https://www.duolingo.com/kdb119

Accents (on characters).

  • 1472

In the introduction to the course, it states that modern Greek has only one accent ', e.g. ά, έ, ή, ί, ό, ύ, ώ. However, on the iOS Greek keyboard it also has the ¨ and ΅ accents above the ι and υ keys, i.e. ϊ, ΐ, ϋ, ΰ. So I was curious if the statement was an over-simplification to avoid unnecessarily confusing people and these accents are used in rare circumstances, or whether they are used only in ancient, or at least earlier, Greek?

February 22, 2017

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/troll1995

The statement is not an over-simplification. The ¨ is not an accent; it's the diaeresis mark. Greek has two "letter marks", one accent mark though. They are not really used in rare circumstances. They are used when you want to "break" a double-letter vowel, to two vowels. So ου=u becomes οϋ=oi.

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
Mod
  • 21

The extra marks you see are not accents because an accent is to show where the emphasis comes in the pronunciation. E.g. μαμά = maMA.

These are called diacritics and are used to show that each letter should be pronounced separately instead of together.

Here's an example: in Greek "αι" can sound like "ay" in "say" "hay" etc as one sound.

But it could also be like "ah ee" as in "λαϊκή this sounds like: la ee KEE. This time "α+ι" is two sounds.

Now here's the important part: these are very unusual and you don't need to worry about them and if you don't add them your answer well still be accepted as correct.

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/spdl79
Mod
  • 962

Yes, they are still used, albeit very infrequently. And not just on words derived from ancient Greek. I don't think they're used anywhere in this course, in order to keep things simple. Here's a few examples I can think of. Mostly nouns:

  • χόκεϊ (hockey)
  • λαϊκή (n: street market; adj: popular)
  • σάντουϊτς (sandwich - I think this is in the Duo course, but without the ϊ)
  • μαϊμού (monkey)
  • προϊόν (product)
  • ουϊσκι (whiskey)
  • φαΐ (food)
  • ιδιοφυΐα (genius)
  • ιστιοπλοΐα (sailing)
  • ισοϋψής (adj: even)

When you do encounter the special tonos (I don't know the proper word for them), they tend to be used on the iota - aside from ισοϋψής, I can't think of any upsilon examples.

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826

Yes. the special mark you're referring to is called διαλυτικά (neut. plural). :) They are used whenever the ι or the υ are pronounced seperately from the previous vowel.

There are a few common "mistakes" people make with διαλυτικά.

  • Don't use it when the previous vowel is accented. You know where the accent actually is, so it's unnecessary.

  • Don't use it after a diphthong. It's also unnecessary. Diphthongs are always read before the vowel and they can't be mixed. (so, ουίσκι does not need διαλυτικά. Nor does "σάντουιτς" :))

  • Don't use it on a diphthong that already has an accent. (For example, Μάϊος.)

  • Don't use it with letters that don't form a dipthong. (For example, ωι is not a diphthong. So πρωϊνό would be wrong.)

I think that's all. xD

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/spdl79
Mod
  • 962

Many thanks for the guidance Dimitra! I haven't really learned the rules governing their use; that's just how I learned to spell the words, if that make sense. FWIW, Wiktionary gives σάντουϊτς as an alternative spelling. But I'll stop using the διαλυτικά from now on ;-)

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826

You're welcome! ^.^ I must say, I'm not surprised that it's include don the Wictionary. Some words that might be wrong but are commonly (abusively) used, are often included. :P

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/troll1995

There are many of upsilon words (you must have forgotten about αυ, ευ): αϋπνία=insomnia, καταπραΰνω=soothe, ξεϋφαίνω=unweave, ξεϋπόσχομαι=unpromise, ξεϋποχρεώνω=uncharge etc etc

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/spdl79
Mod
  • 962

Forgotten about? I haven't actually learned any of those yet! Never mind, I'll add them to my list. ;-)

February 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/spdl79
Mod
  • 962

A quick question Troll, if you'd be so kind. Interestingly, many of those words don't actually appear in my dictionary or on El Wiktionary, both of which I've found quite comprehensive up until now. It is because sticking a ξε- or ξεϋ- prefix onto a word is much like prefixing an English word with un- or de-? As in, it cancels, negates or opposes what the word is? So, really, there's no point filling up a dictionary with un- words when the meaning should be clear enough already if you know the 'base' word? If so, is there any rule for when to prefix with ξε- and when to use ξεϋ-? Many thanks as always.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/troll1995

Yes, ξε- a prefix that has many meanings but can also show negation and opposition but also has the uses of exaggeration (ξετρελαίνομαι=be very excited), outing (ξεπορτίζω=escorting someone out of the door), removal (ξεβγάζω=rinse out) or choice (ξεχωρίζω=distinguish). Ξεκινώ, for example, which is taught in this course, is ξε+κινώ(move).
Greek βικιλεξικό does hove some of them. When the prefix is applied to a word that starts with a letter that combined with ε would make a dipthong (in that case after ε, it's ι or υ) that letter has the diaeresis mark.
So υφαίνω(weave)-ξεϋφαίνω(unweave),
ισιώνω(straighten)-ξεϊσιώνω(un-straighten),
υπνωτίζω(hypnotise)-ξεϋπνωτίζω(remove someone from a hypnosis state, not the same as wake up),
ιδρώνω(sweat)-ξεϊδρώνω (dry out sweat) etc etc .
There is no ξεϋ- prefix.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/spdl79
Mod
  • 962

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain! That makes perfect sense now.

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/troll1995

Anytime, no problem! ;)

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Nod84

Hi. I agree with all that Dimitra wrote. I'd also like to mention that "διαλυτικά=dialytika" is correctly transliterated to "Diaeresis" in English: More info about the grammatical function of Diaeresis here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaeresis_(diacritic) However, its etymology is a classic "false friends" circumstance. Because "Diaeresis/διαίρεσις" in Greek, most commonly refers to "Division"( the mathematical operation). On the other hand, διαλυτικά/dyalytika comes from the verb διαλύω/dialyo=solute/split apart, because this "Diaeresis rule" requires the phonemes of some consecutive vowels to be "split apart." - Nodas

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kdb119
  • 1472

Thanks for all the informative replies/comments. I guess I meant to refer to accented characters in a computing/keyboard sense, rather than accents in a strictly language sense.

The initial reason I asked was partly simply due to curiosity, but also partly due to when using an iPad, if I 'flick' (Apple's term for an up-swipe on a key) up for the accented character sometimes I wouldn't get it perfectly angled and so a diaeresis mark would appear by mistake.

Hint: Anyone using an iPad who hasn't yet discovered the key-flick feature, it's well worth knowing about. It takes a little practice but makes life a lot easier. The available accents are limited to those that appear in the language - different accents can be chosen by the angle of the up-flick for languages that have several options. Thus, you won't really notice them if you only use the English keyboard. However, up-flicking does work with the comma and full-stop keys to allow quick typing of single (apostrophe) and double-quotes. There is no up-flick for the exclamation or question marks, but you can tap-hold the .?123 key and drag across to the required key. Same works for numbers.

Note: The up-flick feature doesn't work with iPhone keyboards (at least up to iOS 9.3.1). I guess the keys were thought too small to make it practical, perhaps.

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

This up-flick works now on my new i-phone 16/6 2018. If I hover over a vocal I get it with accent ά, έ, .... Iota and ypsilon also give τα διαλυτικά/diaeresis: ΐ, ί, ϊ resp. ΰ, ύ, ϋ. For accented vowels there is also the possibility to use the accent in the end of the α σ δ ... λ ´ row ´. Tap on the accent and all vowels appear with accent

June 17, 2018
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