⟨aa⟩ is used in the orthographies of Dutch, Finnish and other languages with phonemic long vowels for ~. It was formerly used in Danish and Norwegian (and still is in some proper names) for the sound, now spelled ⟨å⟩.
⟨ae⟩ is used in Irish orthography, where it represents between two "broad" (velarized) consonants, e.g. Gael ('a Gael').
- In Latin orthography, ⟨ae⟩ originally represented the diphthong, before it was monophthongized in the Vulgar Latin period to ; in medieval manuscripts, the digraph was frequently replaced by the ligature ⟨æ⟩.
- In Modern English, Latin loanwords with ⟨ae⟩ are generally pronounced with /iː/ (e.g. Caesar), prompting Noah Webster to shorten this to ⟨e⟩ in his 1806 American English spelling reform.
- In German orthography, ⟨ae⟩ is a variant of ⟨ä⟩ found in some proper names or in contexts where ⟨ä⟩ is unavailable. In the Dutch alphabet, ⟨ae⟩ is an old spelling variant of the ⟨aa⟩ digraph but now only occurs in names of people or (less often) places and in a few loanwords from Greek.
- In Zhuang, ⟨ae⟩ is used for (⟨a⟩ is used for ).
⟨ãe⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐ̃ĩ̯/.
⟨ah⟩ is used in Taa orthography, where it represents the breathy or murmured /a̤/.
⟨ai⟩ is used in many languages, typically representing the diphthong /ai/. In English, as a result of the Great Vowel Shift, the vowel of ⟨ai⟩ has shifted from this value to /eɪ/ as in pain and rain; while in French, a different change, monophthongization, has occurred, resulting in the digraph representing /ɛ/. A similar change has also occurred during the development of Greek, resulting in ⟨αι⟩ and the ⟨ε⟩ both having the same sound; originally /ɛ/, later /e/. In German orthography, it represents /aɪ/ as in Kaiser (which derived from Latin caesar). However, most German words use ⟨ei⟩ for /aɪ/.
⟨aí⟩ is used in Irish orthography for /iː/ between a broad a slender consonant.
⟨aî⟩ is used in French orthography for /ɛː/, as in aînesse /ɛːnɛs/ or maître /mɛːtʁ/.
⟨ái⟩ is used in Irish orthography for /aː/ between a broad and a slender consonant.
⟨ãi⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐ̃ĩ̯/. It has, thus, the same value as ⟨ãe⟩, but the latter is much more common.
⟨am⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐ̃ũ̯/ at the end of a word, /ɐ̃/ before a consonant, and /am/ before a vowel; and in French orthography for /ɑ̃/ (/am/ before a vowel).
⟨âm⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐ̃/ before a consonant.
⟨an⟩ is used in many languages to write a nasal vowel. In Portuguese orthography it is used for /ɐ̃/ before a consonant, in French it represents /ɑ̃/, and in many West African languages it represents /ã/.
⟨ân⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for a stressed before a consonant.
⟨än⟩ is used in Tibetan Pinyin for . It is alternately written ⟨ain⟩.
⟨ån⟩ is used in the Walloon language, for the nasal vowel .
⟨aŋ⟩ is used in Lakhota for the nasal vowel
⟨ao⟩ is used in the Irish orthography for or, depending on dialect, between broad consonants. In French orthography, it is found in a few words such as paonne representing . In Malagasy, it represents, and in Piedmontese, .
⟨ão⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for .
⟨aq⟩ is used in Taa orthography, for the pharyngealized vowel .
⟨au⟩ in English is a result of various linguistic changes from Middle English, having shifted from * to /ɔː/. In a number of dialects, this has merged with /ɑː/. It occasionally represents the diphthong /aʊ/, as in flautist. Other pronunciations are /æ/ in North American English aunt and laugh, /eɪ/ in gauge, /oʊ/ as in gauche and chauffeur, and /ə/ as in meerschaum and restaurant.
In German and Dutch, it is used for the diphthongs /au/ and /ʌu/ respectively (/au/ in some northern and /ɔu/ in some southern Dutch and some Flemish dialects).
In French orthography, ⟨au⟩ represents /o/ or sometimes /ɔ/. It most frequently appears in the inflectional ending marking plurals of certain kinds of words like cheval ('horse') or canal ('channel'), respectively having a plural in chevaux and canaux. In Icelandic orthography, it represents /œy/.
⟨äu⟩ is used in German orthography for the diphthong /ɔɪ/ in declension of native words with au; elsewhere, /ɔʏ/ is written as ⟨eu⟩. In words where ä|u is separated in two sylables, mostly of Latin origin, ⟨äu⟩ is pronounced as /ɛ.ʊ/, as in Matthäus (one German form for Matthew).
⟨aû⟩ was used in French orthography but has been replaced.
⟨aw⟩ is used in English orthography in ways that parallel English ⟨au⟩, though it appears more often at the end of a word. In Welsh orthography, ⟨aw⟩ represents the diphthong /au/.
⟨ay⟩ is used in English orthography in ways that parallel English ⟨ai⟩, though it appears more often at the end of a word.
Read more about this topic: List Of Digraphs In Latin Alphabets
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