In the very helpful document ‘Typing ancient (polytonic) Greek in a Windows environment’, there is a noticable difference between the accent shown where the English keyboard Q key is, as compared to that of the semicolon.
The accent on the Q key (left of final sigma) looks like a proper accent, whilst that on semicolon (right of lambda) looks more vertical – a bit stumpy. When rendering these in EB Garamond, this is my result (red lines added):
Notice how the red lines are obviously not parallel. Q-key style accent is to the left, semicolon-style accent to the right.
What is the difference between these two accents, apart from aesthetics? Some options that come to mind:
- It is purely aesthetic. (Though I doubt it; why then would it be shown in the keyboard layout.)
- The semicolon-key accent (the stubby one) belongs to modern Greek, whilst the Q-key accent (the one with a regular slant) belongs to Ancient Greek.
It would be great to know what the difference is, especially considering that typing Ancient Greek will be highly important to me in my future thesis work.
For reference, here is a mirrored alpha with grave accent, superimposed by an alpha with the q-key-style acute accent; notice how the accents align with each other.