Re: Missing old Greek ligature/letter "omicron+upsilon above"

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sun Sep 19 2010 - 14:07:42 CDT

  • Next message: Raymond Mercier: "Re: Missing old Greek ligature/letter "omicron+upsilon above""

    > Message du 19/09/10 20:35
    > De : "Apostolos Syropoulos" <>
    > A : "Unicode Mailing List" <>
    > Copie à :
    > Objet : Re: Missing old Greek ligature/letter "omicron+upsilon above"
    > 2010/9/19 Philippe Verdy <>
    > > Clearly there does seem to be missing a Greek letter, which should
    > > behave exactly like the Latin letter. I can't say
    > > if this is a contamination of the Greek script by the Latin script
    > > (the book itself is in French), or if finally the
    > > ligature was also used in Greek books. I think that such famous
    > > authors were knowing Greek enough to have seen the
    > > ligature used in pure Greek alone.
    > >
    > All I can tell that ου is a diphthong and since it is very common people
    > have been using the form you are mentioning. The following shows that
    > it was something used in Greek text alone:

    Ok but I'm concerned by the fact that the existing Latin 'ou'
    ligature/letter U+0222/U+0223 cannot be used safely for Greek:
    - it has the wrong script property
    - when combined with a Greek circumflex (canonically equivalent with
    the latin tilde), this circumflex won't be able to adopt the curved
    circumflex form (inversed breve) that is also commonly found in many
    Greek font styles and handwritten Greek styles, but normally NOT
    suitable for the tilde over a Latin letter) ;
    - it won't combine correctly with Greek spirits
    - there's a difference between the diphtong "omicron+upsilon" and the
    pair of Greek vowels (that's why I think it's not really a ligature
    but a separate letter), even if this difference is often lost in many
    other texts (including modern polytonic Greek).
    - automatic ligatures are very likley to fail with there are Greek
    diacritics (the circumflex, accents and spirits apply to the whole
    - I even suspect that the encoded Latin letter "ou" (U+0222/U+0223)
    was borrowed in fact from the Greek "omicron+upsilon" diphtong letter,
    or invented/used at the same epoch in equivalent places.
    - Note : there are many other pages that use this glyph (which is
    handwritten here, just like the other Hebrew characters on the same
    page, and not printed like the rest of the text in French/Latin). We
    could find scans with higher resolutions to exhibit the glyph more


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