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Ring (diacritic)

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Title: Ring (diacritic)  
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Subject: Diacritic, A, Double grave accent, Hook (diacritic), Hook above
Collection: Alphabetic Diacritics
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Ring (diacritic)

A ring diacritic may appear above or below letters. It may be combined with some letters of the extended Latin alphabets in various contexts.


  • Ring above 1
  • Ring below 2
  • Half rings 3
  • External links 4

Ring above

In Unicode, the above encoding is: .

Though the Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Walloon character Å (å) is derived from an A with a ring, it is considered a distinct letter in those languages. The letter Å is the symbol of the unit ångström, named after the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström.

The character Ů (ů; a Latin U with ring above, or kroužek in Czech) is a grapheme in the Czech language preserved for historic reasons, which identifies a vowel shift. For example, the word for "horse" used to be written kóň, which evolved, along with pronunciation, into kuoň. Ultimately, the vowel [o] disappeared completely, and the uo evolved into ů, modern form kůň. The letter ů now has the same pronunciation as the letter ú (long [uː]), but changes to a short o when a word is morphed (e.g. nom. kůň → gen. koně, nom. dům → gen. domu), thus showing the historical evolution of the language. Ů cannot occur in initial position, however, ú occurs almost exclusively in initial position or at the beginning of a word root in a compound. These characters are used also in Steuer's Silesian alphabet. The [uo] pronunciation has prevailed in some Moravian dialects, as well as in the Slovak language, which uses the letter ô instead of ů.

The ring is used in Bolognese (a dialect of Emiliano-Romagnolo language) to distinguish the sound /ɑ/ (å) from /a/ (a).

ů has been used in Old Lithuanian in Lithuania Minor from the 16th till the beginning of the 20th century and for a shorter time in 16th-century Lithuania Major for diphthong [uo].

The ring has been used in the Lithuanian Cyrillic alphabet promoted by Russian authorities in the last quarter of the 19th century with the letter У̊ / у̊ used to represent the /wɔ/ diphthong (now written uo in Lithuanian orthography).

Ring upon e (e̊) is used by certain dialectologists of the Walloon language (especially Jean-Jacques Gaziaux) to note the /ə/ vowel typically replacing /i/ and /y/ in the Brabant province central Walloon dialects. The difficulty of type-writing it has led some writers to prefer ë for the same sound.

Many more characters can be created in Unicode using the "combining ring above" U+030A, including the above-mentioned у̊ (Cyrillic у with ring above) or ń̊ (n with acute and ring above). The standalone ring above symbol has the codepoint U+02DA.

Although similar in appearance, it is not to be confused with the Japanese handakuten (゜ U+309C), a diacritic used with the kana for syllables starting with h to indicate that they should instead be pronounced with [p].

Ring below

Unicode encodes the ring below at

The diacritic is used in IPA to indicate voicelessness, and in Indo-European studies or in Sanskrit transliteration (IAST) to indicate syllabicity of r, l, m, n etc. (e.g. corresponding to IPA [ɹ̩]).


Half rings

Half rings also exist as diacritic marks, these are characters and . These characters may be used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, denoting roundedness. They are here given with the lowercase a: and .

Other, similar signs are in use in Armenian: the and the .

The ring as a diacritic mark should not be confused with the dot above or comma above diacritic marks, with , or with the degree sign °.

External links

  • Diacritics Project — All you need to design a font with correct accents
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