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Different forms of Greek small letters (Re: Latin mxedruli)

From:Danny Wier <dawiertx@...>
Date:Friday, May 28, 2004, 13:15
From: "Philippe Caquant" <herodote92@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2004 3:54 AM
Subject: Re: Latin mxedruli, or do we really need capital and small letters?

> Interesting that the French decided how to write Greek > letters. How would we react if the Greek told us how > to write our own letters ?
They did, long ago. That's how we got Latin, from the Western form of Greek. They also got us to write left-to-right, because Etruscan was right-to-left (or boustrophedon?)
> - when I look at Greek pages on the Web, I can only > see the initial form (with descender), but I don't > know how Greek people visualize it on their own > system. If I try to insert special characters in a > Word document, I also can see only the initial form: > shall I suppose that the font is customized for French > people ?
It all depends on the font, basically. Several letters have two or more forms, encoded separately in Unicode as 'symbol' characters: small beta, small theta, capital upsilon, small phi, small pi (this one looks like an omega with the top of a pi), small kappa, small rho, small lunate sigma (looks like our 'c'), small lunate epsilon (looks like Ukrainian 'round e'). The forms can be seen at But the normal practice now (according to the basic fonts like Arial/Helvetica, Times Roman, etc.) is small beta with descender, closed small theta, small phi without ascender, straight capital upsilon which looks like our Y...