These pages discuss issues to do with Greek and Unicode
that I have come across over the years, both in my
capacity as research associate of the Thesaurus
Linguae Graecae and independently. This is not
of course the last word on Greek and Unicode, nor
indeed a comprehensive guide. That honour belongs,
in the first instance, to:
There are also other places where you should turn
to for good information on Unicode, and Unicode Greek
The information I give here is more of a supplementary
- explanations of why Unicode has done things
the way it has (and will not do things the
way you might want it to);
- some of the more obscure combinations
of characters and the stories behind them;
you will find out there in text converted
to Unicode to be wary of;
- and general background information
of why Greek is so messy in Unicode.
fair bit of paedagogy and pedantry here.
The audience I intend this for is people who will
be working with Greek Unicode at a non-trivial level,
either as programmers or as text encoders. The classicists
among you will I hope pardon me giving some introductions
to Ancient Greek here; I also go over aspects of
Greek typography, both within and outside Greece,
that I have seen over the years and that Unicoders
may need to be aware of.
I am not a typographer or a classicist, so of course
these web pages are no substitute for doing your
own reading on palaeography, typography, linguistics,
text encoding, philology, or politics. As this
site continues to be developed, I will be adding
links to other such material online, and to references,
as well as providing visual examples from existing
typography. This will take a while, as might be
Table of Contents
- Greek vs. Greek
- Oxia vs.
- Gaps In The System
Characters as Platonic Ideals: The fi
ligature; Cyrillic т
and Composed Characters: Composing; Decomposing;
'Gaps': Smooth breathing on capital upsilon;
Circumflex on epsilon and omicron; Circumflex
on capitals; Non-canonical subscripts; Smooth
Breathing on capital rho
- "Don't Proliferate; Transliterate!"
- Epigraphers vs. Linguists
- Corinthian EI
- What to transliterate into
- Titlecase and
- Titlecase but not Titlecase
- Adscript vs. Subscript: A Culture Clash
- Adscripts and Diphthongs
- Unicode and Adscript vs. Subscript
- Unicode Special Casing and Adscripts
- Stare Decisis
- Greek /h/
- The 'istory of 'eta
- Who Writes heta
- Latin heta
- Tack heta
- Unicode heta
- Stories of Individual
- Final Sigma
- Lunate Sigma
- Symbol Variants: Maths-Only; Glyph Pedigrees; Distribution of glyphs
- Pseudo-Monotonic Capitals
- Punctuation Shared With Latin
- Quotation Marks; Single Quotes
- Question Mark
- Greek Semicolon
- Papyrological Punctuation
- Editorial Signs
- The Preempted Coronis
- The Rough Coronis
- The Modern Coronis
- The Dialectal Coronis
- The Ancient Yot
- The Modern Yot
- Do We Admit the Kludges?
- Capital Numerals
- Left Keraia
- Non-Attic Characters
- Archaic Koppa
- Greek Diacritics
- Combining Diacritics: Diacritics shared with Latin; Circumflex; Diaeresis
+ Acute; Breathings; Iota Subscript; Ancient
Editorial; Modern Editorial
- Spacing Diacritics: Diacritic Abstractions; Stealth Titlecase; Cheshire
- Abbreviation Primes
- Rho With Stroke
- The "Astral
Planes": Plane 1 and Greek
- Derived from the Greek script
- Used to write Greek
- Musical Notation
- Numeric Notation: Acrophonic Numerals, Papyrological Numerals
- Characters Outside Unicode
- Other Non-Attic Characters
- Archaic Sampi
- Zigzag Iota
- Other Ligatures
- Stigma Ligature
- OU Ligature
- Script Mixing
- Wakhi Kurds
- Hijinks in the Basilica
- Modern Greek Dialectology
- Interloping Scripts
- IPA: Particularities of IPA Symbols, African Orthography,
- Uralic Phonetic Alphabet
- Archaic Cyrillic
- Maybes for Inclusion
Thanks to: Jim Allan, George Baloglou, John Cowan,
Mark Davis, Alexandros Diamantidis, Pim Rietbroek, Øistein Andersen.
- Brixhe, C. 1976. Le dialecte grec de Pamphylie. Documents
et grammaire. Paris: Maisonneuve.
- Brixhe, C. & Lejeune, M. 1984. Corpus des Inscriptions
Paléo-Phrygiennes. Paris: Éditions recherche sur
- Bubeník, V. 1983. The Phonological Interpretation of
Ancient Greek: A Pandialectal Analysis. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press.
- Buck, C.D. 1955. The Greek Dialects. 2nd ed. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.
- Contossopoulos, N.G. 1996. Διάλεκτοι και Ιδιώματα της
Νέας Ελληνικής. 2nd ed. Athens.
- Duhoux, Y. 1982. L'Étéocrétois: Les Texts—La Langue.
Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben.
- International Phonetic Association 1949. The Principles
of the International Phonetic Association. London:
International Phonetic Association.
- Jeffery, L.H. 1990. The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece.
2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Markey, T. & Mees, B. 2003. Prestino, Patrimony and
the Plinys. Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 53. 116-167.
- Pullum, G.K. & Laduslaw, W.A. 1996. Phonetic Symbol
Guide. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Thompson, E.M. 1912. An Introduction to Greek and Latin
Palaeography. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Trombetti, A. 1928. La Lingua Etrusca. Florence: Rinascimento
opoudjis [AT] optusnet . com . au
Last revision: 2006-07-29