Breve

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◌̆
Breve

A breve (/ˈbrv/ (listen), less often /ˈbrɛv/ (listen), neuter form of the Latin brevis "short, brief") is the diacritic mark ˘, shaped like the bottom half of a circle. As used in Ancient Greek, it is also called brachy, βραχύ. It resembles the caron (the wedge or háček in Czech, mäkčeň in Slovak) but is rounded, in contrast to the angular tip of the caron. In many forms of Latin, ˘ is used for a shorter, softer variant of a vowel, such as "Ĭ", where the sound is nearly identical to the English /i/. (See: Latin IPA)

Breve vs. caron
Breve Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ Y̆ y̆
Caron Ǎ ǎ Ě ě Ǐ ǐ Ǒ ǒ Ǔ ǔ Y̌ y̌

Length[edit]

The breve sign indicates a short vowel, as opposed to the macron ¯, which indicates long vowels, in academic transcription. It is often used that way in dictionaries and textbooks of Latin, Ancient Greek, Tuareg and other languages. However, there is a frequent convention of indicating only the long vowels. It is then understood that a vowel with no macron is short. If the vowel length is unknown, a breve as well as a macron are used in historical linguistics (Ā̆ ā̆ Ē̆ ē̆ Ī̆ ī̆ Ō̆ ō̆ Ū̆ ū̆ Ȳ̆ ȳ̆).

Some typefaces differentiate Cyrillic style (top) and Latin style breve (bottom)
Some typefaces differentiate Cyrillic style (top) and Latin style breve (bottom)

In Cyrillic script, a breve is used for Й. In Belarusian, it is used for both the Cyrillic Ў (semivowel U) and in the Latin (Łacinka) Ŭ. Ў was also used in Cyrillic Uzbek under the Soviet Union. The Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet uses a breve on Ӂ to represent a voiced postalveolar affricate /d͡ʒ/ (corresponding to ⟨g⟩ before a front vowel in the Latin script for Moldovan). In Chuvash, a breve is used for Cyrillic letters Ӑ (A-breve) and Ӗ (E-breve). In Itelmen orthography, it is used for Ӑ, О̆ and Ў. The traditional Cyrillic breve differs in shape and is thicker on the edges of the curve and thinner in the middle, as opposed to the Latin one,[1] but the Unicode encoding is the same.

Contrastive use of Cyrillic kratka (for consonant [j]) and Latin breve (for short vowel [ĭ]) above и in Russian-Nenets dictionary

In Emilian, ĕ ŏ are used to represent [ɛ, ɔ] in dialects where also long [ɛː, ɔː] occur.

In Esperanto, u with breve (ŭ) represents a non-syllabic u in diphthongs //, analogous to Belarusian ў.

In the transcription of Sinhala, the breve over an m or an n indicates a prenasalized consonant; for example, n̆da is used to represent [ⁿda].

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, a breve over a phonetic symbol is used to indicate extra-shortness.

Other uses[edit]

In other languages, it is used for other purposes.

Letters with breve[edit]

Encoding[edit]

Unicode and HTML code (decimal numeric character reference) for breve characters.

Name Letter Unicode HTML
Breve (spacing) ˘ U+02D8 ˘
Combining breve ◌̆ U+0306 ̆
Combining breve below ◌̮ U+032E ̮
Combining double breve ◌͝◌ U+035D ͝
Combining double breve below ◌͜◌ U+035C ͜
Breve with inverted breve (spacing) U+AB5B ꭛
Latin
A-breve Ă
ă
U+0102
U+0103
Ă
ă
E-breve Ĕ
ĕ
U+0114
U+0115
Ĕ
ĕ
I-breve Ĭ
ĭ
U+012C
U+012D
Ĭ
ĭ
O-breve Ŏ
ŏ
U+014E
U+014F
Ŏ
ŏ
U-breve Ŭ
ŭ
U+016C
U+016D
Ŭ
ŭ
Azerbaijani, Tatar, Turkish
G-breve Ğ
ğ
U+011E
U+011F
Ğ
ğ
Vietnamese
A-sắc-breve
U+1EAE
U+1EAF
Ắ
ắ
A-huyền-breve
U+1EB0
U+1EB1
Ằ
ằ
A-hỏi-breve
U+1EB2
U+1EB3
Ẳ
ẳ
A-ngã-breve
U+1EB4
U+1EB5
Ẵ
ẵ
A-nặng-breve
U+1EB6
U+1EB7
Ặ
ặ
Cyrillic
A-breve Ӑ
ӑ
U+04D0
U+04D1
Ӑ
ӑ
Ye-breve Ӗ
ӗ
U+04D6
U+04D7
Ӗ
ӗ
Zhe-breve Ӂ
ӂ
U+04C1
U+04C2
Ӂ
ӂ
Short I Й
й
U+0419
U+0439
Й
й
O-breve О̆
о̆
U+041E U+0306
U+043E U+0306
О̆
о̆
Short U Ў
ў
U+040E
U+045E
Ў
ў
Greek
Alpha with brachy
U+1FB8
U+1FB0
Ᾰ
ᾰ
Iota with brachy
U+1FD8
U+1FD0
Ῐ
ῐ
Upsilon with brachy
U+1FE8
U+1FE0
Ῠ
ῠ
Arabic, Hittite, Akkadian, Egyptian transliteration[3]
H-breve below
U+1E2A
U+1E2B
Ḫ
ḫ
Hebrew transliteration[3]
E-cedilla-breve
U+1E1C
U+1E1D
Ḝ
ḝ

In LaTeX the controls \u{o} and \breve{o} put a breve over the letter o.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Бреве кириллическое, "кратка" [Cyrillic breve ("kratka")] (in Russian). ParaType.
  2. ^ For example, that word 한글 han-geul is romanized in McCune-Reischauer as han'gŭl. The spelling han-geul is based on South Korea's Revised Romanization of Korean adopted in 2000 in part for ease in computer use, not on McCune-Reischauer. It is common, for convenience, to omit writing all diacritical marks in McCune-Reishchauer including breves, in which case the word is spelled hangul not han'gŭl. North Korea uses a variant of McCune-Reischauer that also utilizes breves for those two vowels.
  3. ^ a b "Code chart for Latin Extended Additional (U+1E00–U+1EFF)" (PDF). The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2016-11-12.

External links[edit]