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Turkish use[edit]

In Turkish, the ⟨ğ⟩ /ɰ/ is known as yumuşak ge [jumuʃak ɟe] (soft g) and is the ninth letter of the Turkish alphabet. It is very similar to the blødt g 'soft g' in Danish. It has more than one function; it may lengthen the preceding vowel, which is normally short in Turkish without the ⟨ğ⟩ (for example, dağ (mountain) is pronounced similar to [daː], with just a small fluctuation in sound in the end[citation needed]), it may be used before a vowel in ‿ or ʲ form as sandhi for back vowels and front vowels respectively and it often creates a small fluctuation in sound even in cases where it lengthens the preceding vowel. The ⟨ğ⟩ must follow a vowel, and thus cannot be the initial letter of a word. Its exact function varies throughout Turkey and with regard to the particular vowel with which it is used: it adds a rising of the back of the tongue (as for /g/ or /k/) to /a/ and /ı/, a /j/ glide to /e/ or /i/, and a /β/ glide to the rounded vowels /o/, /u/, /ö/ and /ü/.

The letter was once pronounced as a consonant, /ɣ/, the voiced velar fricative, until very recently in the history of Turkish, but has undergone a sound change by which the consonant was completely lost and compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel occurred, hence its function today. The sound change is not yet complete in some Turkish dialects. The previous consonantal nature of the sound is evinced by earlier English loanwords from Turkish, such as yogurt/yoghurt (modern Turkish yoğurt) and agha (modern Turkish ağa), and the corresponding velar fricative found in cognate words in the closely-related Azerbaijani language and the Turkish-influenced Crimean Tatar language. In Old Turkic (as well as earlier during Proto-Turkic times), this voiced velar fricative originated as an allophone of /g/, the voiced velar stop, when it occurred intervocalically (compare Old Turkic yogurt, a simple /g/). The expected process of lenition (weakening and eventual loss of the intervocalic Proto-Turkic consonant /g/) is thus complete in Turkish and underway in most other Common Turkic languages.

The letter provides a smooth transition between vowels since they do not occur consecutively in native Turkish words (in loanwords they are separated by a glottal stop). In rare cases, the IPA symbol ⟨ɣ⟩ or the Greek letter ⟨γ⟩ is used. Some webpages may also use ⟨Ð⟩ and ⟨ð⟩ because of improper encoding; see Turkish characters for the reasons of this.

Azerbaijani and Crimean Tatar use[edit]

In Azerbaijani and Crimean Tatar, ğ represents /ɣ/, the voiced velar fricative.

Laz use[edit]

Laz is written using two alphabets: the Georgian script and an extended Turkish Latin alphabet. In the Latin alphabet, ğ represents /ɣ/, the voiced velar fricative, and corresponds to the Georgian letter Ghani.

Character encoding[edit]

Character Ğ ğ
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 286 U+011E 287 U+011F
UTF-8 196 158 C4 9E 196 159 C4 9F
Numeric character reference Ğ Ğ ğ ğ
ISO 8859-3 171 AB 187 BB
ISO 8859-9 208 D0 240 F0

See also[edit]