Basic exta / B: 0370 - 03FF
The Greek alphabet ( Greek: Ελληνικό αλφάβητο, Ellinikó Alfavito ) is the writing in the Greek language is written in BC since the 9th century. The Greek alphabet is a further development of the Phoenician script. She was the first alphabet writing in the narrow sense. From the Greek alphabet and Others originate from the Latin, Cyrillic and Coptic alphabet. The Greek alphabet today consists of 24 letters that occur as well as the Latin alphabet as capital letters (upper case) and minuscule (lowercase).
- 3.1 precursor
- 3.2 emergence
- 3.3 Epichorische alphabets
- 3.4 standardization
- 3.5 Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
- 3.6 Modern Times
Names of the letters
The names of the letters have no meaning in the Greek. They were mostly taken from the Phoenician. Here, the letters name terms, where a phonetic value was allocated according to the principle acrophonic. For example, aleph means " ox ", and beth "house".
The names of some vowels go back to the Byzantine period. Your names in classical times differed partly, for example, the letter omicron and omega were simply οὖ [o ː ] and ὦ [ ɔ ː ] called. Only when the pronunciation of two sounds coincided, a distinction was Mikrón the letters in their names and méga (Omicron means "little O " Omega " big O"). Similarly, in the name Epsilon ( " simple e " ) and Ypsilon ( " simple Y"), the ει to distinguish to the same wording and letter combinations were introduced οι.
The ancient and modern phonetic values of the Greek letters themselves are quite different, because the deep phonetic changes that went through the Greek language in about two and a half millennia, were not mitvollzogen in the orthography. Therefore, old and modern Greek words are in the typeface often identical or very similar, although their pronunciation differs fundamentally.
In the ancient Greek pronunciation of the sound-letter mapping was quite unique. In the representation of vowels but the Ancient Greek had to make do with seven letters for 12 phonemes. Alpha Iota and Upsilon could stand both for long or short sounds. In the e - and o- sounds, however, [o ] and Eta and Omega was between Epsilon and Omicron for the short vowels [e ], distinguished for the open long vowels [ ɛ ː ], [ ɔ ː ]. Was used, however, the digraph Epsilon Iota ( ει ) and Omicron - Upsilon ( ου ) For the closed long vowels [e ː ] and [o ː ]. In addition, it should be noted that the diphthongs Alpha Upsilon ( αυ ) and Epsilon Upsilon ( ευ ) as [au ] and [ eu] were spoken.
The established in schools in Western countries debate differs in some respects from the one today reconstructed according to scientific criteria pronunciation. So Theta, Phi and Chi were spoken in ancient times as aspirated plosives rather than as fricatives. In Greece even today the modern Greek pronunciation is used for all texts, even for ancient Greek used. Also in other Orthodox countries the Byzantine rather than the related Modern Greek pronunciation of the ancient basis for the pronunciation of Greek words.
Modern Greek orthography is far less phonematically by the sound change. Due to the collapse of many ancient Greek vowel phonemes, for example, the sound [ i] in modern Greek with ι, η, υ, ει, υι or written οι. The learning of the Greek spelling is also associated with difficulties for native speakers.
The major change in the pronunciation of the consonants relates to the voiced and aspirated plosives ( β, γ, δ, θ, φ, χ ) of the ancient Greeks, that have become fricatives. In addition, the Modern Greek is to a greater degree digraphs, eg are μπ, ντ γκ and for [b ], [ g] and [d ].
For the transcription of Ancient Greek words into Latin script, there is a fairly clear standard (see table above). Only η in the reproduction of letters and ω ( with or without the macron ), the digraph ου (ou or u) and the simple υ (usually y, u in diphthongs; esp. in the English - speaking world in general as well as u) there are minor differences.
The Romanization of the Modern Greek is not handled uniformly, an existing ISO standard so far could not prevail. In part, the transcription oriented in a debate, partly on Greek typeface.
Some characters from the Phoenician alphabet existed in certain older forms of the Greek alphabet. By standardizing the alphabet they were abolished. The letters digamma, Koppa and Sampi but remained composed as numerals.
- The digamma ( δίγαμμα, Ϝ ϝ ) emerged as the Ypsilon from the Phoenician Waw and originally referred to the sound [ w] (as in Engl. Waterfall ). When this sound was omitted in most dialects, the character is superfluous. The term Digamma ( " double gamma " ) is younger and refers to the shape, as two superposed gamma looks ( Γ ).
- The San ( Ϻ ϻ ) corresponded to the Phoenician Zade. It was mostly for [s ], but was replaced early on by the Sigma. In Arcadian - Cypriot dialect had the phonetic value of [ ts ].
- The Koppa ( κόππα, Ϙ ϙ ) corresponded to the Phoenician Qoph that the Semitic [q ] According designated. In Greek, the Koppa was initially used for [k ] before [ o] or [ u].
- The origin of the Sampi ( Ͳ ͳ ) is not clear, it could be derived from the San. The exact phonetic value is not sure deducible, options: [ ss] or [ ks ].
Following the acquisition of the Greek alphabet for other languages a character has been added, its phonetic value did not exist in Greek:
- The Scholars ( Ϸ ϸ ) established in the 1st century BCE in Bactria, to reflect the voiceless postalveolar fricative (as in school).
In the 19th century, from the Latin alphabet, the small j under the borrowed from the German name Jot (Greek γιοτ, Giot ) to represent Greek words within the scientific context taken to especially in frühaltgriechischen and proto Greek texts, the phoneme / j / in to demarcation to the vocalic / i / play. In Greek and Coptic Unicode block this letter has been assigned the position U 03 F3.
Furthermore, there are ligatures from the Byzantine period. These were developed in the minuscule handwriting and early letterpress some of them were used. Today, however, only three of them are commonly used:
- The stigma ( Ϛ ς ), composed of Sigma Tau and
- The connection from Omicron and Upsilon as a substitute for the frequently used vowel combination " ου " with the phonetic value of / u / ( Ȣ ȣ, in modern typography also ʊ ʊ )
- The ligature for " και " ( & ) dt " and " common analogous to " ampersand " (&).
- Examples of Byzantine handwritten ligatures
- γερ - ( - ger )
καὶ ( kai )
- μω - ( MO )
- ος ( -os )
οὖν ( OUN )
φησὶ ( phēsi )
Alcohol and accents
As the letter H, which originally stood for [h ], the phonetic value [ ɛ ː ] received, one developed by halving the H ├ character to continue the [h ] According to reproduce. Later it developed into the spirit asper, a diacritical mark that looks like a superscript small c and stands above the initial vowel. In analogy to alcohol asper later became the spirit lenis, which has the shape of a mirror- Spiritus asper, developed for an initial vowel without [h ].
- Spiritus asper (): ὕδωρ Hydor ( " water"), ῥυθμός rhythmos ( "rhythm" ), Ἕλλας Hellas ( "Greece" )
- Spiritus lenis (): ἐγώ ego ( " I " ), Ἔρως Eros ( "Love" )
The Ancient Greek had a musical accent with three different tones. These can be significant distinctive, eg pan means with rising - falling tone "everything", while the same word in the rising sound of the name of the god Pan. The musical accent changed already in the Hellenistic period to a dynamic accent, as it occurs in German and most other European languages. In order to continue to speak the ancient texts correctly, we developed three characters as the name of the tones:
- Acute, Greek oxeia (' ) for the high range, eg Διοτίμα Diotima
- The Gravis, Greek Bareia, (`) for the low frequency, eg καὶ αὐτὸς τιμῶ Kai cars Timo ( including myself honorably )
- The circumflex, Greek Perispomenē, () and for climbing and Fallton, eg Φαῖδρος Phaedrus
In modern Greek ( not the h -sound has more and knows no more tones ) were abolished these accents and alcohol in 1982. The accents were replaced by a single character, the Tonos ( τόνος ), which in polysyllabic words indicates the stressed syllable today. ( The Tonos looks like an acute, but is its own character and is distinguished from acute in Unicode. ) This simplified system is " monotonic " ( μονοτονικό monotoniko ) called; every now and then but " polytonische " accent system ( πολυτονικό polytoniko ) is still the old, including alcohol use - both in literary productions as well as in private life texts.
The diaeresis ( ¨) indicates the ancient Greeks, that two vowels do not form a diphthong, but are spoken in two syllables. So Ἀτρεΐδης is spoken ( " Atride ", " son of Atreus " ) viersilbig as Atre IDEs. In modern Greek the diaeresis indicates the separate pronunciation of the digraphs ( οϊ, οϋ, αϊ, εϊ ) For example, the " boat " καΐκι, pronounced / ka'iki / would be without Trema / keki /.
In the Langdiphthongen egg, oi and Ai the i trailed early. From the 12th century it was set as iota subscript ( " under -written Iota" ) under the preceding vowel, eg τῇ instead τηῖ TE ( dative of the definite article feminine, the ). In capital letters Iota Iota is set mostly as adscriptum ( " written to Iota" ) in addition to the preceding vowel, eg Ἅιδης read: Hades ( " Hades ", " Underworld" ). Modern Greek Iota subscript was abolished by the reform of 1982.
Number of characters
The ancient Greek characters are also numerals. There were two counting methods, the Thesische and the Milesian, probably derived from Miletus. The use of both counting methods is already occupied in the Iliad.
The thesische counting was only rediscovered in 1935 by Peter Friesenhahn and been proved beyond doubt in the Iliad and the Septuagint. It has the letter alpha to omega, depending on their location in the alphabet the corresponding ordinal number as its value. Alpha has the value one and the Omega of twenty-four. According to this method of counting the songs of Homer are numbered.
The Milesian and long known counting is constructed with small deviations from the used in Phoenician. Even the Hebrew alphabet used this technique for the numerical values . Alpha to Theta take the values one through nine on, not to be confused with Kappa Iota to Koppa, the parallel to the previous numeric values, namely ten, twenty, ... to ninety, and Rho to Sampi the respective hundreds, so that Alpha then can mean thousands again.
A few centuries before emergence of the Greek alphabet, the Greek language had been recorded in writing. The Mycenaean culture used from the 14th to the 12th century BC, the syllabic script Linear B, which was developed from the Linear A script of the Minoans of Crete. But after the fall of the Mycenaean culture they came during the so-called " Dark Ages " ( 12 - 9th century BC) into oblivion. Only in Cyprus is considered the Cyprian writing, which was close to the Cretan- Minoan writings. The Greek alphabet has no connection to the linear Font B.
The Greek alphabet comes from the Phoenician alphabet. The exact circumstances and the place and time of origin are largely unknown. Probably the takeover happened in the 9th century BC, although some researchers assume an earlier date. As places of origin Euboea, Crete, Rhodes and Cyprus are proposed. The first surviving Greek inscriptions on the Dipylon jug of Athens and the Nestor's Cup of Pithekussai, date from the early 8th century BC
The Phoenician alphabet was, like the other Semitic writings, a consonantal script. In Greek, but the vowels played a far greater role than in the Semitic languages which makes their own letters were needed for them. For this purpose, Phoenician letters that indicated not occurring in Greek lute, converted to vowel signs. It is unclear whether it was a planned innovation or a mere misinterpretation of the Phoenician system in creating the vowel signs. From the Aleph for the glottal stop [ ʔ ], the alpha for [ a], from which He for [h ] the Epsilon for [e ], from the Jodh for [j ] Iota for [i ] and out of the 'ayin for the special Semitic guttural [ ʕ ] Omikron for [ o]. From the Phoenician Waw developed in Greek two letters: the consonantal Digamma for [ w] and the vowel Ypsilon for [ u] (later [y ] ). Thus, the Greek alphabet was the first font that represented both consonants and vowels by separate characters, and thus the first alphabetic writing in the narrow sense. It is likely, however, that the development of vowel signs vonstattenging in a single step, as they are already present in the earliest known Greek inscriptions and no written monuments are known in which Greek would be written in a consonantal script.
Otherwise, the Phoenician and Greek letters were broadly. Some consonants were adjusted in their phonetic value: From the Phoenician Tet for the emphatic [t ˁ ] the Greek Theta ( Θ ) for the aspirated was [t ʰ ], from the Phoenician Zajin for [z ] is the zeta (Z ), originally probably [ dz ] or [ zd ] was spoken. In Phoenician but there were three different s- sounds, Samech, Sade and Shin, in Greek only one. Therefore the Samech on Xi ( Ξ ) for [ ks ] was converted; from the Sade developed the Greek letter San ( Ϻ ), but early on in favor of the products resulting from such Schin Sigma ( Σ ) was abandoned. The Phoenician language differed between the Kaph for [k ] and the Qoph for [q]. In Greek, the letters from Kappa (K) and were Koppa ( Ϙ ), which were both [k ] spoken. Because proved two letters for the same sound as redundant, Koppa was later abolished. The Phoenician Heth, the one which does not occur in the Greek h -like sound called, became the Greek Η, which was initially called Heta and stood for [h ]. Only later it became the vowel signs for [ ɛ ː ].
The order of the letters were taken over by the Phoenicians, the Greeks. At the end of the alphabet, the newly-developed characters Υ, Φ, Χ, Ψ and Ω are appended. The Wye came just as the digamma of the Phoenician Waw from, the letter omega ( Ω ) for [ ɔ ː ] were the Greeks from the new Omicron. Genuin Greek neoplasms without correspondence in the Phoenician are Phi ( Φ ) for [ p ʰ ], chi ( Χ ) for [k ʰ ] and Psi ( Ψ ) for [ps ].
Originally, the Greek alphabet was just like the Phoenician counter-clockwise, that is, it was written from right to left. Thereafter furrow agile, ie alternating left and Clockwise (as Bustrophedon ) wrote, later, the Clockwise Direction prevailed. Until the 9th century AD, there was only the present-day capital letters that were written without spaces between words or punctuation.
First, the Greek writing was by no means uniform. There were local (so-called epichorische ) Alphabets with different symbols. They are named after the division of the Hellenist Adolf Kirchhoff into three main groups, according to the colors used Kirchhoff in his studies on the history of the Greek alphabet from 1887 to its mark. The main distinguishing feature is the so-called Supplement character, so in addition to the acquired Phoenician script newly created character Φ, Χ and Ψ. In the "green" alphabets in Crete this Supplement characters are completely missing. The " red alphabets ", have been used for example in Euboea and in Laconia have, Φ and Ψ with the sound values [ p ʰ ] and [k ʰ ]. The "blue" alphabets are divided into two subgroups. The " light blue " variants in Attica use Φ and Χ for [ p ʰ ] and [k ʰ ]. The " dark blue " about alphabets in Corinth and Rhodes in addition to specify the character Ψ with the phonetic value [ps ].
From the 5th century BC the Ionic version of the Greek alphabet began (usually referred to as the Ionian alphabet or Milesisches alphabet ) enforce in other cities. In Athens, 403 BC was introduced under the Archons Eukleides the Milesian alphabet officially. The Milesian alphabet had several additional letters, the same is no longer required letter as the digamma were abolished. In the old Attic alphabet there was no distinction between long and short e and o sounds, both of which were written with epsilon or omicron. For a long [ ɔ ː ] in the Milesian alphabet Omega ( Ω ) had been developed. Because in the Ionian dialect was the h -sound failed, they had turned into the Miletus Η for vowel signs for [ ɛ ː ]. In Attica there was the sound sequences [ ks ] and [ ps] written previously with ΧΣ and ΦΣ, now has given the letter Xi ( Ξ ) and Psi ( Ψ ). Due to the supremacy of Athens, the Milesian alphabet became the standard form of Greek script and displaced gradually epichoric alphabets.
Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
In the 3rd century BC, Aristophanes of Byzantium developed in Alexandria, the tone marks to distinguish the intonation. Originally conceived as a reading aid accents are required for poetic and theatrical texts, especially the decentralizing accent began to give way to a centralizing. The minuscule developed only in the Byzantine period, probably in Syria in the 9th century of a simplification of everyday writing ( cursive ). Even in the 12th century saw the unspoken iota under the preceding vowel ( iota subscript ).
In late antiquity originated in Greece like in Western Europe, new forms of writing that were better suited for the new writing materials and techniques. It was the medieval Greek book hand out, first, the so-called uncial, then the intermediates minuscule.
During the ancient times only uppercase (capital) letters knew that were written only for cursive writing letters and books, arose with the first minuscule those lowercase letters ( congregation ) that still live on in the Greek references. It's common allocation, capital letters at the beginning of names and possibly use of sets, but come on until the early modern period; Medieval manuscripts were initially entirely written entirely in the uncial and later in minuscule, the capital letters were used at most for headlines, etc. Awards.
In the early modern period there was in the printed writing many ligatures and abbreviations, which disappeared later. Only the stigma ( Ϛ, ς ), the ligature from Sigma and Tau, and the connection from Omicron and Upsilon ( Ȣ and ȣ, in modern typography with ʊ ʊ and reproduced) have survived to this day.
At the same time a script has emerged in Greece, partly to other forms of Greek minuscule returns as the now common reference. However, there are also some variations in the document that are similar to the read- written forms, so θ for θ, κ for κ or π for π. Some letters of the cursive forms of the same Latin script, the Vita the b, the Ita n Psi or the y. This script, in which not all letters are connected to each other, is also the basis of today's personal manuscripts of Greek writers.
Developed in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages orthography for the Ancient Greek was also the first modern Greek binding, although many distinctions were phonetically no longer needed. Until 1982 they simplified the alphabet, by abolishing the alcohol and instead of the three accents introduced a single, pure stress accent.
- Examples by Carl Faulmann
Except for the Greek the Greek alphabet in the ancient world was also used for some other ancient languages. These included, in Asia Minor languages spoken as Phrygian and Lydian, spoken in the Balkan Thracian language and some other extinct languages such as Bactrian in Central Asia. Of all these languages , however, only scant written sources remain.
Today the Greek alphabet is practically only for the Greek language use. In addition, only sporadically recorded some minority languages spoken in Greece and Aromanian or Arvanitisch in Greek characters. In addition, the Karamanlı, the Christian Orthodox minority in Turkey write their Turkish dialect in Greek characters. In all these minority languages , however, the written use is very rare.
The Math and Science Notation often draws on Greek letters. Thus angles are usually denoted by the Greek lowercase. Many special functions are named after Greek letters, as well as mathematical and physical constants. The most famous examples are the county number and the lemniscate constant. Therefore, the Greek alphabet plays an essential role in the formula set.
The Greek alphabet is often used for numbering rankings.
- The Bayer designation of stars in constellations are the Greek letters for the order after the apparent brightness.
- Research on behavior Alphatier referred denotes the herd leader of a herd, then the beta animals come and the lowest rank are called omega- animals.
- In physics, different alpha, beta and gamma radiation.
- At developmental stages of software, alpha and beta will also use.
- Furthermore, there is such numbering in biology and chemistry.
- For logos of Internet companies, such as app.net for example.
The Italian car manufacturer Lancia has named many of its models by Greek letters.
Further developments of the Greek Scriptures
The Latin alphabet goes back over the one used by the Etruscans Old Italic alphabet on a West Greek variant. Some differences in phonetic value of Greek and Latin characters agree with the western Greek origin; so X was there, as well as in Latin for [ ks ] and not for [k ʰ ]. Other differences are due to the Etruscan tradition; for example, ordered the Etruscan language is not about the sounds [g ] and [w ], which is why the Greek letter Γ and Ϝ the phonetic values [k ] or [ f] have been assigned. The Romans took over in the form of the letters C and F. In later times, the letters Y and Z were taken directly from the Greek alphabet to represent Greek loanwords can.
The Cyrillic alphabet was developed in the 10th century based on a Greek uncial script. In addition to the existing characters in the Greek alphabet contains the Cyrillic alphabet for sounds that did not occur in Greek characters from the Glagolitic alphabet. The pronunciation of Greek had already changed at this time, so as the Cyrillic letter И В and as Β and Η are pronounced in modern Greek as [v ] and [ i]. Originally even those Greek letters were taken, coincided pronunciation in Church Slavonic with the other letters, such as Ѳ ( Fita ), which fell to the Greek and Θ [ f] was spoken, and Ѡ ( Omega). After the October Revolution ( Ksi ) were Ѳ ( Fita ) and Ѯ abolished in Russian also ι ( iota ). The latter remained in the Ukrainian, Belarusian and Kazakh as vocal І ( in Ukrainian also as Ї ), in Serbian and Macedonian as a consonant j obtained.
The Copts in Egypt are using the Coptic alphabet for the now used only as a sacred language Coptic language. This is a modification of the Greek alphabet, which was extended with characters from the ancient Egyptian demotic script.
The extinct Gothic language was written in the Gothic alphabet. This developed in the 4th century, the Bishop Ulfilas also based on the Greek alphabet. In addition, contains the Gothic font letters, which were taken over from the Latin alphabet or runes.
The Armenian and Georgian font were both newly developed in the 5th century by Saint Mesrop. In particular, the order of the letters shows Greek influence. The situation is similar with the Glagolitic alphabet which was created in the 9th century by Cyril of Thessaloniki, after the Cyrillic alphabet is named.
Typography for the Greek alphabet
Due to the production of printing machines and lead sentences abroad long time there was no separate development of typefaces (fonts ) for the Greek alphabet. They were mostly just adaptations of well-known Latin writings ( exceptions were about the Greek writings of Bodoni ). With the photo set and even more with the digitization, the basis of its own typography was created. It originated fonts like Sophia CF or CF demo.
Today in Greek newspapers mostly designed specifically for the Greek alphabet fonts.
For the encoding of Greek characters are different standards. ISO 8859-7 and Windows -1253 are two similar but incompatible 8 -bit character encodings that include the characters of the modern Greek font. The characters for Greek in Unicode, however, also include letters with diacritics for polytonische orthography.