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Letter Name Pronunciation Greek english Greek (Ancient) Greek (Modern) English ξ ξεῖ, ξῖ xi kse ksi /zaɪ, ksaɪ/ π πεῖ, πῖ pi pe pi /paɪ/ φ φεῖ, φῖ phi pe fi /faɪ/ χ χεῖ, χῖ chi ke çi /kaɪ/ ( listen ) ψ ψεῖ,. Their modern names contain adjectival qualifiers that were added during the byzantine period, to distinguish between letters that had become confusable. Thus, the letters ο and ω, pronounced identically by this time, were called o mikron small o and o mega big o respectively. The letter ε was called e psilon plain e to distinguish it from the identically pronounced digraph αι, while, similarly, υ, which at this time was pronounced y, was called y psilon plain y to distinguish it from the identically pronounced digraph. Letter Name Pronunciation Greek (Ancient) Greek (Medieval) Greek (Modern) English Greek (Ancient) Greek (Modern) English Ε ε ψιλόν ψιλον epsilon e epsilon /ɛpsɪlɒn/, some uk : /ɛpsaɪlən/ ο ο μικρόν μικρον omicron o omikron /ɒmɪkrɒn/ ( listen traditional uk : /oʊmaɪkrɒn/ υ ψιλόν ψιλον upsilon. 19 Letter shapes Theocritus Idyll 1, lines 12-14, in script with abbreviations and ligatures from a caption in an illustrated edition of Theocritus. Lodewijk caspar Valckenaer: Carmina bucolica, leiden 1779. Like latin and other alphabetic scripts, Greek originally had only a single form of each letter, without a distinction between uppercase and lowercase.

Between Ancient and Modern Greek they have remained largely unchanged, except that their pronunciation has followed regular sound changes along with other words (for instance, in the name of beta, ancient homework /b/ regularly changed to modern /v and ancient /ɛ/ to modern /i resulting. The name of lambda is attested in early sources as λάβδα besides λάμβδα; 18 in Modern Greek the spelling is often λάμδα, reflecting pronunciation. Similarly, iota is sometimes spelled γιώτα in Modern Greek (ʝ is conventionally transcribed γι,η,υ,ει,οι word-initially and intervocalically before back vowels and /a. In the tables below, the Greek names of all letters are given in their traditional polytonic spelling; in modern practice, like with all other words, they are usually spelled in the simplified monotonic system. Greek alphabet The names of the letters in spoken Standard Modern Greek problems playing this file? In the cases of the three historical sibilant letters below, the correspondence between Phoenician and Ancient Greek is less clear, with apparent mismatches both in letter names and sound values. The early history of these letters (and the fourth sibilant letter, obsolete san ) has been a matter of some debate. Here too, the changes in the pronunciation of the letter names between Ancient and Modern Greek are regular. Letter Name Pronunciation Greek phoenician original English Greek (Ancient) Greek (Modern) English Ζ ζτα zayin zeta zdɛta zita /zitə/, us : /zeɪtə/ ξ ξεῖ, ξῖ samekh xi materials kse ksi /zaɪ, ksaɪ/ σ σίγμα šin siɡma siɡma siɣma /sɪɡmə/ In the following group of consonant letters. In Modern Greek these names are spelled with -ι.

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A form of western Greek native to euboea, which among other things had Χ for /ks was transplanted to Italy by early Greek colonists, and became the ancestor of the Old Italic alphabets and ultimately, through Etruscan, of the latin alphabet. Athens used a local form of the alphabet until the 5th century bc; it lacked the letters ξ and ψ as well as the vowel symbols Η and. The classical 24-letter alphabet that became the norm later was originally the local alphabet of Ionia ; this was adopted by Athens in 403 bc under archon Eucleides and in most other parts of the Greek-speaking world during the 4th century. Letter names When the Greeks adapted the Phoenician alphabet, they took over not only the letter shapes and sound values, but also the names by which the sequence of the alphabet could be recited and memorized. In Phoenician, each letter name was a word that began with the sound represented by that letter; thus aleph, the word for "ox was used as the name for the glottal stop /ʔ bet, or "house for the /b/ sound, and. When the letters were adopted by the Greeks, most of the Phoenician names were maintained or modified slightly to fit Greek phonology; thus, aleph, bet, gimel became alpha, beta, gamma. The Greek names of the following gpa letters are more or less straightforward continuations of their Phoenician antecedents.

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Greek also introduced three new consonant letters for its aspirated plosive sounds and consonant clusters: Φ ( phi ) for /p χ ( chi ) for /k/ and Ψ ( psi ) for /ps/. In western Greek variants, χ was instead used for /ks/ and Ψ for /k/. The origin of these letters is a matter of some debate. Three of the original Phoenician letters dropped out of use before the alphabet took its classical shape: the letter Ϻ ( san which had been in competition with Σ ( sigma ) denoting the same phoneme /s the letter Ϙ ( qoppa which was redundant. Greek was originally written predominantly from right to left, just writing like phoenician, but scribes could freely alternate between directions. For a time, a writing style with alternating right-to-left and left-to-right lines (called boustrophedon, literally "ox-turning after the manner of an ox ploughing a field) was common, until in the classical period the left-to-right writing direction became the norm. Individual letter shapes were mirrored depending on the writing direction of the current line. Archaic variants main article: Archaic Greek alphabets There were initially numerous local (epichoric) variants of the Greek alphabet, which differed in the use and non-use of the additional vowel and consonant symbols and several other features.

The Greeks adopted the alphabet from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, one of the closely related scripts used for the west Semitic languages. However, the Phoenician alphabet is limited to consonants. When it was adopted for writing Greek, certain consonants were adapted to express vowels. The use of both vowels and consonants makes Greek the first alphabet in the narrow sense, as distinguished from the abjads used in Semitic languages, which have letters only for consonants. Greek initially took over all of the 22 letters of Phoenician. Five were reassigned to denote vowel sounds: the glide consonants /j/ ( yodh ) and /w/ ( waw ) were used for i (Ι, iota ) and u (υ, upsilon ) respectively; the glottal stop consonant /ʔ/ ( aleph ) was used for a (Α. A doublet of waw was also borrowed as a consonant for w (Ϝ, digamma ). In addition, the Phoenician letter for the emphatic glottal /ħ/ ( heth ) was borrowed in two different functions by different dialects of Greek: as a letter for /h/ (Η, heta ) by those dialects that had such a sound, and as an additional vowel. Eventually, a seventh vowel letter for the long /ɔ/ (ω, omega ) was introduced.

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13 Romanization main article: Romanization of Greek there are many different methods of rendering Greek text or Greek names in the latin script. The form in which classical Greek names are conventionally rendered in English goes back to the way greek loanwords were incorporated into latin in antiquity. In this system, κ is replaced with c, the diphthongs αι and οι are rendered as ae and oe (or æ,œ) respectively; and ει and ου are simplified to i and u respectively. In modern scholarly transliteration of Ancient Greek, κ will usually be rendered as k, and the vowel combinations αι, οι, ει, ου as ai, oi, ei, ou respectively. The letters θ and φ are generally rendered as th and ph; χ as either ch or kh; and word-initial ρ. For Modern Greek, there are multiple different transcription conventions.

They differ widely, depending on their purpose, on how close they stay to the conventional letter correspondences of Ancient Greek-based transcription systems, and to what degree they attempt either an exact letter-by-letter transliteration or rather a phonetically based transcription. Standardized formal transcription systems have been defined by the International Organization for Standardization (as iso 843 14 by the United Nations Group of Experts on geographical Names, 15 by the library of Congress, 16 and others. History main article: History of the Greek alphabet Origins Dipylon inscription, one of the oldest known samples of the use of the Greek alphabet,. . 740 bc during the mycenaean period, from around the 16th century to the 12th century bc, linear B was used to write the earliest attested form of the Greek language, essay known as Mycenaean Greek. This writing system, unrelated to the Greek alphabet, last appeared in the 13th century. In the late 9th century bc or early 8th century bc, the Greek alphabet emerged. The period between the use of the two writing systems, during which no Greek texts are attested, is known as the Greek dark Ages.

By the time their use became conventional and obligatory in Greek writing, in late antiquity, pitch accent was evolving into a single stress accent, and thus the three signs have not corresponded to a phonological distinction in actual speech ever since. In addition to the accent marks, every word-initial vowel must carry either of two so-called "breathing marks the rough breathing marking an /h/ sound at the beginning of a word, or the smooth breathing marking its absence. The letter rho (ρ although not a vowel, also carries a rough breathing in word-initial position. If a rho was geminated within a word, the first ρ always had the smooth breathing and the second the rough breathing leading to the transiliteration rrh. The vowel letters α, η, ω carry an additional diacritic in certain words, the so-called iota subscript, which has the shape of a small vertical stroke or a miniature ι below the letter.


This iota represents the former offglide of what were originally long diphthongs, ι, ηι, ωι (i.e. ai, ɛi, ɔi which became monophthongized during antiquity. Another diacritic used in Greek is the diaeresis ( ¨ indicating a hiatus. In 1982, a new, simplified orthography, known as "monotonic was adopted for official use in Modern Greek by the Greek state. It uses only a single accent mark, the acute (also known in this context as tonos,. Simply "accent marking the stressed syllable of polysyllabic words, and occasionally the diaeresis to distinguish diphthongal from digraph readings in pairs of vowel letters, making this monotonic system very similar to the accent mark system used in Spanish. The polytonic system is still conventionally used for writing Ancient Greek, while in some book printing and generally in the usage of conservative writers it can still also be found in use for Modern Greek. Although it is not a diacritic, the comma has a similar function as a silent letter in a handful of Greek words, principally distinguishing ό,τι ( ó, ti, "whatever from ότι ( óti, "that.

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In addition to the four mentioned above (ει, αι, οι, υι there is also ου, pronounced /u/. The Ancient Greek diphthongs αυ, ευ and ηυ are pronounced av, ev and iv in Modern Greek. In some environments they are devoiced to af, ef and if respectively. 12 The modern Greek consonant combinations μπ and ντ stand for b and d (or mb and nd) respectively; τζ stands for dz and τσ stands for. In addition, both in Ancient and Modern Greek, the letter γ, before another velar consonant, stands for the velar nasal movie ŋ; thus γ and γκ are pronounced like english. In analogy to μπ and ντ, γκ is also used to stand for. There are also the combinations γχ and. Combination Pronunciation devoiced pronunciation αυ av af ευ ev ef ηυ iv if μπ b ντ d τζ dz τσ ts diacritics main article: Greek diacritics In the polytonic orthography traditionally used for ancient Greek, the stressed vowel of each hippie word carries one of three. These signs were originally designed to mark different forms of the phonological pitch accent in Ancient Greek.

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The correspondences are as follows: Former voiced plosives Former aspirates Letter Ancient Modern Letter Ancient Modern Labial Β β / b / / v / φ φ / p / / f / Dental δ δ / d / / ð /. This leads to several groups of vowel letters denoting identical sounds today. Modern Greek orthography remains true to the historical spellings in nature most of these cases. As a consequence, the spellings of words in Modern Greek are often not predictable from the pronunciation alone, while the reverse mapping, from spelling to pronunciation, is usually regular and predictable. The following vowel letters and digraphs are involved in the mergers: Letter Ancient Modern Letter Ancient Modern Η η ɛ i ω ω ɔ o Ι ι i ο ο o ΕΙ ει e Ε ε e e υ υ u y ΑΙ. In other countries, students of Ancient Greek may use a variety of conventional approximations of the historical sound system in pronouncing Ancient Greek. Digraphs and letter combinations several letter combinations have special conventional sound values different from those of their single components. Among them are several digraphs of vowel letters that formerly represented diphthongs but are now monophthongized.

Greek alphabet have fairly stable and consistent symbol-to-sound mappings, making pronunciation of words largely predictable. Ancient Greek spelling was generally near-phonemic. For a number of letters, sound values differ considerably between Ancient and Modern Greek, because their pronunciation has followed a set of systematic phonological shifts that affected the language in its post-classical stages. 11 Among consonant letters, all letters that denoted voiced plosive consonants b, d, g and aspirated plosives p, t, k in Ancient Greek stand for corresponding fricative sounds in Modern Greek.

Like latin and Cyrillic, Greek originally had only a single form of each letter; it developed the letter case distinction between upper-case and lower-case forms in parallel with Latin during the modern era. Sound values and conventional transcriptions for some of the letters differ between. Ancient Greek and, modern Greek usage, because the pronunciation of Greek has changed significantly between the 5th century bc and today. Modern and Ancient Greek use different diacritics. The traditional orthography, which is used for Ancient Greek and sometimes for Modern Greek, has many diacritics, such as accent marks for pitch accent polytonic the breathing marks for the presence and absence of the initial /h/ sound, and the iota subscript for the final. In standard Modern Greek spelling, orthography has been simplified to a monotonic system, which uses only two diacritics: the acute accent and diaeresis. Contents, letters, letter, name sound, ancient. Modern 8 Α α alpha, άλφα a a a Β β beta, βήτα b v γ γ gamma, γάμα ɡ, ŋ ex 1 ɣ ʝ, ŋ ex 2 ɲ ex 3 δ δ delta, δέλτα d ð Ε ε epsilon, έψιλον e Ζ ζ zeta. 9 Letter Name sound Ancient 7 Modern 8 ν ν nu, νυ n ξ ξ xi, ξι ks ο ο omicron, όμικρον o π π pi, wallpaper πι p Ρ ρ rho, ρώ r σ σ/ς note 1 sigma, σίγμα s s z τ τ tau.

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The, greek alphabet has been used to write the. Greek language since the late 9th or early 8th century. 3, it was derived from the earlier. Phoenician alphabet, 5 and was the first alphabetic script to have distinct letters for vowels as well as consonants. It is the ancestor of the. Latin and, cyrillic scripts. Apart from its use in writing the Greek language, in both its ancient and its modern the forms, the Greek alphabet today also serves as a source of technical symbols and labels in many domains of mathematics, science and other fields. In its classical and modern forms, the alphabet has 24 letters, ordered from alpha to omega.


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