Thanks very much to all who have commented. I will pass this on to my colleague.
Since the acronym is just the letters, you don’t supply and then romanize a rough breathing. There is only one letter epsilon in Greek, so by itself, Ε (this actually is a Greek letter but you probably can’t tell) is always romanized “E.” This is just like the Greek letter rho (Ρ) is always romanized “R” although sometimes in words it becomes “Rh” because of a rough breathing. I would not provide a variant “H.D.M.” in this case because it makes no sense—epsilon would NEVER be romanized as an “H” in any Greek romanization scheme. It’s just like I wouldn’t provide a variant for Ε.Χ.Γ. that was “E.C.G” because the romanization for the letter chi is “Ch” so “E.Ch.G.” is correct and “E.C.G” is just gibberish. However, almost anything goes as a variant as long as it doesn’t violate NACO normalization rules so I can’t say that it is not allowed.
It is normal for Modern Greek today to be written in monotonic orthography, which means only two diacritics--the tonos and diaeresis—are actually written. The reason we continue to romanize the rough breathing mark that no longer usually appears and is not vocalized in Modern Greek is to keep filing consistency between Ancient and Modern Greek. Other romanization schemes that are concerned only with Modern Greek do not romanize the rough breathing. So Ελλαδα would be “Hellada” in the ALA romanization table because you supply the rough breathing mark, but “Ellada” in the Greek Organization for Standardization romanization.
Note that the BGN does not use the same romanization as ALA so LC-PCC PS for 22.214.171.124 should be applied. For example “Stereá Elláda” in BGN becomes Sterea Hellada. This is an ongoing problem with Greek names in the database because people who do not actually know Greek think the they are supplying the appropriate romanization. I just looked up the NAR for Greece to provide an example for you and found “Ελλάδα” and “Ellada” as variants, but not the ALA romanization “Hellada.” I will fix this. This is my equivalent of the eagle that torments Prometheus every day.
Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress
I am not familiar with modern Greek acronym practices, though I am quite familiar with Greek (that is, ancient Greek).
Anyway, I think we can follow general cataloging principles here. Does the dasia typically appear in acronyms or other instances of single letters? From what you say below, it apparently does not. That is, Ε.Δ.Μ. would never appear ‘Ε.Δ.Μ., correct? If so, the Romanization should be of what you find, that is, the vowel without the dasia, E.D.M., not H.D.M. (e.g., if the acronym turns out to be the preferred name that’s going to serve as the basis for the authorized access point). However, since the full word ‘Εταιρεία is Romanized Hetaireia, I’d probably also give a variant Romanization for the acronym “H.D.M.” to help out users who might think otherwise.
Robert L. Maxwell
Ancient Languages and Special Collections Librarian
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
A colleague asked me about how to enter dasia (the mark of rough breathing before vowels, Romanized as “h”) in Greek cataloging when it would appear in a word that is part of an acronym. She had looked it up online and found some guidance at Princeton’s website here: http://library.princeton.edu/departments/tsd/katmandu/greek/roughbreathing_11-30.htm
This document states:
The examples presented below, (with the exception of "Haimou"), are words widely used in Greek corporate body acronyms (underlined for emphasis). Happily, in corporate body acronyms, the romanization of the rough breathing h is not an issue. You do not use it :
‘Ίδρυμα Μελετών Χερσονήσου του Α‘ίμου = Hidryma Meletōn Chersonēsou tou Haimou (Institute of Balkan Studies). Its acronym form appears as Ι.Μ.Χ.Α. in Greek, which romanizes to I. M. Ch. A. ("Hidryma" romanizes as "I."; Haimou romanizes as "A" in acronym initial)
‘Εταιρεία για τα Δικαιώματα των Μειονοτήτων = Hetaireia gia ta Dikaiōmata tōn Meionotētōn (Association for Minority Rights). Its acronym form appears as Ε.Δ.Μ. in Greek, which romanizes to E.D.M. .( "Hetaireia" romanizes as E in acronym initial)
‘Ελληνικό Λογοτεχνικό και ‘Ιστορικό Αρχείο = Hellēniko Logotechniko kai Historiko Archeio (Greek Archive of Literature and History). Its acronym form appears as : Ε.Λ.Ι.Α. in Greek, which romanizes to E.L.I.A. ("Hellēniko"" romanizes as E.; "Historiko" romanizes as I in acronym initial)
I looked at the ALA Romanization tables and found no help regarding acronyms.
My questions for the group are: 1. Is the document above correct and we do not use the dasia in acronyms? I assume it is, so 2. Should this information be added to the ALA romanization tables for Greek?
Advice from the collective wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
Isabel del Carmen Quintana
Technical Services Librarian for East Asian Resources
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phone: (617) 495-0585