Uppercase Greek circumflex Eta and Omega?

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Postby Beta_Zeroid » September 3rd, 2009, 1:32 am

Where on earth is the Greek circumflex Eta and Omega? I'm talking about the uppercase characters.

If there is a Unicode or Glyph for these characters, can anybody tell me which font has them?

It looks like there are thousands of fonts that came with my Mac mini, and I don't exactly want to have to fabricate a circumflex or grave Uppercase Eta or Omega if I don't have to, but can someone tell me if the Mac has these characters?

Maybe it is just a bug in my Mac, but I have looked and looked, and the circumflex uppercase characters appear to be seriously deficient...
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Postby Nick » September 3rd, 2009, 3:00 am

Did you use the standard Characters palette to find these letters?


This guide contains a table where you can find the Unicode codes that correspond different letters:

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Postby Beta_Zeroid » September 4th, 2009, 11:38 am

As your table shows, uppercase Eta with a circumflex, simply doesn't exist. Just because you found an uppercase Eta with an apostrophe and an acute, that is not the same thing as a circumflex. True, it's a reverse apostrophe (curved the other way, going in the other direction), that's not the same thing as a circumflex. Ditto with the curvy bar (serpentine macron) above the character (e.g., $1F26), that simply isn't good enough for a real circumflex.

Anyway, this is how I arrive at my predicament: I move the mouse to the top row, and select Edit.

Then a table drops down with a number of options, so I move the mouse down to the bottom option where it says "Special Characters..." and I click it.

A new window opens up, and it appears to preserve the state of the last time you were there. I find myself looking at the Greek and Coptic set of Unicodes, but most of the diacritical marks have been stripped from the characters or glyphs or shapes or whatever you call them.

I would like to select the Unicode that has an uppercase Omega with a circumflex mark over it.

Some people say that in the history of the Greek language, the uppercase characters came first. Back then, the diacritical marks represented departures from tonality, or a kind of pitch. (Vowels without diacritical marks were in a bald, denuded, or isolated state; they sounded different than vowels with diacritical marks.)

With the Mac, many of the Greek vowels have acute, grave, and circumflex marks over them. But in the Greek language, vowels always have acute, grave, and circumflex signs, these being kinds of pitches (before a thousand years went by, and the tonal nature was lost, and they became mere stress markers).

Whoever designed Unicodes, or agreed to the standards underlying it, apparently wanted users to deal with a mixed system- Some of the Greek vowels DO have diacritical marks, and some of them don't. I'll have to guess that uppercase Omega (Eta) simply doesn't have a Unicode value with a built-in circumflex. Or if it does, I don't know where to find it. (Am I supposed to be using a digraph of sorts, where the circumflex is drawn just above, or over, the Greek letter, separately?)

I get this nagging feeling that we are supposed to look at Greek letters (Eta, Omega) with apostrophes (representing rough breathing, as in aspiration) as though they were Greek letters with circumflexes. I guess it is too late to ask the creators of the Unicodes to fix now what they screwed up many years ago. :(
Last edited by Beta_Zeroid on September 9th, 2009, 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ioannis » October 14th, 2009, 5:34 am

Hi Beta_Zeroid,

I was just attended by Nick about your issue and would like to reply.

First the theoreticl part:
Well, you won't find a capital Omega or Eta with only a circumflex on it, because words written in capital letters don't get accents, except as initials of a sentence or name though, when the rest follows in small letters. But!... as initials vowels must always carry the "breathing mark" accented or not. That means that you'll never see a capital vowel without one of the 2 breathing marks < ? ? > and only one of the 3 accents < `´^ = ´ ` ? in Greek >. This is why there are characters like < ? ? ? ? > and not some others. The mark always contains a breathing mark but not necessarily an accent.

Now to clear the question why there are vowels with only the acute (and not the circumflex or grave) in the Unicode sets:
It has to do with the "modern" way of writing, imposed by the government a couple of decades ago (yes it is possible)...
Then the use of only one accent mark was introduced and they chose the acute for it. So you have the letters < ? ? ? ? ? ? ? > but not the capitals of i.g. < ? ? ? ? > etc...

For the practical part:
I suppose you want to use the combo of Omega with a circumflex on top for some graphical product and not for writing a text.
The only way ever to achieve this is by:
1) using an illustration application and typing the two glyphs separate (in a mac with the standard "Greek Polytonic" keyboard) using < shift-V > and < [ >, giving the capital Omega and the circumflex respectively.
2) eventually converting the text to vectors (if you need) and
3) placing the circumflex above the Omega.

This is as always it has been done, since there's never been a glyph for it...

I hope this helps.
Greetings an wish you success,

sine Casu et Amore Ars non est!

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