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Stroke order for accented and iota subscript characters?

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Stroke order for accented and iota subscript characters?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:22 am

I am somebody, who still studies most of my Greek by hand.

Is there evidence - from unintentional ligatures parhaps - in the miniscule manuscripts of the stroke order for characters like ᾇ.

My basic stroke order is the letter without diacritics, then the iota subscript, then breathing, then accent in some inside to outside (essential to peripheral ) ranking of components. Challenging my theory of relative importance is the evolution of the script into the present day monotonic system suggests that the letter, the dieresis and then the accent, which are left in the system were the essential elements and the other features redundant (or becoming redundant) by the time miniscule writing was becoming widespread. The physical constraints of having a larger element to anchor the smaller ones to graphically is sensible too.
Last edited by ἑκηβόλος on Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stroke order for accented and iota subscript characters?

Postby Aetos » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:32 am

Hi ἑκηβόλε,
This may not answer your question, but I'm not sure that much importance was placed on stroke order. In writing modern Greek before the monotonic system, I had friends that would sometimes write entire paragraphs, (even letters-ἐπιστολάς) and then go back and apply the appropriate accents and breathings. This was an especially useful strategy for conserving "whiteout" when writing with a pen!
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Re: Stroke order for accented and iota subscript characters?

Postby anphph » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:59 pm

Same thing happens with Arabic, where there's people writing the dots and, in certain circumstances, the short vowels/harakat right after writing the word, but others will just back-write it all across a whole line - a skill that is not without its flair.
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Re: Stroke order for accented and iota subscript characters?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:11 am

Trying that for a couple of weeks now, it is a different experience of writing. Writing the Greek free-hand with out diacritics is definitely a lot quicker than including them - perhaps 3 times quicker - and the result is a text with a lot more ligatures between the letter, rather than between the letters and the diacritics.

Writing the diacritics in the order that the text was written means that I read along with the text again sensibly as I write the diacritics, while back-writing (if that means writing against the direction of the text) has me concentrating on the form of the words, rather than on their meaning.

What I realised when trying this was that the monotonic system could have been conceived of as a process to speed up the writing process, by simplification, containing only the information needed for pronunciation.
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Re: Stroke order for accented and iota subscript characters?

Postby Aetos » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:52 am

Hi ἑκηβόλε,
I'd have to agree that simplification was certainly a prime motivator for going to the monotonic system. The old polytonic system just wasn't needed anymore, especially with the phasing out of Katharevousa. To be honest, I've never really used back writing either, but it is a good way to catch mistakes when the pronunciation of the word doesn't give many clues. In Katharevousa or Demotic (as opposed to Classical Greek), there is no change in breathing, no change in pitch to aid you in remembering when to apply the proper diacritical, so we must remember the rules and be really good at anticipating at how the word we're writing next is going to change the word we're writing now. The Erasmian or the Reconstructed Pronunciation of Ancient Greek aids tremendously in remembering how to apply the proper diacritical as well as spell, so I think knowing that pronunciation, it's easier to apply the marks as we go along. It's cool that you tried it, though.
Hey, and think of all the ink they saved! So you see, it was a probably an "austerity measure" :lol:
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