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Ƣ ƣ
Writing systemLatin script
Language of originAzerbaijani language
Phonetic usage[ɣ]
Unicode codepointU+01A2, U+01A3
Alphabetical position8 (after G)
Time period~1900 to 1983
Descendants • (None)
Φ φ
Փ փ
Ֆ ֆ
Transliteration equivalentsğ, q, g, gh, Ғ
Writing directionLeft-to-Right
This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The letter Ƣ (minuscule: ƣ) has been used in the Latin orthographies of various, mostly Turkic languages, such as Azeri or the Jaꞑalif orthography for Tatar.[1] It is also included in pinyin alphabets for Kazakh and Uyghur; and in the 1928 Soviet Kurdish Latin alphabet.[2] It usually represents a voiced velar fricative [ɣ] but is sometimes used for a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ]. All orthographies that used the letter have been phased out and so it is not well-supported in fonts. It can still be seen in pre-1983 books published in the People’s Republic of China.[citation needed]

Letters Ƣ and ƣ of Sütterlin script

Historically, it is derived from a handwritten form of the small Latin letter q around 1900. The majuscule is then based on the minuscule. Its use for [ɣ] stems from the linguistic tradition of representing such sounds (and similar ones) by q in Turkic languages and in transcriptions of Arabic or Persian (compare kaf and qaf).[3]

In alphabetical order, it comes between G and H.

Modern replacements[edit]


In Unicode, the majuscule Ƣ is encoded in the Latin Extended-B block at U+01A2 and the minuscule ƣ is encoded at U+01A3.[4] The assigned names, "LATIN CAPITAL LETTER OI" and "LATIN SMALL LETTER OI" respectively, are acknowledged by the Unicode Consortium to be mistakes, as gha is unrelated to the letters O and I.[5] The Unicode Consortium therefore has provided the character name aliases "LATIN CAPITAL LETTER GHA" and "LATIN SMALL LETTER GHA".[4]

Computing codes[edit]

Character information
Preview Ƣ ƣ
Encodings decimal hex dec hex
Unicode 418 U+01A2 419 U+01A3
UTF-8 198 162 C6 A2 198 163 C6 A3
Numeric character reference Ƣ Ƣ ƣ ƣ

In popular culture[edit]

Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow features an episode purporting to be the story of a Soviet officer, Tchitcherine, dispatched to Kirghizstan to serve on a committee tasked with devising an alphabet for the Kirghiz language. Tchitcherine's particular contribution is the invention of the letter Ƣ, which is thus perhaps the only obsolete letter of a Central Asian language that may be familiar to the non-specialist, English-reading public through a widely circulated novel.


  1. ^ "Some examples of LATIN LETTER OI (gha) (U+01A2, U+01A3) in Tatar and Uighur printing, with remarks on the recommended glyphs" (PDF).
  2. ^ Культура и письменность Востока [Eastern Culture and Literature] (in Russian). Vol. №2. 1928.
  3. ^ "Unicode mailing list".
  4. ^ a b "Unicode chart" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Unicode Technical Note #27: Known Anomalies in Unicode Character Names".