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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, Mycenaean, was written in Linear ...
of
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 ...
, the rough breathing ( grc, δασὺ πνεῦμα, dasỳ pneûma or ''daseîa''; la, spīritus asper) character is a
diacritical mark A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter (alphabet), letter or to a basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek (, "distinguishing"), from (, "to distinguish"). T ...
used to indicate the presence of an sound before a
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables * ...

vowel
,
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 ...
, or after
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 ...
. It remained in the polytonic orthography even after the
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, We ...
period, when the sound disappeared from the Greek language. In the
monotonic 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, Mycenaean, was written in Linear ...
of
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 ...
, in use since 1982, it is not used at all. The absence of an sound is marked by 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 ...
. The character has also been used for a similar sound by
Thomas Wade
Thomas Wade
(and others) in the
Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, 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 a ...
system of
romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lan ...
for
Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic languages, Sinitic (Chinese) languages natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of the phonology of Standard Chinese. Because Mandarin ...
.
Herbert Giles Herbert Allen Giles (, 8 December 184513 February 1935) was a British diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. I ...

Herbert Giles
and others have used a left (opening) curved single
quotation mark Quotation marks, also known as quotes, quote marks, speech marks, inverted commas, or talking marks, are punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and cer ...
for the same purpose; the
apostrophe The apostrophe ( or ) 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 wri ...

apostrophe
, backtick, and visually similar characters are often seen as well.


History

The rough breathing comes from the left-hand half of the letter H. In some
archaic Greek alphabets Many local variants 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 alphabet, and was the first alphabetic script in ...
, the letter was used for (
Heta Heta is a conventional name for the historical 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 a ...
), and this usage survives in the Latin letter
H
H
. In other dialects, it was used for the vowel (
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
), and this usage survives in the modern system of writing
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 in
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 ...
.


Usage

The rough breathing ( ̔ ) is placed over an initial vowel, or over the second vowel of an initial diphthong. * ''haíresis'' 'choice' (→ Latin ''haeresis'' → English ''heresy'') * ''hḗrōs'' 'hero' An
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 ...
or
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 ...
Smyth
par. 13
at the beginning of a word always takes a rough breathing. * ''hýmnos'' 'hymn' * ''rhythmós'' 'rhythm'


Inside a word

In some writing conventions, the rough breathing is written on the second of two rhos in the middle of a word. This is transliterated as ''rrh'' in Latin. * ''diárrhoia'' '
diarrhoea Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movement frame, Anatomy of the anus and rectum Defecation is the final act of digestion Digestion is the breakdown of large ins ...
' In
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 ...
(contraction of two words), when the second word has a rough breathing, the contracted vowel does not take a rough breathing. Instead, the consonant before the contracted vowel changes to the aspirated equivalent (i.e., π → φ, τ → θ, κ → χ),Smyth
par. 64
if possible, and the contracted vowel takes the
apostrophe The apostrophe ( or ) 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 wri ...

apostrophe
or (identical to 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 ...
). * 'the other one' *:''tò héteron'' → ''thoúteron'' Under the archaizing influence of
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 ...
, this change has been preserved in
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 ...
neologism A neologism (; from Greek νέο- ''néo-'', "new" and λόγος ''lógos'', "speech, utterance") is a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted ...
s coined on the basis of ancient words, e.g. πρωθυπουργός ('prime minister'), from ('first') and ('minister'), where the latter was originally aspirated.


Technical notes

In
Unicode Unicode, formally the Unicode Standard, is an information technology standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requireme ...

Unicode
, the
code point In character encoding In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardw ...
assigned to the rough breathing is . It is intended to be used in all alphabetic scripts (including Greek and Latin). It was also used in the original Latin transcription of Armenian for example with in . The pair of space + combining rough breathing is . It may bind typographically with the letter encoded ''before'' it to its left, to create ligatures for example with in , and it is used for the modern Latin transcription of
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
(which no longer uses the combining version). It is also encoded for compatibility as mostly for usage in the Greek script, where it may be used ''before'' Greek capital letters to its right and aligned differently, e.g. with , where the generic space+combining ''dasia'' should be used ''after'' the letter it modifies to its left (the space is inserted so that the dasia will be to the left instead of above that letter). Basically, U+1FFE was encoded for full roundtrip compatibility with legacy 8-bit encodings of the Greek script in documents where dasia was encoded before the Greek capital letter it modifies (it is then not appropriate for transliterating Armenian and Semitic scripts to the Latin script). When is used incorrectly after a Latin letter it is supposed to modify, for example with in t῾d, a visible small gap will occur between the leading Latin letter ''t'' and the Greek dasia, and the Greek dasia may interact typographically with the Latin letter ''d'' following it to suppress this gap, like in Greek. There is a polytonic Greek code range in Unicode, covering precomposite versions (breathing mark + vowel etc.): Ἁ ἁ, Ἇ ἇ, ᾏ ᾇ, ᾉ ᾁ, Ἑ ἑ, Ἡ ἡ, Ἧ ἧ, ᾟ ᾗ, ᾙ ᾑ, Ἱ ἱ, Ἷ ἷ, Ὁ ὁ, Ῥ ῥ, Ὑ ὑ, Ὗ ὗ, Ὡ ὡ, Ὧ ὧ, ᾯ ᾧ, and ᾩ ᾡ. The rough breathing was also used in the
early Cyrillic alphabet The Early Cyrillic alphabet, also called classical Cyrillic or paleo-Cyrillic, is a writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") ...

early Cyrillic alphabet
when writing the
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic (, ) was the first Slavic literary language. Historians credit the 9th-century Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius with standardizing the language and using it in translating the Bible ...
language. In this context it is encoded as Unicode In Latin transcription of
Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication us ...

Semitic languages
, especially
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
and
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
, either or a symbol similar to it, {{unichar, 02BF, MODIFIER LETTER LEFT HALF RING, cwith=, is used to represent the letter
ayin ''Ayin'' (also ''ayn'' or ''ain''; transliterated ) is the sixteenth letter 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 i ...

ayin
. This left half ring may also be used for the Latin transcription of
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
(though the Armenian aspiration is phonetically nearer to the Greek ''dasia'' than the Semitic ''ayin'').


See also

*
Greek diacritics Greek orthography has used a variety of diacritics starting in the Hellenistic period. The more complex polytonic orthography ( el, πολυτονικό σύστημα γραφής, translit=polytonikó sýstīma grafīs), which includes five d ...
**
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 ...
*
Ayin ''Ayin'' (also ''ayn'' or ''ain''; transliterated ) is the sixteenth letter 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 i ...

Ayin
( ʿ )


References

Greek-script diacritics Cyrillic-script diacritics Ancient Greek language