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Connected cursive in modern Greek?



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Goodwhiskers

I'm developing materials for teaching ancient Greek, by hand in notebooks before word-processing them (hooray for Apple Macintosh OS 10.4.3 !!!).

I'd like to use a modern Greek cursive which connects every letter within a word, as is done by modern Roman alphabet users who think fluently and care about their wrists.

Every reference I've found to cursive Greek shows Byzantine or Classical examples and seems to avoid modern writing.

The book Teach Yourself Greek Script, the most thorough guide I've found for modern handwriting for adult second-language students of Greek, does not teach a connect-every-letter style.

Is the notion of connecting every letter within a word dead or unfashionably quaint for today's Greeks? I don't want to use a Classical or Byzantine style that no one uses for new writing now.

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  • antoniosz

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Γειά σου,

 

Connected greek cursive exist. I found the following note on the web which is typical. My mom writes very similarly which indicates to me that this is the way writing was taught at school in the early and mid 20th century.

http://www.geocities.com/mpolidouri/ms01big.jpg

 

There are some tricks for kappa, pi, and psi, see my note below:

 

http://www.streamload.com/azavalia/moderngreek.jpg

Edited by antoniosz
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Kalimera Steve (Good day, Steve)

 

I have a Greek (Cypriot) background and know how to print and write modern Greek even though I still need help in the spelling department; I use a dictionary for that. I think I can address your question regarding cursive Greek and connecting every letter. There are some letters that you just cannot connect, like the lower case "s" when it appears in the middle of a word. The "rho" or greek "r" which looks like an English letter "p" is also not a connecting letter. "d" or delta is a difficult one too because the final stroke ends in the ascender portion of your writing space. The cursive letter "k" looks like an English letter "u". The cursive "pi" looks nothing like the printed one but it is a connector letter. I can scan a sample and send to you if you like... I may need your email address to send it to you. My daughter, Marina, who frequents this site made me aware of your inquiry just now... my email is chrysoulla@hotmail.com

 

Sincerely, Chrysoulla (Chris)

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Michael Wright

Goodwhiskers

 

Yay for teaching Ancient G., but can I ask why you want to use a modern cursive? It will look very much unlike anything the people will meet in printed books or on the net, and people tend to overestimate the difficulty of learning the Greek version of the alphabet, as it is.

 

Of course, there are rather significant differences in Greek printed fonts. I have to confess that I learned Greek 45 years ago, and as I try to regather it, I'm thrown by the modern custom of just using a single "c" shape for sigma.

 

More power to your linguistic elbow

 

Michael

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I'm thrown by the modern custom of just using a single "c" shape for sigma.

Only at the end of the word and it is not so modern. Lower case sigma has two forms - one when it is at the end of the word (ς = "τελικό σίγμα"=final sigma, like a c but with a tail :)) and another one in the middle of the word ( σ = an o with a extension to the right at the top). It is not so modern for example the photo below is from 1634 (according to this link). In the 3rd line at the end of the word "αγίοις" alpha-gamma-iota-omicron-iota-sigma and in the next line in the word "βασι" beta-alpha-sigma-iota, the letter is shown in the two forms.

http://www.culture.gr/2/21/215/21505/215051/2150513/00/lb119r8.jpg

 

Also in the earlier byzantine hands (all capitals) C was used for sigma everywhere.

http://galen-frysinger.com/turkey/istanbul18.jpg

 

I always wondered if the C for sigma was a Roman influence, which is possible but I dont know since I am only amateur in these issues :)

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Michael Wright

Hi antoniosz

 

I learned the two forms of sigma long ago at school, but some modern printed books (at least in the anglophone world) just use a single form, like the capital C in your Byzantine mosaic, but lower-case height. An example is the excellent Teach Yourself Ancient Greek by Betts and Henry, but I've seen some texts from ? C.U.P. that do the same. Saves money in typesetting, I believe. It gives me grief, and some of the people I'm going through the book with still pronounce it as though it were kappa, when they're not totally concentrating.

 

Best wishes

 

Michael

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Sorry Michael, I misunderstood....

This is definitely something that does not happen in Greece.

With universally electronic typesetting, I can not see the reason for this substitution.

 

PS> Anyway, thank you, because you made me look into icons and manuscripts for couple of hours looking for examples. I always enjoy it!.... In addition, I stumbled on an excellent set of pages on the greek language and some of its peculiarities that blew my mind.

Edited by antoniosz
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Goodwhiskers

Charin echo

(This website doesn't seem to display Unicode-formatted text, so the Greek from my Macintosh came out as question marks).

 

Thanks!

 

Antonio, thank you for those gorgeous examples, including that exquisite guide to modern, connected Greek in your own beautiful, edged-nib handwriting, resulting from the time you spent on this question.

 

Chrysoulla, thank you for your generous offer. If I still have questions after trying to implement Antonio's guide, I'll send them to you.

 

Michael, this for my own speed in writing out the Greek portions of my handwritten drafts, which students won't see. If students end up seeing any of my materials, they will see the computer-printed, non-connected script. I won't make adolescent and adult beginning students of ancient Greek jump the hurdle of modern, connected script along with the other hurdles in entering the language. I won't make first-year students decipher connected-script notes from me on their homework, quizzes and tests!

 

Just to clarify where I am in this project: After learning basic New Testament Greek, I discovered that I still couldn't read anything outside the Bible in Greek! I've taught the rudiments of New Testament Greek to one person, who gave up trying to learn to read it (too many other commitments) but who now knows enough Greek grammar to be able with confidence to follow Bible commentaries in English which quote and discuss Greek forms. I began to teach myself "Homeric" (Epic) Greek from the two primers which are in print in English. I am slowly continuing that while also developing instruction materials for a more thorough Ancient Greek course. I chose Epic rather than Attic after hearing many complaints about how annoying it is to read Epic after starting in Attic. It's always easier to learn an earlier form of a literary language and go forward in linguistic and literary history, especially when earlier texts heavily influence most later texts. I'm sorry that I won't get around to Modern Greek for many more years because of my other commitments.

 

P.S.: Michael, is that bat in your hand? Very cool! Are you a zoologist?

Edited by Goodwhiskers

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Michael Wright

Hi Goodwhiskers

 

Alas, it's not in my hand, and it's not a bat -- it's an aye-aye, which is a kind of primate that eats insects that live under the bark of trees, and has a specially developed long bony finger for tapping the bark and extracting lunch therefrom.

 

Starting people on Homer is a good, often-recommended wheeze; it's especially recommended because Attic, which most people start on, has a number of sound-changes which make Greek grammar less transparent than it otherwise would be.

 

Best of luck, and have fun

 

Michael

 

trying to recover his own Greek, after a lapse of 40 years

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Thanks again, Antoniosz and Chrysoulla. That gives a few good alternative forms for lowercase and helps me see how some connected cursive forms developed and why they are more efficient.

 

I think I'll stick to block (book) form for uppercase, which is what I do in my Roman-alphabet cursive.

 

About the lowercase sigma for the beginning or middle of a word:

 

Previous letters obviously can't connect to it, but how can I connect it to a following letter without it looking like an omicron? Is the lack of connection from the previous letter enough to distinguish it from omicron (besides the intuition by which literate native speakers distinguish real vocabulary from nonsense words and spelling/keyboarding errors, an intuition I haven't acquired yet in Greek)?

 

Antoniosz, did you connect sigma to tau in your alphabet sample? It'll take lots more practice for me to make that little step without breaking my stride. Chrysoulla's published table has an ascending tau for which the horizontal crossbar became the rising connection from the previous letter.

 

This is barrels of fun! :lol:

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Steve,

 

My exemplar is not authoritative ;) It is clear in my mind now that connecting the sigma is a bad idea since it can be confused with omicron. Crysoulla's tau is identical to the one used in the handwritten note that I posted in the first message. It maybe an "older" version (the note is from the 20s). It would be unusual for a modern greek to write it like this. On the other hand I see that my l.c. lambda is identical to the one used in that same note I was refering above. In the note below which is from the same person that wrote the one I posted in my first message of this thread, lambda is used in both forms. Also she uses here a version of sigma that is common in modern greek and looks like a small "6". I say "she" because I figured out who wrote these two notes :) See the PS below the note.

 

http://www.geocities.com/mpolidouri/ms02big.jpg

 

AZ

 

PS> As I was writing these lines I looked at the name of the "file" of the handwritten note. The website has the name "mpolidouri"!... Maria Polidouri is a very well known poetress (is this the female of poet?) who lived from 1902-1930 (died 28 years old).

She is well known for the poems as well as for the fact that she was the second person of the tragic double suicide of the late 1920s. She fell in love in 1924 with Karyotakis another famous poet of that period. Karyotakis "rejected" her and few years later he commits suicide (1928). Polidouri had left for Paris but she returned to Greece because she had tuberculosis. In 1930 she also commits suicide. (Interestingly Brittanica has an one paragraph biography of her which is full of errors :().

 

The following links are in greek:

 

Dates in her life

Be careful this is a site with many popups. But if you are careful or have firefox with popup blocker you will find a rather complete site for Polidouri with poems (even those that become songs later one - including the mp3s of the songs!).

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That "6"-form sigma looks the best for me. It appears to be written in the reverse direction of "6" for connectibility from the previous letter.

 

It's easier for me to connect from a previous letter to a sigma and lift the pen at the end of the sigma before starting the next letter, than to write a sigma with no connection from the previous letter or to the next letter.

 

Also, I can't find any way to connect a sigma to the next letter without making the sigma look like an omicron; it's enough for me to connect into a sigma from the previous letter.

 

The descending, connecting lambda looks very practical and legible, too, more so than the modern, connected, lowercase Roman "r."

 

I'll check out those MP3s this weekend.

Edited by Goodwhiskers

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  • 2 years later...

.... edited cause I realized this was a ressurected dead post.

Edited by Wwillco

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  • 7 years later...

Kalimera Steve (Good day, Steve)

 

I have a Greek (Cypriot) background and know how to print and write modern Greek even though I still need help in the spelling department; I use a dictionary for that. I think I can address your question regarding cursive Greek and connecting every letter. There are some letters that you just cannot connect, like the lower case "s" when it appears in the middle of a word. The "rho" or greek "r" which looks like an English letter "p" is also not a connecting letter. "d" or delta is a difficult one too because the final stroke ends in the ascender portion of your writing space. The cursive letter "k" looks like an English letter "u". The cursive "pi" looks nothing like the printed one but it is a connector letter. I can scan a sample and send to you if you like... I may need your email address to send it to you. My daughter, Marina, who frequents this site made me aware of your inquiry just now... my email is chrysoulla@hotmail.com

 

Sincerely, Chrysoulla (Chris)

There are some letters that you just cannot connect,

Not so. I can show you handwriting cursive, Greek. School/office classical style.

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You may love some of the beautifully formed modern greek script in the Youtube at 5:30 in this video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ8c2ZMsK8U

 

I wish I could write that beautifully.

Well... Nice looking, BUT not joined... and the order is wrong :-) (correct is: αβγδεζηθικλμνξοπρστυφχψω). See also here one lesson of learning connected Greek cursive ("school classic style", joined, soon will be published in calligraphy book with learning method) with "young calligraphers" at the Art school -

post-118183-0-54408300-1460407327_thumb.jpg

Edited by RINGO
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