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

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Mar 7 16:49:20 EST 2006

On Mar 7, 2006, at 1:48 PM, Steve Westfall wrote:

> 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  
> 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.

Certainly an acute accent may appear on a long vowel or a short  
vowel, and yes, only a circumflex must appear only on a long vowel or  
on the second vowel of a diphthong. An acute on a long vowel is by no  
means uncommon.

> 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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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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