Greek diacritics  

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Greek orthography has used a variety of diacritics starting in the Hellenistic period. The more complex polytonic orthography (Template:Lang-el), which includes five diacritics, notates Ancient Greek phonology. The simpler monotonic orthography (Template:Lang-el), introduced in 1982, corresponds to Modern Greek phonology, and requires only two diacritics.

Polytonic orthography (Template:Etymology) is the standard system for Ancient Greek and Medieval Greek. The acute accent (´), the circumflex (^), and the grave accent (`) indicate different kinds of pitch accent. The rough breathing () indicates the presence of the Template:IPA sound before a letter, while the smooth breathing (᾿) indicates the absence of Template:IPA.

Since in Modern Greek the pitch accent has been replaced by a dynamic accent (stress), and Template:IPA was lost, most polytonic diacritics have no phonetic significance, and merely reveal the underlying Ancient Greek etymology.

Monotonic orthography (Template:Etymology) is the standard system for Modern Greek. It retains two diacritics: a single accent or tonos (΄) that indicates stress, and the diaeresis ( ¨ ), which usually indicates a hiatus but occasionally indicates a diphthong: compare modern Greek Template:Wikt-lang (Template:IPA, "lamb chops"), with a diphthong, and Template:Wikt-lang (Template:IPA, "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 Template:Lang (Template:IPA, "to feed").

Although it is not a diacritic, the hypodiastole (comma) has in a similar way the function of a sound-changing diacritic in a handful of Greek words, principally distinguishing Template:Wikt-lang (Template:Transliteration, "whatever") from Template:Wikt-lang (Template:Transliteration, "that").

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Greek diacritics" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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