Tie (typography)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
apostrophe   '
brackets [ ]  ( )  { }  ⟨ ⟩
colon :
comma ,  ،  
dash   –  —  ―
ellipsis   ...  . . .
exclamation mark !
full stop, period .
hyphen-minus -
question mark ?
quotation marks ‘ ’  “ ”  ' '  " "
semicolon ;
slash, stroke, solidus /  
Word dividers
interpunct ·
General typography
ampersand &
asterisk *
at sign @
backslash \
caret ^
dagger † ‡
degree °
ditto mark
inverted exclamation mark ¡
inverted question mark ¿
number sign, pound, hash, octothorpe #
numero sign
obelus ÷
ordinal indicator º ª
percent, per mil % ‰
plus and minus + −
basis point
section sign §
tilde ~
underscore, understrike _
vertical bar, pipe, broken bar |    ¦
Intellectual property
copyright ©
sound-recording copyright
registered trademark ®
service mark
Uncommon typography
index, fist
irony punctuation
reference mark
In other scripts

The tie is a symbol in the shape of an arc similar to a large breve, used in Ancient Greek, phonetic alphabets, and Z notation. It can be used between two characters with spacing as punctuation, or non-spacing as a diacritic. It can be above or below, and reversed. Its forms are called tie, double breve, enotikon, ligature tie, papyrological hyphen, and undertie.


Ancient Greek[edit]

Various forms of the tie

The Papyrological hyphen or enotikon can be found in Greek as written on papyri, before space was invented.[1]

The enotikon ("uniter"), is used as a word non-divider, similar to hyphen, as opposed to the hypodiastole used as a word divider. The enotikon can be both spacing and non-spacing. On computers both characters U+203F   ‿ undertie and U+035C  ͜  combining double breve below can be used[2][3]

Enotikon was also used in Ancient Greek music notation, as a slur under two notes. When a syllable was sung with three notes, this slur was used in combination with a double point and a diseme over the notes.[3]

International Phonetic Alphabet[edit]

The International Phonetic Alphabet uses two type of ties : the ligature tie (IPA #433), above or below two symbols ; and the undertie (IPA #509) between two symbols.

Ligature tie[edit]

The ligature tie, also called double inverted breve, is used to represent double articulation (e.g. [k͡p]), affricates (e.g. [t͡ʃ]) or prenasalized consonant (e.g. [m͡b]) in the IPA. It is mostly found above but can also be found below when more suitable (e.g. [k͜p]).

On computers, it is encoded with characters U+0361   ͡ combining double inverted breve and, as an alternative when raisers might be interfering with the bow, U+035C   ͜ combining double breve below.


The undertie is used to represent linking (absence of a break) in the IPA. For example it is used to indicate liaison (e.g. /vuz‿ave/) but can also be used for other types of sandhi.

On computers, the character used is U+203F undertie, a spacing character, which is not to be confused with a͜b U+035C ͜ combining double breve below, a combining diacritic, used as an alternative to the ligature tie ab͡ U+0361 ͡ combining double inverted breve.[4]

Uralic Phonetic Alphabet[edit]

The Uralic Phonetic Alphabet uses several forms of the tie or double breve:[5][6]

  • The triple inverted breve or triple breve below indicates a triphthong
  • The double inverted breve, also known as the ligature tie, marks a diphthong
  • The double inverted breve below indicates a syllable boundary between vowels
  • The undertie is used for prosody
  • The inverted undertie is used for prosody.

Other uses[edit]

The double breve is used in the phonetic notation of the American Heritage Dictionary in combination with a double o, o͝o, to represent the near-close near-back vowel (ʊ in IPA).[7]

The triple breve below is used in the phonetic writing Rheinische Dokumenta for three letter combinations.[8]

The character tie is used for sequence concatenation in Z notation. It is encoded with U+2040 character tie in Unicode. For example "s⁀t" represents the concatenation sequence of sequences called s and t; and the notation "⁀/q" is the distributed concatenation of the sequence of sequences called q.[9]

The ligature tie is used in the logotypes of mobilkom Austria and its A1 brand.


name character HTML code Unicode Unicode name sample
double breve  ͝  ͝ U+035D combining double breve o͝o
ligature tie  ͡  ͡ U+0361 combining double inverted breve /k͡p/
ligature tie below,
 ͜  ͜ U+035C combining double breve below /k͜p/
‿ U+203F undertie /vuz‿ave/
tie ⁀ U+2040 character tie s⁀t
inverted undertie ⁔ U+2054 inverted undertie o⁔o

The diacritic signs triple inverted breve, triple breve, and double inverted breve have not yet been encoded for computers.

Unicode has characters similar to the tie:

  • U+23DC top parenthesis and U+23DD bottom parenthesis
  • U+2322 frown and U+2323 smile
  • U+2050 close up, which is a proofreading mark

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greek /h/, by Nick Nicholas.
  2. ^ Punctuation, by Nick Nicholas.
  3. ^ a b Ancient Greek music, Martin Litchfield West, 1994, p. 267.
  4. ^ SC2/WG2 N2594 - Proposal to encode combining double breve below
  5. ^ Uralic Phonetic Alphabet characters for the UCS, 2002-03-20.
  6. ^ Proposal to encode additional characters for the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet, Klaas Ruppel, Tero Aalto, Michael Everson, 2009-01-27.
  7. ^ Proposal for 3 Additional Double Diacritics, 2002-05-10.
  8. ^ Proposal to encode a combining diacritical mark for Low German dialect writing, Karl Pentzlin, 2008-10-25
  9. ^ The Z Notation: a reference manual, J. M. Spivey.