RE: Help with Greek special casing

From: Carl W. Brown (
Date: Mon Feb 26 2001 - 03:28:40 EST


Maybe in might be clearer to ask if there are any cases where you use the
final sigma form where it is not the last letter in a word. Modern Greek


-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Nicholas []
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2001 10:53 PM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Re: Help with Greek special casing

Carl Brown asked:

>"If a mapping is marked by FINAL, use it when the character is not followed
>by a cased character.
>It is final when followed by a hyphen or combining diacritical mark? Can
>you have a final sigma in the middle of a word?

On the latter, yes in some 19th century typographical traditions, where the
final sigma is used to differentiate the prefix pros- from pro-; e.g.
you'll see Lambros in his _Neos Hellenomnemon_ journal write, say,
PRO*S*ABBATON = pro-sabbaton, but PRO*@*AGW = pros-agw. (Sorry about
non-Unicode; I'm on a Mac and have left my lookup-list at the office.) This
tradition has not been maintained, and I don't think it was ever mainstream
in Western Europe. I think I've also seen it done with other such prefixes,
like eis-.

Diacritics following a final sigma would only occur in Modern Greek
dialectology --- e.g. hacek used to denote that the sigma is pronounced as
"sh". (Epigraphists and papyrologists too, I suppose, though they'd tend
more to the lunate sigma anyway.) In that case, yes, the final sigma
remains final. Before a hyphen, on the other hand, it would clearly remain
medial, unless you're pulling the 19th century pros- prefix trick.

    Nick Nicholas, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae.
 "All the nations also under his dominion were filled with joy and
 inexpressible gladness at not being even for a moment deprived of the
 benefits of a well ordered government."
    --- Eusebius of Caesaria on the accession of Constantine I.

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