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Qoppa

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Qoppa

For the archaic Cyrillic symbol, see Koppa (Cyrillic).

Koppa or Qoppa (Ϙ, as a modern numeral sign: Koppa).

Alphabetic Koppa

In Phoenician, qoph was pronounced ]; in Greek, which lacked such a sound, it was instead used for /k/ before back vowels, Ο, Υ and Ω. In this function, it was borrowed into the Italic alphabets and ultimately into Latin. However, as the sound /k/ had two redundant spellings, koppa was eventually replaced by kappa (Κ) in Greek. It remained in use as a letter in some Doric regions into the 5th century BC.[1] The koppa was used as a symbol for the city of Corinth, which had the early spelling of Ϙόρινθος.

Numeral Koppa

Koppa remained in use in the system of ).



Typography

Modern typography of the numeral Koppa has most often employed some version of the Z-shaped character. It may appear in several variants: as a simple geometrical lightning-bolt shape (Stigma, in other fonts. Koppa has also sometimes been replaced by a lowercase Latin "q", a mirrored uppercase "P", or a "5" turned upside down.

As with the numeral usage of stigma (digamma) and Sampi, modern typographical practice normally does not observe a contrast between uppercase and lowercase forms for numeric koppa.[3]

Computer Encoding

The Unicode character encoding standard originally (since version 1.1 of 1993), had only a single codepoint for Koppa, which was marked as uppercase and could be used either for an epigraphic or a numeral glyph, depending on font design. A lowercase form was encoded in version 3.0 (1999).[4][2] A second pair of codepoints specifically for the original closed epigraphical shape was introduced in version 3.2 (2002).[4] This left the older two code points (U+03DE/U+03DF, Ϟϟ) to cover primarily the numeral glyphs.

As of 2010, coverage of these codepoints in common computer fonts is therefore still inconsistent: while the most commonly used version of the numeral glyph will be located at the lowercase code point U+03DF in recent fonts, older fonts may either have no character at all or a version of the closed epigraphic form at that position. Conversely, older fonts may have the numeral glyph at the uppercase codepoint, while this position may be filled with any of several less common glyphs in newer ones. Since there had never been a consistent typographic tradition for a specifically uppercase numeral koppa, the typographer Y, Haralambous proposed two new variants for it,

References

Further reading

External links

  • Koppa (alphabetic use)
  • Koppa (numeric use)

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