Iota adscript
In Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 polytonic orthography, the iota adscript (Greek ) is a iota
Iota is the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 10. It was derived from the Phoenician letter Yodh . Letters that arose from this letter include the Roman I and J and the Cyrillic І , Yi , Je , and iotified letters .Iota represents...

 written after a long
Vowel length
In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. Often the chroneme, or the "longness", acts like a consonant, and may etymologically be one, such as in Australian English. While not distinctive in most dialects of English, vowel length is an important phonemic factor in...

In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! or oh! , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, such as English sh! , where there is a constriction or closure at some...

 in a long diphthong
A diphthong , also known as a gliding vowel, refers to two adjacent vowel sounds occurring within the same syllable. Technically, a diphthong is a vowel with two different targets: That is, the tongue moves during the pronunciation of the vowel...

, as opposed to below the vowel as a small vertical stroke (iota subscript
Iota subscript
Iota subscript in Greek polytonic orthography is a way of writing the letter iota as a small vertical stroke beneath a vowel. It was used in the so-called "long diphthongs" in Ancient Greek, that is, diphthongs the first part of which is a long vowel: and...

; ).

The iota subscript was created when the iota was reintroduced in the Byzantine period, to correct the loss of ι from copies of earlier manuscripts, but was placed below rather than beside the vowel to reflect the fact that it was not, by then, pronounced. This is still the most common convention today, although over the past few decades, many editors have preferred to reinstate the iota as an adscript. Others take a mixed approach, using the adscript for capitals, but the subscript for lower case letters.
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