Talk:Greek alphabet

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Recent edits about case distinction[edit]

Some recent edits to the lead [1][[2]] have changed the description of the history of the uppercase/lowercase distinction, from saying that it developed in the modern era, to saying that it developed "around the third or fourth century". I don't think this is correct. If editors were thinking of the development of minuscule letter forms, those arose much later, in the 9th century or thereabouts. If they were thinking of the use of cursive letter forms that look partly similar to minuscules, those (if I'm not quite mistaken) are even older than the third and fourth century. But neither the medieval minuscule script nor the ancient cursive constitute what that sentence was talking about, a letter case distinction. "Minuscule" and "lower case" are not the same thing. A case distinction exists only when minuscule and majuscule letter forms are used in a functionally complementary way, side by side with each other in the same texts, and the distinction is employed systematically as an orthographical device. What you find in medieval writing is different: you either have texts written entirely in minuscule, or you have a few majuscule letters mixed in for decorative purposes, in titles or marginal initials. But then, these majuscule elements really stand outside the main text; their use is a stylistic decoration but not an orthographical device. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I'm aware, an orthographic case distinction really developed in Greek only after the Renaissance. Fut.Perf. 06:54, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Combined letter OU missing[edit]

In Greece there is also an unofficial letter which is in widespread handwritten usage, it is a letter combining the letters "O" and "U" for the "ou" diphthong, and this letter is usually written in all-capital words. It looks like an omicron ("Ο") with an ypsilon ("Υ") above it. Can we find sources for this Greek letter? Cogiati (talk) 12:51, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

It should be covered under Greek ligatures. Fut.Perf. 13:00, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Are you sure you do not mean this letter (Ȣ, ȣ)? It is not Greek, but rather Latin: a combination of the Latin letters "O" and "U" (not the Greek "Ο" and "Υ"). — |J~Pæst|  23:30, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, it does exist in Greek, and the Latin usage was inspired by it. There's a bit about its present-day status here [3]. Fut.Perf. 05:42, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

24 or 27 letters[edit]

The Greek alphabet consists of three sets of nine letters representing the numbers 1-9, 10-90, and 100-900. So, 27 letters all together (3 X 9 = 27).

As such, omega is not the last letter of the Greek alphabet because it represents the number 800.

Other letters frequently omitted are digamma/ F = (6) and koppa (similar to Q) = 90.

I think Wikipedia should post the 27 letters of the Greek alphabet and their numeric equivalents. (A numeric equivalency chart is available at www.GreekAlphabeta.com) GreekAlphabeta (talk) 22:02, 14 November 2013 (UTC)GreekAlphabeta


The 27 Letters of the Greek Alphabet and their Numeric Equivalents

Α α Β β Γ γ Δ δ Ε ε Ϝϝ Ζ ζ Η η Θ θ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Ι ι Κ κ Λ λ Μ μ Ν ν Ξ ξ Ο ο Π π Ϙ ϟ 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90

Ρ ρ Σσς Τ τ Υ υ Φ φ Χ χ Ψ ψ Ω ὦ ϡ 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900

GreekAlphabeta (talk) 13:14, 15 November 2013 (UTC)GreekAlphabeta

Uhm, no. What you have here is not the Greek alphabet, but the Greek numeral system. Which is based on the Greek alphabet (i.e. some archaic versions of it), but isn't the alphabet proper. As our article rightly says, and will continue to say based on all reliable sources, the alphabet proper in its classical form has 24 letters. Digamma, Koppa and Sampi are extra-alphabetic signs ("episema"), which are not part of the alphabet itself. The numeral system is of course also treated in this article, quite appropriately, in its own section (Greek alphabet#Use as numerals). Fut.Perf. 13:21, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Letter name pronunciation[edit]

Do you think that I should add a column alongside the names of the letters showing IPA pronunciation of the names (Romanized)? 77.127.225.235 (talk) 22:04, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

That would again open up the old can of worms: which pronunciation? The modern English pronunciation, a reconstructed classical Greek pronunciation, or the modern Greek one? Or all of them together? If you are referring to the summary table in the intro section, then no, we should not overburden it with such things. Fut.Perf. 23:22, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I would think that the modern English should take priority, as that is the way an English speaker would communicate the letter intended. If you feel that it doesn't belong in the main table (adjacent to the "name" column, I could make a separate table and incorporate all three. Where would you put it? (Basically, one who wants to get a quick feel for the Greek alphabet has to run around to each letter's article and try to memorize the pronunciation then go back to the main list, repeat.) אפונה (talk) 06:53, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I just found a page devoted to pronunciations, and I've updated all the IPAs to IPAc-en. Perhaps a link could be added to the page (English pronunciation of Greek letters) or the table could be incorporated into this article. אפונה (talk) 22:14, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Merger Proposal[edit]

I suggest merging English pronunciation of Greek letters into this article under a new heading. Other languages have such a subsection too: e.g. Hebrew alphabet. Please comment! — Preceding unsigned comment added by אפונה (talkcontribs) 10:07, 16 March 2014 אפונה (talk) 04:54, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

User:Lfdder completed the merge, and added the information to the History section. I think that it would be more appropriate to have it a separate heading before the History section, especially because the history section is broken up into a few tables. Also, the lead paragraph in the old article had some information now missing (because it doesn't belong in the History section). Admittedly, it may make a long article even longer. אפונה (talk) 04:54, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

I don't think we need yet another table. Are the English pronunciation transcriptions really that important to the encyclopedia? — Lfdder (talk) 08:50, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I think I'm with Lfdder here. The natural place for the info on name pronunciation is, obviously, the section on "letter names", and the English stuff fits in with the existing tables without problem, as they are now. I don't see how the Hebrew alphabet example points us into any other direction either; it too treats the English pronunciations together with the native ones. Fut.Perf. 09:38, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
@Fut. Perf. - I agree that the English pronunciation belongs with the native one - it just doesn't belong in the "History" section together with the Phoenician origins. That's not where I'd look for them. @Lfdder - I think the transcriptions are very important. If you want to learn about the Greek alphabet, you'd want to know how to pronounce the names properly.
Also the article is still missing the information contained in the "original" lead paragraph - check the edit history to see. It's not *very* important, but it is informative.
All being said, another paragraph would be cumbersome. — Preceding unsigned comment added by אפונה (talkcontribs) 11:45, 18 March 2014 (UTC)