not used in Classical Greece, these critics argue that modern Greek, as a continuation of
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
and post-medieval Greek, should continue their writing conventions. Some textbooks of Ancient Greek for foreigners have retained the breathings, but dropped all the accents in order to simplify the task for the learner.


Description

Polytonic Greek uses many different diacritics in several categories. At the time of Ancient Greek, each of these marked a significant distinction in pronunciation. Monotonic orthography for Modern Greek uses only two diacritics, the ''tonos'' and ''diaeresis'' (sometimes used in combination) that have significance in pronunciation. Initial is no longer pronounced, and so the rough and smooth breathings are no longer necessary. The unique pitch patterns of the three accents have disappeared, and only a
stress accent In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
remains. The iota subscript was a diacritic invented to mark an
etymological Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p. 633 "Etymology /ˌɛtɪˈmɒlədʒi/ the study of the class in words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time". is the study of the history of words. By extension, t ...
vowel that was no longer pronounced, so it was dispensed with as well. The transliteration of Greek names follows Latin transliteration of Ancient Greek; modern transliteration is different, and does not distinguish many letters and digraphs that have merged by
iotacism Iotacism ( el, ιωτακισμός, ''iotakismos'') or itacism is the process of vowel shift by which a number of vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the t ...
.


Accents

The accents ( grc, τόνοι, tónoi, singular: grc, τόνος, tónos, label=none) are placed on an accented vowel or on the last of the two vowels of a diphthong (ά, but αί) and indicated
pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves ...
patterns in Ancient Greek. The precise nature of the patterns is not certain, but the general nature of each is known. The
acute accent The acute accent, , is a used in many modern written languages with s based on the , , and scripts. Uses History An early precursor of the acute accent was the , used in inscriptions to mark . Pitch Ancient Greek The acute accent was ...

acute accent
( grc, ὀξεῖα, oxeîa, sharp, label=none or "high")—''—marked high pitch on a short vowel or rising pitch on a long vowel. The acute is also used on the first of two (or occasionally three) successive vowels in Modern Greek to indicate that they are pronounced together as a stressed diphthong. The
grave accent The grave accent ( ` ) ( or ) is a diacritical A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph In typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assem ...

grave accent
( grc, βαρεῖα, bareîa, heavy, label=none or "low", modern ''varia'')—''—marked normal or low pitch. The grave was originally written on all unaccented syllables. By the Byzantine period it was only used to replace the acute at the end of a word if another accented word follows immediately without
punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of written text, whether read silently or aloud. An ...
. The
circumflex The circumflex is a diacritic in the Latin script, Latin and Greek alphabet, Greek scripts that is used in the written forms of many languages and in various romanization and Transcription (linguistics), transcription schemes. It received its E ...
( grc, περισπωμένη, perispōménē, twisted around, label=none)—''—marked high and falling pitch within one syllable. In distinction to the angled Latin circumflex, the Greek circumflex is printed in the form of either a
tilde The tilde (
in the American Heritage dictionary
), or , is a

tilde
or an
inverted breve Inverted breve or arch is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the ...

inverted breve
. It was also known as ''oxýbarys'' "high-low" or "acute-grave", and its original form (like a caret: ^ ) was from a combining of the acute and grave diacritics. Because of its compound nature, it only appeared on long vowels or diphthongs.


Breathings

The breathings were written over a vowel or ρ. The
rough breathing In the polytonic orthography Greek orthographyThe orthography of the Greek language ultimately has its roots in the adoption of the Greek alphabet in the 9th century BC. Some time prior to that, one early form of Greek, Mycenaean language, My ...
( grc, δασὺ πνεῦμα, dasù pneûma, link=no;
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
)—''—indicates a voiceless glottal fricative () before the vowel in Ancient Greek. In Greek grammar, this is known as aspiration. This is different from aspiration in
phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lang ...

phonetics
, which applies to consonants, not vowels. *
Rho Rho (uppercase Ρ, lowercase ρ or ; el, ῥῶ) is the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician ...
(Ρρ) at the beginning of a word always takes rough breathing, probably marking
unvoiced In linguistics, voicelessness is the property of sounds being pronounced without the larynx vibrating. Phonologically, it is a type of phonation, which contrasts with other states of the larynx, but some object that the word phonation implies voic ...
pronunciation. In Latin, this was transcribed as ''''. *
Upsilon Upsilon (; or ; uppercase Υ, lowercase υ; el, ''ýpsilon'' ) or ypsilon is the 20th letter of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is der ...
(Υυ) at the beginning of a word always takes rough breathing. Thus, words from Greek begin with ''hy-'', never with ''y-''. The
smooth breathing The smooth breathing ( grc, ψιλὸν πνεῦμα, psilòn pneûma; ell, ψιλή ''psilí''; la, spīritus lēnis) is a diacritical mark A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph adde ...
( grc, ψιλὸν πνεῦμα, psilòn pneûma, label=none; Latin )—''—marked the absence of . A double rho in the middle of a word was originally written with smooth breathing on the first rho and rough breathing on the second one (διάῤῥοια). In Latin, this was transcribed as ''rrh'' (''diarrhoea'' or ''diarrhea'').


Coronis

The coronis ( grc, κορωνίς, korōnís, curved, label=none) marks a vowel contracted by
crasis Crasis (; from the Greek , "mixing", "blending"); cf. , "I mix" ''wine with water''; '' kratēr'' "mixing-bowl" is related. is a type of contraction in which two vowels or diphthongs coalescence (linguistics), merge into one new vowel or diphthon ...
. It was formerly an apostrophe placed after the contracted vowel, but is now placed over the vowel and is identical to the smooth breathing. Unlike the smooth breathing, it often occurs inside a word.


Subscript

The
iota subscript The iota subscript is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A le ...
( grc, ὑπογεγραμμένη, hypogegramménē, written under, label=none)—''—is placed under the long vowels , , and to mark the ancient long diphthongs ᾱι, ηι, and ωι, in which the ι is no longer pronounced.


Adscript

Next to a capital, the iota subscript is usually written as a lower-case letter (Αι), in which case it is called
iota adscript The iota subscript is a diacritic mark in the Greek alphabet shaped like a small vertical stroke or miniature iota placed below the letter. It can occur with the vowel letters eta , omega , and alpha . It represents the former presence of an Semi ...
( grc, προσγεγραμμένη, prosgegramménē, written next to, label=none).


Diaeresis

In Ancient Greek, the diaeresis ( el, διαίρεσις, link=no or el, διαλυτικά, dialytiká, distinguishing, label=none)——appears on the letters and to show that a pair of vowel letters is pronounced separately, rather than as a
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
. In Modern Greek, the diaeresis usually indicates that two successive vowels are pronounced separately (as in , "I trick, mock"), but occasionally, it marks vowels that are pronounced together as an unstressed diphthong rather than as a
digraph Digraph may refer to: * Digraph (orthography), a pair of characters used together to represent a single sound, such as "sh" in English * Orthographic ligature, the joining of two letters as a single glyph, such as "æ" * Digraph (computing), a grou ...
(as in , "I boycott"). The distinction between two separate vowels and an unstressed diphthong is not always clear, although two separate vowels are far more common. The diaeresis can be combined with the acute, grave and circumflex but never with breathings, since the letter with the diaeresis cannot be the first vowel of the word. In Modern Greek, the combination of the acute and diaeresis indicates a stressed vowel after a hiatus.


Vowel length

In textbooks and dictionaries of Ancient Greek, the macron—''—and
breve A breve (, less often , neuter form of the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

breve
—''—are often used over , , and to indicate that they are long or short, respectively.


Nonstandard diacritics


Caron

In some modern non-standard orthographies of Greek dialects, such as
Cypriot Greek Cypriot Greek ( el, κυπριακά ελληνικά or ) is the variety of Modern Greek that is spoken by the majority of the Cypriot populace and Greek Cypriot diaspora The Greek-Cypriot diaspora refers to the Greek Cypriot population of C ...
and
Griko Griko, sometimes spelled Grico, is the dialect of Italiot Greek Italiot Greek, also known as Salentino-Calabrian Greek, Italic-Greek or Apulia-Calabrian Greek refers to two dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , ...
, a
caron A caron (), háček or haček ( or ; plural ''háčeks'' or ''háčky'') also known as a hachek, wedge, check, kvačica, strešica, mäkčeň, paukščiukas, inverted circumflex, inverted hat, or flying bird, is a diacritic (ˇ) commonly placed ...

caron
(ˇ) may be used on some consonants to show a palatalized pronunciation. They are not encoded as precombined characters in Unicode, so they are typed by adding the to the Greek letter. Latin diacritics on Greek letters may not be supported by many fonts, and as a fall-back a caron may be replaced by an iota ⟨ι⟩ following the consonant. Examples of Greek letters with a combining caron and their pronunciation: ζ̌ , κ̌ or , λ̌ , ν̌ , ξ̌ , π̌ , σ̌ ς̌ , τ̌ , τζ̌ or , τσ̌ τς̌ or , ψ̌ .


Dot above

A dot diacritic was used above some consonants and vowels in
Karamanli Turkish Karamanlı Turkish ( tr, Karamanlı Türkçesi, el, Καραμανλήδικα, Karamanlídika) is both a form of written Turkish and a dialect of Turkish spoken by the Karamanlides, a community of Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christians in Ot ...
, which was written with the Greek alphabet.


Position in letters

Diacritics are written above lower-case letters and at the upper left of capital letters. In the case of a
digraph Digraph may refer to: * Digraph (orthography), a pair of characters used together to represent a single sound, such as "sh" in English * Orthographic ligature, the joining of two letters as a single glyph, such as "æ" * Digraph (computing), a grou ...
, the second vowel takes the diacritics. A breathing diacritic is written to the left of an acute or grave accent but below a circumflex. Accents are written above a diaeresis or between its two dots. Diacritics are only written on capital letters if they are at the beginning of a word with the exception of the diaeresis, which is always written. Diacritics can be found above capital letters in medieval texts.


Examples


Computer encoding

There have been problems in representing polytonic Greek on computers, and in displaying polytonic Greek on computer screens and printouts, but these have largely been overcome by the advent of
Unicode Unicode, formally the Unicode Standard, is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in most of the world's wri ...

Unicode
and appropriate
font In metal A metal (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...

font
s.


IETF language tag

The
IETF The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary functi ...
language tags have registered subtag codes for the different orthographies: * for monotonic Greek. * for polytonic Greek.


Unicode

While the ''tónos'' of monotonic orthography looks similar to the ''oxeîa'' of polytonic orthography in most fonts, Unicode has historically separate symbols for letters with these diacritics. For example, the monotonic "Greek small letter alpha with ''tónos''" is at U+03AC, while the polytonic "Greek small letter alpha with ''oxeîa''" is at U+1F71. The monotonic and polytonic accent however have been ''
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
'' equivalent since 1986, and accordingly the ''oxeîa'' diacritic in Unicode decomposes canonically to the monotonic ''tónos''—both are underlyingly treated as equivalent to the multiscript acute accent, U+0301, since letters with ''oxia'' decompose to letters with ''tonos'', which decompose in turn to base letter plus multiscript acute accent. For example: U+1F71 GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH OXIA
➔ U+03AC GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH TONOS
➔ U+03B1 GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA, U+0301 COMBINING ACUTE ACCENT. Below are the accented characters provided in Unicode. In the uppercase letters, the iota adscript may appear as subscript depending on font.


Upper case


Lower case


See also

*
Acute accent The acute accent, , is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembl ...

Acute accent
*
Voiceless glottal fricative The voiceless glottal fricative, sometimes called voiceless glottal transition, and sometimes called the aspirate, is a type of sound used in some Speech communication, spoken languages that patterns like a fricative or approximant consonant ''ph ...

Voiceless glottal fricative
* Diaeresis
Synaeresis In linguistics, synaeresis (; also spelled syneresis) is a phonological process of sound change in which two adjacent vowels within a word are ''combined'' into a single syllable. The opposite process, in which two adjacent vowels are pronounce ...
*
Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the ...
*
Koine Greek phonology The Greek language underwent sound change, pronunciation changes during the Koine Greek period, from about 300 BC to 300 AD. At the beginning of the period, the pronunciation was almost identical to Ancient Greek, Classical Greek, while at the end ...
*
Modern Greek grammar The grammar of Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the offici ...
*
Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was the first alphabetic script in history to have distinct letters for vowels ...

Greek alphabet
*
Greek language question The Greek language question ( el, το γλωσσικό ζήτημα, ''to glossikó zítima'') was a dispute about whether the language of the Greek people (Demotic Greek) or a cultivated imitation of Ancient Greek (''Katharevousa'') should be th ...
* Greek ligatures *
Greek brailleGreek Braille is the braille alphabet of the Greek language. It is based on international braille conventions, generally corresponding to Romanization of Greek, Latin transliteration. In Greek, it is known as Κώδικας Μπράιγ ''Kôdikas Mp ...
* Greek minuscule *
Textual criticism Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship, philology, and of literary criticism that is concerned with the identification of textual variants, or different versions, of either manuscripts or of printed books. Such texts may range in da ...
* Aristarchian symbols * Obelism * Dagger (typography) * Greek numerals * Attic numerals * Isopsephy * Ancient Greek Musical Notation * Byzantine Musical Symbols


References


Further reading

* Panayotakis is critical of the adoption of monotonic, and also provides a useful historical sketch. * See also


External links

General information:
Accentuation history and tutorial

Citizens' Movement for the Reintroduction of the Polytonic System
in Greek and English
How the law to abandon polytonic orthography was passed in the Greek parliament
in Greek
Greek polytonic to monotonic converter
(free online tool)

Polytonic Greek fonts:


Public domain Greek polytonic unicode fonts

Gentium – a typeface for the nations
SIL Open Font License, open font supporting polytonic Greek
Athena
public domain polytonic Greek font How-to guides for polytonic keyboard layouts:
Google Docs guide for Linux
Covers installation of layouts, use of dead-keys etc. Updated to 2010. {{Greek language Hellenic scripts, Diacritics Greek-script diacritics, Greek language, Diacritics Koine Greek, Diacritics Ancient Greek language, Diacritics Language orthographies Orthography Spelling reform Keyboard layouts