[B-Greek] Long/short vowels, macrons, and Unicode

Steve Westfall steve.westfall at comcast.net
Tue Mar 7 13:48:17 EST 2006

I've noticed that Athenaze occasionally prints a vowel with both a macron
and an acute accent over it, e.g., on page 8, the IWTA in KATATRIBEI, the
UPSILON in KATADUNEI.  (I haven't run across any ALPHAs with both macron and
an accent yet, but I assume I'll run into one eventually.)  From this I
deduce that the authors of Athenaze do not consider the presence of an acute
accent to be sufficient evidence, by itself, that the vowel is long.
(Whereas a circumflex does indicate that the vowel is long; cf. Weir # 4).  
The question of "IWTA -- long or short?" was discussed briefly on this list
in 4 postings from Sept., 2003, and appears to me to have reached the same
conclusion about IWTA.
In light of this, I was interested to discover that Unicode's code chart for
"Greek Extended" does not provide a code-point for any vowels having both a
macron and an accent (of any kind).  Is this an oversight in Unicode, or is
the combination unnecessary?

Steve Westfall

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