ʼn

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ʼn or N-apostrophe is a Unicode codepoint formerly used in the Afrikaans language of South Africa. The codepoint is currently deprecated,[1] and the Unicode standard recommends that a sequence of an apostrophe followed by n be used instead,[2] as the use of deprecated characters such as ʼn is “strongly discouraged”.[3] It is however in quite general use in the Afrikaans versions of Facebook and other publications, probably to avoid the tendency of auto-correction (designed for English quotation marks) to turn a typed ′n into ‘n which is incorrect but common.

Grammar[edit]

The letter is the indefinite article of Afrikaans, and is pronounced the same as the English indefinite article a, or perhaps the i in "sit". The symbol itself came about as a contraction of its Dutch equivalent een meaning "one" (just as English an comes from Anglo-Saxon ān, also meaning "one").

Dit is ʼn boom.
[dət əs ə bʊəm]
This is a tree.

When ʼn comes before a vowel, it may be pronounced the same as English an. This pronunciation is not common at all and may be limited to older speakers – in general, the pronunciation mentioned above is used in all cases.

Dit is ʼn appel.
[dət əs n apəl] (also [-ɦn apəl])
This is an apple.

In Afrikaans, ʼn is never capitalised in standard texts. Instead, the first letter of the following word is capitalised.

ʼn Mens is hier.
A man is here.

An exception to this rule is in newspaper headlines, or sentences and phrases where all the letters are capitalised.

’N NASIONALE NOODTOESTAND
A NATIONAL EMERGENCY SITUATION

Miscellaneous[edit]

The upper case, or majuscule form has never been included in any international keyboards Therefore, it is decomposable by simply combining ʼ (U+02BC) and N. 〔ʼN〕

It is also a legacy compatibility character for the ISO/IEC 6937.

See also[edit]

References[edit]