Wiktionary:About Ancient Greek

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This page describes policies and practices specific to Ancient Greek entries on the English Wiktionary. These are in addition to Wiktionary’s overall standards which are listed at Wiktionary:Entry layout explained.

See also Wiktionary:About Greek

General information[edit]

Divisions of the Greek language[edit]

There are currently three temporal divisions of the Greek language on Wiktionary: (1) Greek, (2) Ancient Greek, and (3) Mycenaean Greek. On Wiktionary, the word “Greek” is shorthand for modern Greek. Mycenaean Greek includes all words written in Linear B, an earlier writing system. Ancient Greek includes all forms of Greek from the invention of the Greek alphabet through the fall of Constantinople in 1453, including Classical Greek, Koine Greek, and Medieval Greek. Currently, Medieval Greek is poorly represented on Wiktionary. It is conceivable that, in the future, it will be treated as a separate language. However, until such time as someone with interest and expertise in that time period makes a concrete proposal and gets community consensus, medieval Greek should be considered part of Ancient Greek. In addition, words in the Cypriot syllabary are to be put under the “Ancient Greek” header because, while they use a distinct writing system, they were concurrent with other dialects and writing systems of Ancient Greek, while Mycenaean distinctly predated them. Information concerning modern Greek can be obtained at Wiktionary:About Greek. While Mycenaean is considered a separate category, it will be treated as a daughter project of Ancient Greek, and its rules and conventions listed here.

Linear B[edit]

Mycenaean words should be written only in the Linear B script. Romanizations should be included within the headline and after the word in every other entry. See 𐀂𐀦 (i-qo) and ἵππος (híppos) for examples of the proper formatting. When a Mycenaean Greek word represents, by and large, the same word as a standard Ancient Greek counterpart, it should simply be listed as an alternative spelling. However, when a Mycenaean points to an older form, the etymology should run: From *(hypothetical Greek etymon), as evidenced by Mycenaean Greek (Mycenaean form). This same format should also be used for Arcadocypriot words which use the Cypriot syllabary.

Attestation[edit]

The normal standard for modern languages is three independent attestations. However, Ancient Greek, as a dead language, requires only one attestation.

Orthography[edit]

Because Ancient Greek uses a non-Roman alphabet, there are a number of issues peculiar to its entries.

Technical issues of text entry and display[edit]

Some users have trouble seeing some of the characters of Ancient Greek, seeing only boxes, question marks, or odd omissions. An excellent website for checking your browser and acquiring the necessary fonts is [1] where you can check which characters your browser is and is not displaying and look into some possible fonts to fix this. For inputting Greek characters, there are a few options. First of all, at the bottom of the editing window, there is a pull-up menu with a number of scripts, one of which is Greek. This contains many of the Ancient Greek characters. Simply clicking on any character will insert it into the text body wherever the cursor is. A second option is Greek keyboards. Many modern operating systems have built-in or freely downloaded Greek keyboards, which can generally be set up in the language options.

Capitalization[edit]

Ancient Greek entries follow the scholarly convention with regards to the capitalization of letters, with most words appearing in all lower case letters and proper nouns and certain derivations of proper nouns (e.g. Ἕλλην (Héllēn)) appearing with the first letter capitalized. It is admitted that most of the works in question were originally written well before the invention of miniscule Greek letters.

Diacritics and accentuation[edit]

Tone/stress accents (i.e. the acute, circumflex, and grave accents) should be incorporated into the spelling of Ancient Greek words in all places, though they are not represented in transliterations. Note that the grave should not be used in single word spellings, but only in phrases, sentences, and the like. Breathing marks and diaereses should similarly be shown in all spellings, when appropriate. Vowel length marks (i.e. the macron and breve) should be used everywhere except for the page title, including on vowels with other diacritics. Please note that length marks must still be used even if accentuation rules determine the length. Some dictionaries and lexicons operate under the standard that an unmarked vowel is short, while a long vowel will have a macron. In Wiktionary, an unmarked vowel should be considered ambiguous, and a macron/breve should be used to indicate a long/short vowel. See πολιτικός (politikós), in which the first iota is long, and the second is ambiguous. The exception is vowels with a circumflex or iota subscript, which are always long.

Due to Unicode's treatment of combining diacritics, a vowel containing a length mark plus other diacritics must be coded as follows: vowel with length mark, combining breath mark if any (U+0313 or U+0314) OR diaeresis (U+0308) then combining accent mark if any (U+0300 or U+0301). Failure to do so will result in the form being improperly linked.

Miscellaneous[edit]

Certain Greek characters have multiple Unicode codepoints for representing them. For example, the character theta has its standard representation of θ (codepoint 03B8), but also has the alternate ϑ (character 03D1). These two characters may or may not look different depending on a variety of factors, such as browser, operating system, and installed fonts. In general, Ancient Greek on Wiktionary should always use the more standard character (i.e. unaccented characters should come from the 0391-03C9 Unicode range).

There exists a convention in some older works of adding a smooth and rough breathing mark to internal double rhos. Ancient Greek on Wiktionary prefers unmarked internal rhos. Consequently Βορρᾶς (Borrhâs) is correct, and Βοῤῥᾶς (Borrhâs) is incorrect.

Romanization standards[edit]

Ancient Greek transliterations into Latin script (that is, romanizations) are not words. Ancient Greek did not use the Latin script. Latin script transliterations should generally accompany the Greek spelling as an aid to readers who cannot understand the Greek script, but should not have independent entries. Transliteration is done automatically in most cases. For more information, see Wiktionary:Ancient Greek romanization and pronunciation.

Headers[edit]

Most headers have a basic description in WT:ELE, however Ancient Greek has a few special concerns which will be dealt with here. If you have further questions after reading this section, check out WT:ELE, as headers have a somewhat fuller description there. Headers are listed here in the order they should be found in entries, and at the proper level (the number of equal signs which should surround them in the editing window). Keep in mind that it is not necessary to use all of these every time. Simply put what you know (or can find) and someone else will fill it out later. The only headers which are necessary for every entry are the Language (Ancient Greek) and POS header.

==Ancient Greek==
===Alternative forms===
===Etymology===
===Pronunciation===
===(POS)===
====Inflection====
====Usage notes====
====Synonyms====
====Antonyms====
====Derived terms====
====Related terms====
====Descendants====
====References====

Ancient Greek[edit]

Language header, at level 2.

Alternative forms[edit]

Alternative forms are words which have the same meaning, and usually a similar etymology, but are spelled slightly differently. Generally the most common spelling will have a full entry, while the less common spellings will simply be defined as an alternative spelling of the common form, utilizing {{alternative form of}}. The full entry should list all of the alternative spellings listed in bulleted form, using the template {{alter}} under the Alternative forms header. When known, the source of the variant should be listed (e.g. (Doric)). For an example of this, please see φάος (pháos) and φῶς (phôs).

Etymology[edit]

Etymologies list the word(s) from which the entry comes from genetically, and should be encoded using {{m}}. If a word comes from a word in another language, the language should be noted, generally best coded using {{etyl}}. The same format should be used when noting Ancient Greek words in the etymologies of non-Ancient Greek entries. When an Ancient Greek word comes from Proto-Indo-European, the reconstructed etymon should be linked to with * preceding the term (e.g. {{m|ine-pro|*bʰewdʰ-}}) Cognates in sister languages are useful, but should be limited in number, typically 3–5 is ideal. Cognates should also be limited to ancient languages, such as Latin, Sanskrit, Old Armenian, and Old English. English is the singular exception, as this is the English Wiktionary, and English speakers will tend to have a special interest in English cognates. In general, when using other languages in an etymology, the policies of that specific language should be followed as to format. All instances of foreign words should be written in the appropriate script (i.e. Cyrillic for Old Church Slavonic, Devanagari for Sanskrit). If you only have access to a transliteration, put it unlinked, and add {{rfscript}}, which marks the entry for attention from someone knowledgeable about the particular script. If you are uncertain of the meaning, spelling, or some other facet of the word, you can use {{attention}} to mark the entry for attention from someone knowledgeable about the language. For examples, see ἱπποτοξότης (hippotoksótēs) (Ancient Greek word deriving from other Ancient Greek words), Δαρεῖος (Dareîos) (Ancient Greek word coming from an Old Persian word), Darius (English word from an Ancient Greek word), and σκότος (skótos) (Ancient Greek word from Proto-Indo-European).

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronunciation through time is produced using the template {{grc-pron}}, which should be used in all Ancient Greek entries. This template automatically determines the pronunciation from the page title. When there are vowels of ambiguous length, the parameter w= must be used. See the template documentation for details.

(POS)[edit]

The “Part of Speech” headers which are currently used within Ancient Greek are: Adjective, Adverb, Article, Conjunction, Interjection, Noun, Number, Particle, Prefix, Preposition, Pronoun, Proper noun, Suffix, and Verb. These largely represent the standard across languages in Wiktionary. If an entry contains a different POS header than those listed above, it is likely incorrect. Different POS headers may be acceptable, but should be carefully checked and discussed with other editors.

Headline[edit]

Directly underneath the POS header is the headline, which is typically formatted with a headline template such {{grc-noun}}. The available Ancient Greek headline templates can be found at Category:Ancient Greek headword-line templates. If the POS does not have an appropriate template, {{head}} should be used. The definitions immediately follow the headline. If the word contains vowels of ambiguous length, be sure to use the head= parameter.

Inflection[edit]

Ancient Greek uses the header “Inflection”, as do many other highly inflected languages, such as Latin. While languages with simple inflections put the forms within the headline, it is impractical to put the number of forms that Ancient Greek has before the definition (for example, see λῡ́ω (lū́ō)). Ancient Greek entries operate under a format where the lemma form (nominative singular for nouns, nominative masculine singular for adjectives and present active indicative first singular for verbs) occupies a privileged position. The entry for the lemma form will have all of the information pertaining to the word (i.e. etymology, full inflection, derived terms, etc.). All other forms will be soft redirects, with the language and POS headers, and a short statement about which inflected form it is of which lemma (see αἰγός (aigós) for an example). There are many templates listed at Category:Ancient Greek inflection-table templates.

Usage notes[edit]

A general purpose header which is used for information which does not fit into other headers. This is one of the few headers which regularly contains prose. Information which can be reasonably put here includes notes about syntax, inflection, and locality.

Bulleted lists[edit]

The following headers contain only bulleted lists. Bullets are created by starting the line with an asterisk (*), followed by a single space, followed by the content. Words linked to in such lists are best encoded using {{l}} (remember to specify the language). If there are more than a few terms in the list (e.g. more than six), division templates such as {{top2}}, {{top3}}, and {{top4}} should be used. If there are many terms (e.g. more than twenty), use a collapsing table such as {{der3}}.

Semantic relations headers[edit]

Semantic relations are described in the following two headers: Synonyms and Antonyms. These are words which are related semantically, that is, by their meanings. They can be etymologically/genetically related, but they don’t have to be.

Synonyms[edit]

Words which have the same or similar meanings are place here. They may be etymologically (genetically) related, but they do not have to be. Synonyms should be bulleted and sorted by the sense which they share, which is specified using {{sense}}. See σκολόπενδρᾰ (skolópendra) as an example.

Antonyms[edit]

Words which have an opposing meaning are placed here. Content under this header is formatted identically to that under the Synonym header, namely it is bulleted and sorted by sense using {{sense}}. See σκότος (skótos) for an example.

Genetic Headers[edit]

Genetic relations between words are described in the following headers, in addition to Etymology, which comes earlier in the entry. These words must always be genetically related, but need not be semantically related, though they often are. The Etymology header describes the entry’s predecessor(s), where the following headers describe other genetic relations.

Derived terms (Ancient Greek words)[edit]

Derived terms are other Ancient Greek words which derive from the entry word. Non Ancient Greek words which derive from the term should be placed under “Descendants”. Ancient Greek is rich in combinations, denominals, and the like, and so this section may become very large for certain words (such as prepositions). Words in this section should be linked, bulleted, and alphabetized. An easy method for searching for derived terms and descendants is to click the “What links here” link on the left (please check through these before adding them to sections).

Related terms (Ancient Greek words)[edit]

This section is, like derived terms, only for other Ancient Greek words which are in some way etymologically related to the entry word, such as a word which shares the same etymon. It is often useful for words which might be etyma or derived terms, but the exact relationship of which is unclear. This section should be formatted in a similar manner to derived terms.

Descendants (non-Ancient Greek words)[edit]

Descendants are words in other languages which come from the entry word. This includes both Modern Greek (and Tsakonian, Cappadocian, Pontic, and Yevanic) words descended directly from Ancient Greek and words in other languages that have been borrowed directly or indirectly from Ancient Greek. This is another section which can quickly grow to large sizes, as Ancient Greek has been heavily drawn upon in English and many other languages. Please list descendants alphabetically by language; see ἄγγελος (ángelos) for an example.

References[edit]

The references section should contain the dictionaries/lexicons which you used to create the entry (i.e. LSJ). Please keep in mind that simply copying out of copyrighted works is a copyright violation and illegal; any entries found to be copyright violations will be promptly deleted without warning or discussion. Users with a repeated history of entering copyrighted material will generally be blocked. Note that the 8th edition of the LSJ is out of copyright, easily downloaded in pdf format, and an excellent source for Ancient Greek entries. It is also available through the Perseus project, as is Smyth's reference grammar.

Definitions[edit]

The definitions fall under the POS header, with a blank line separating them from the headline. Definitions are preceded by a hash mark (#) and a single space. Definitions are ideally simply English translations, separated by commas when there is more than one English translation for a single definition. When possible, translations should be linked. Occasionally, an Ancient Greek term will be poorly explained by an English word, such as when English lacks a word for a concept, or when an Ancient Greek word carries particular connotations which do not exist in any English counterpart. In these cases a fuller explanation is allowed. Subsenses can be denoted by using multiple hashmarks. For example a definition with two contiguous hash marks (##) which follows a definition with one will be expressed as a subsense of the first. See Σαβάζιος (Sabázios) for example, which contains a primary sense, with two subsenses.

Quotations[edit]

Wiktionary strives to back up its claims about words by citing the text of Ancient Greek authors. Definitions should ideally have quotations which demonstrate the claimed meanings in use in Ancient Greek text. {{Q}} is useful for formatting these quotations. There are two places for quotations, each with subtly different purposes. One is within the definitions of the entry itself. These are meant to be illustrative quotations, which show the word in use. They are encoded with a hash mark (or more if the definition in question has more) with a contiguous asterisk (*) and a single space, followed by the quote. The second place is on the citations tab of an entry, which is essentially a page dedicated solely to quotations for that particular entry (bearing in mind that it is shared between all languages which have a word in that spelling). Generally the standards for appropriateness are somewhat lower here, and this is the ideal place to put quotes whose meaning is unclear, or to put large amounts of quotes, which would otherwise clutter up the main page, etc. In citing quotations, the author and work should be titled using the most common English translation, when possible. See σέλας (sélas) as an example. When possible, the original text should also be included, as well as a translation. An ideal translation is copyright free, accurate, and intelligible to a modern English speaker. While taking translations from a copyrighted translation might seem lucrative, as the use of a single sentence might well be protected by fair use, it would be impossible to keep track of how many such snippets are in place on Wiktionary, and a large number of them would constitute copyright infringement. Consequently, the use of translations from copyrighted materials is prohibited. Translations should be taken from out of copyright works, or better yet, be done by the editor, should they feel competent enough for the task. Translations should be faithful to the Ancient Greek, but also idiomatic English, with somewhat more weight given to the former, as they are not meant for general reading.

Format in non–Ancient Greek entries[edit]

When listing a word as a translation of an English word or as part of the etymology of a non–Ancient Greek word, it should be listed specifically as Ancient Greek. In etymologies, this can be accomplished by adding {{etyl|grc}} to the etymology line. Also, when listing an Ancient Greek word on a non–Ancient Greek entry, the word should be enclosed within {{term}} or {{l}} and the language (grc) specified.

More help[edit]

If you’re still stumped, please feel free to drop a question or comment on the talk page of an editor knowledgeable in Ancient Greek on the English Wiktionary, including the following: