We are very fortunate that Internet didn't exist fifteen years ago! Until 1982 there were three different accents in Greek :
΄οξεία *oksIa* (acute)
~ περισπωμένη *perispomEni* (circumflex)
` βαρεία *bharIa* (grave)

The were also two breathings

' ψιλή *psilI* smooth (spiritus lenis)
` δασεία *dhasIa* rough (spiritus asper)

The accent can fall on any one of the last three sylables of a word and the choice of the right accent followed several rather complicated rules. The breathings were placed on the inicial vowel of any Greek word beginning with a vowel. Accents and breathings were indicating subtle details in the pronunciation of ancient Greek, but they do not apply to modern Greek.


So, in 1982 the Ministry of Education released a note according to which no breathings and only one accent (τόνος) were to be used in modern Greek.

Every word that has two or more syllables has an accent (e.g., όχι, καλημέρα). One-syllable words do not have accent (e.g., ναι, μη) except for the interrogative adverbs πού (where) and πώς (how) and the conjunction ή (or) to avoid confusion (που=who, that, which [relative pronoun], πως=that [conjunction], η=the [feminine article]).

The accent corresponds to a raise of the tone of the voice, resembles the old acute accent (*oksIa*) and is placed over the vowel of the syllable that is stressed. If that syllable has a combination of vowels (e.g., αί) then the accent is placed over the second vowel. Note that the accent is placed only over lower case letters. If the word is in capital letters (e.g., ΑΘΗΝΑ, which may mean either the city of Athens or the goddess Athena, depending on whether the accent is on the penultimate or the last syllable), then no accent is used. If the vowel to be accented is the first letter of the word and is capitalized, the accent is placed next to it (e.g., Άγγελος).

In the Latin-convention script the vowel of the accented syllable will be capitalized.

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