Re: Four characters from Greek Extended block missing?

From: Nick NICHOLAS (
Date: Fri Feb 16 2001 - 16:19:02 EST

On Fri, 16 Feb 2001, Otto Stolz wrote:

> So the questions are:
> - are the above-mentioned lower-case upsilon composites useless,
> and entered Unicode only by an oversight, or
> - are their upper-case equivalents missing by an oversight, or
> - is there indeed a rationale for this anomaly?

The Upsilons with smooth breathings are unacceptable word-initially in
Attic; the only exception I found in Liddel-Scott-Jones was the old name
of the letter itself, U)=. The lowercase glyph is acceptable in Attic,
because it can occur as the second letter of an initial diphthong; in
old typographies where all-caps words had accents, this can also occur
with capital upsilon. Upsilon with smooth breathing can additionally
occur word-initially in other dialects, but these two cases are rare
enough for no standard to rush to include it.

In our corpus, initial capital upsilon with a smooth breathing occurs 37
times in a corpus of 76 million words of Greek; lower case upsilon with a
smooth breathing occurs 373 times. With epigraphical data, this will obviously
be more frequent.

Nick Nicholas. TLG, UCI, USA.;
 Many among their proselytes had sold their lands and houses to increase
  the public riches of the sect --- at the expense, indeed, of their
  unfortunate children, who found themselves beggars because their
  parents had been saints. (Edward Gibbon, _Decline and Fall_.)

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