Diacritic - Languages With Letters Containing Diacritics

Languages With Letters Containing Diacritics

The following languages have letters that contain diacritics that are considered independent letters distinct from those without diacritics.

  • Faroese uses acute accents and other special letters. All are considered separate letters and have their own place in the alphabet: á, í, ó, ú, ý, and ø.
  • Icelandic uses acute accents and other special letters. All are considered separate letters, and have their own place in the alphabet: á, é, í, ó, ú, ý, and ö.
  • Danish and Norwegian uses additional characters like the o-slash ø and the a-circle å. These letters are collated after z and æ, in the order ø, å. Historically the å has developed from a ligature by writing a small a on top of the letter a; if an å character is unavailable, some Scandinavian languages allow the substitution of a doubled a. The Scandinavian languages collate these letters after z, but have different collation standards.
  • Swedish uses characters identical to a-umlaut (ä) and o-umlaut (ö) in the place of ash and o-slash in addition to the a-circle (å). Historically the umlaut for the Swedish letters ä and ö, like the German umlaut, has developed from a small gothic e written on top of the letters. These letters are collated after z, in the order å, ä, ö.
  • Irish uses acute accents, called fadas. Fadas are used to indicate vowel length. These are the following vowels á, é, í, ó, ú.
  • Welsh uses the circumflex, diaeresis, acute and grave accents on its seven vowels a, e, i, o, u, w, y.
  • Following orthographic reforms since the 1970s, Scottish Gaelic uses grave accents only, which can be used on any vowel (à, è, ì, ò, ù). Formerly acute accents could be used on á, ó and é, which were used to indicate a specific vowel quality. With the elimination of these accents, the new orthography relies on the reader having prior knowledge of pronunciation of a given word.
  • Manx uses the single diacritic ç combined with h to give the digraph <çh> (pronounced /tʃ/) to mark the distinction between it and the digraph (pronounced /h/ or /x/). Other diacritics used in Manx included â, ê, ï, etc. to mark the distinction between two similarly spelled words but with slightly differing pronunciation.
  • Some orthographies of Cornish such as Kernowek Standard and Unified Cornish use diacritics, while others such as Kernewek Kemmyn and the Standard Written Form do not.
  • Asturian, Galician and Spanish, the character ñ is a letter and collated between n and o
  • Asturian uses Ḷ (lower case ḷ), and Ḥ (lower case ḥ)
  • Leonese: could use ñ or nn.
  • Romanian uses a breve on the letter a (ă) to indicate the sound schwa /ə/, as well as a circumflex over the letters a (â) and i (î) for the sound /ɨ/. Romanian also writes a comma below the letters s (ș) and t (ț) to represent the sounds /ʃ/ and /t͡s/, respectively. These characters are collated after their non-diacritic equivalent.
  • Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian Latin alphabet have the symbols č, ć, đ, š and ž, which are considered separate letters and are listed as such in dictionaries and other contexts in which words are listed according to alphabetical order. Bosnian and Croatian also have one digraph including a diacritic, , which is also alphabetised independently, and follows d and precedes đ in the alphabetical order. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet has no diacritics.
  • The Czech alphabet contains 27 graphemes (letters) when written without diacritics and 42 graphemes when written including them. Czech uses the acute (á é í ó ú ý), caron (č ď ě ň ř š ť ž), and for one letter (ů) the ring.
  • Polish has the following letters: ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ź ż. These are considered to be separate letters, each of them is placed in alphabet right after its Latin counterpart (i.e. ą between a and b), ź and ż are placed after z in this order.
  • The Slovak alphabet uses the acute (á é í ó ú ý ĺ ŕ), caron (č ď ľ ň š ť ž), umlaut (ä) and circumflex accent (ô).
  • The basic Slovene alphabet has the symbols č, š, and ž, which are considered separate letters and are listed as such in dictionaries and other contexts in which words are listed according to alphabetical order. Letters with a caron are placed right after the letters as written without the diacritic. The letter đ may be used in non-transliterated foreign words, particularly names, and is placed after č and before d.
  • Latvian has the following letters: ā ē ī ū ŗ ļ ķ ņ ģ š ž č.
  • Lithuanian. In general usage, where letters appear with the caron (č, š and ž) they are considered as separate letters from c, s or z and collated separately; letters with the ogonek (ą, ę, į and ų), the macron (ū) and the superdot (ė) are considered as separate letters as well, but not given a unique collation order.
  • Estonian has a distinct letter õ, which contains a tilde. Estonian "dotted vowels" ä, ö, ü are similar to German, but these are also distinct letters, not like German umlauted letters. All four have their own place in the alphabet, between w and x. Carons in š or ž appear only in foreign proper names and loanwords. Also these are distinct letters, placed in the alphabet between s and t.
  • Finnish uses dotted vowels (ä and ö). As in Swedish and Estonian, these are regarded as individual letters, rather than vowel + umlaut combinations (as happens in German). It also uses the characters å, š and ž in foreign names and loanwords. In the Finnish and Swedish alphabets, å, ä and ö collate as separate letters after z, the others as variants of their base letter.
  • Hungarian uses the umlaut, the acute and double acute accent (unique to Hungarian): ö ü, á é í ó ú and ő ű. The acute accent indicates the long form of a vowel (in case of i/í, o/ó, u/ú) while the double acute performs the same function for ö and ü. The acute accent can also indicate a different sound (more open, like in case of a/á, e/é). Both long and short forms of the vowels are listed separately in the Hungarian alphabet but members of the pairs a/á, e/é, i/í, o/ó, ö/ő, u/ú and ü/ű are collated in dictionaries as the same letter.
  • Livonian has the following letters: ā, ä, ǟ, ḑ, ē, ī, ļ, ņ, ō, ȯ, ȱ, õ, ȭ, ŗ, š, ț, ū, ž.
  • Azerbaijani includes the distinct Turkish alphabet letters Ç, Ğ, I, İ, Ö, Ş and Ü.
  • Crimean Tatar includes the distinct Turkish alphabet letters Ç, Ğ, I, İ, Ö, Ş and Ü. Unlike Standard Turkish (but like Cypriot Turkish), Crimean Tatar also has the letter Ñ.
  • Gagauz includes the distinct Turkish alphabet letters Ç, Ğ, I, İ, Ö and Ü. Unlike Turkish, Gagauz also has the letters Ä, Ê Ș and Ț. Ș and Ț are derived from the Romanian alphabet for the same sounds. Sometime the Turkish Ş may be used instead of Ș.
  • Turkish uses a G with a breve (Ğ), two letters with an umlaut (Ö and Ü, representing two rounded front vowels), two letters with a cedilla (Ç and Ş, representing the affricate /tʃ/ and the fricative /ʃ/), and also possesses a dotted capital İ (and a dotless lowercase ı representing a high unrounded back vowel). In Turkish each of these are separate letters, rather than versions of other letters, where dotted capital İ and lower case i are the same letter, as are dotless capital I and lowercase ı. Typographically, Ç and Ş are often rendered with a subdot, as in ; when a hook is used, it tends to have more a comma shape than the usual cedilla. The new Azerbaijani, Crimean Tatar, and Gagauz alphabets are based on the Turkish alphabet and its same diacriticized letters, with some additions.
  • Turkmen includes the distinct Turkish alphabet letters Ç, Ö, Ş and Ü. In addition, Turkmen uses A with diaeresis (Ä) to represent /æ/, N with caron (Ň) to represent the velar nasal /ŋ/, Y with acute (Ý) to represent the palatal approximant /j/, and Z with caron (Ž) to represent /ʒ/.
  • Albanian has two special letters Ç and Ё upper and lowercase. They are placed next to the most similar letters in the alphabet, c and e correspondingly.
  • Esperanto has the symbols ŭ, ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ and ŝ, which are included in the alphabet, and considered separate letters.
  • Hawaiian uses the kahakô (macron) over vowels, although there is some disagreement over considering them as individual letters. The kahakô over a vowel can completely change the meaning of a word that is spelled the same but without the kahakô.
  • Kurdish uses the symbols Ç, Ê, Î, Ş and Û with other 26 standard Latin alphabet symbols.
  • Maltese uses a C, G, and Z with a dot over them (Ċ, Ġ, Ż), and also has an H with an extra horizontal bar. For uppercase H, the extra bar is written slightly above the usual bar. For lowercase H, the extra bar is written crossing the vertical, like a t, and not touching the lower part (Ħ, ħ). The above characters are considered separate letters. The letter 'c' without a dot has fallen out of use due to redundancy. 'Ċ' is pronounced like the English 'ch' and 'k' is used as a hard c as in 'cat'. 'Ż' is pronounced just like the English 'Z' as in 'Zebra', while 'Z' is used to make the sound of 'ts' in English (like 'tsunami' or 'maths'). 'Ġ' is used as a hard 'G' like in 'geometry', while the 'G' sounds like a soft 'G' like in 'log'. The digraph 'għ' (called għajn after the Arabic letter name ʻayn for غ) is considered separate, and sometimes ordered after 'g', whilst in other volumes it is placed between 'n' and 'o' (the Latin letter 'o' originally evolved from the shape of Phoenician ʻayin, which was traditionally collated after Phoenician nūn).
  • Vietnamese uses the horn diacritic for the letters ơ and ư; the circumflex for the letters â, ê, and ô; the breve for the letter ă; and a bar through the letter đ.
  • Lakota alphabet uses the caron for the letters č, ȟ, ǧ, š, and ž. It also uses the acute accent for stressed vowels á, é, í, ó, ú, áŋ, íŋ, úŋ.
Cyrillic alphabets
  • Belarusian has a letter ў.
  • Belarusian, Bulgarian, Russian and Ukrainian have the letter й.
  • Belarusian and Russian have the letter ё. In Russian, this letter is usually replaced in print by е, although it has a different pronunciation. The use of е instead of ё in print does not affect the pronunciation. Ё is still used in children's books and in handwriting, is always used in dictionaries. A minimal pair is все (vse, "all" pl.) and всё (vs'o, "everything" n. sg.). In Belarusian the replacement by е is a mistake, in Russian, it is possible to use either е and ё in print in place of ё but the former is more common.
  • The Cyrillic Ukrainian alphabet has the letters й and ї. Ukrainian Latynka has many more.
  • Macedonian has the letters ќ and ѓ.
  • In Bulgarian the possessive pronoun ѝ (ì, "her") is spelled with a grave accent in order to distinguish it from the conjunction и (i, "and").
  • The acute accent " ́" above any vowel in Cyrillic alphabets is used in dictionaries, books for children and foreign learners to indicate the word stress, it also can be used for disambiguation of similarly spelled words with different lexical stresses.

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