Re: What is the principle?

From: Séamas Ó Brógáin (
Date: Sun Mar 28 2004 - 05:26:58 EST

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    John Cowan wrote:

    > That reminds me. The name of the circumflex accent is obviously
    > derived from Greek, but its form is not. Is it in fact the degenerate
    > descendant of the letter "s", does anybody know?

    No. When accent marks (probably in fact tone marks) were first applied
    (retrospectively) to Classical Greek the circumflex accent was
    curved---exactly like an upside-down breve, in fact. Hence the name, or
    so I have always assumed. You can see this form in some older fonts. It
    has also been made identical to the tilde, but I'm pretty certain the
    upside-down-breve is the original form.

    Séamas Ó Brógáin

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