Re: Greek tonos and oxia

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Jun 29 2004 - 18:51:41 CDT

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    > I have a (hopefully) short question about "polytonic" Greek support.
    > Does anyone know what the idea was behind encoding Greek vowel+acute
    > combinations (without apirates, etc.) twice: first in the Basic
    > Greek section as vowel+tonos, for the second time in the Extended
    > Greek section as vowel+oxia?

    It was done essentially at the insistence of the Greek National
    Body (ELOT) during the days of the formal merger of the repertoires
    of Unicode 1.0 and ISO/IEC 10646-1 DIS-1 to create the merged
    repertoires of Unicode 1.1 and ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993.

    It was a bad idea at the time, in my opinion, and reflected a
    not-fully-worked-out attempt by Greece to establish a polytonic
    Greek standard, I believe.

    > What is the recommended usage for
    > Classical Greek (and why is it better)?

    Greek base letters plus whatever combination of combining marks
    is needed, as appropriate.

    Better because it is a consistent approach which handles all
    of polytonic Greek representation without casing problems
    and other issues.


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