In typesetting, the hook or tail is a diacritic mark attached to letters in many alphabets. In shape it looks like a hook and it can be attached below as a descender, on top as an ascender and sometimes to the side. The orientation of the hook can change its meaning: when it is below and curls to the left it can be interpreted as a palatal hook, and when it curls to the right is called hook tail or tail and can be interpreted as a retroflex hook. It should not be mistaken with the hook above, a diacritical mark used in Vietnamese, or the rhotic hook, used in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Letters with hook
It could be argued that the hook was used to derive the letter J from the letter I, or the letter Eng (ŋ) from the letter N, however these letters are usually not identified as being formed with the hook.
Most letters with hook are used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, and many languages use them (along with capitals) representing the same sounds.
The hook often attaches to the top part of the letter, sometimes replacing the ascender.
|Ɓ ɓ||B with hook||top|
|Ƈ ƈ||C with hook||top|
|Ɗ ɗ||D with hook||top|
|Ɖ ɖ||D with tail or African D||bottom|
|ᶒ||E with retroflex hook||bottom|
|Ƒ ƒ||F with hook||bottom|
|Ɠ ɠ||G with hook||top|
|Ɦ ɦ||H with hook||top|
|ɧ||Heng with hook||top|
|Ƙ ƙ||K with hook||top|
|Ɱ ɱ||M with hook||bottom|
|Ɲ ɲ||N with left hook||bottom left|
|ᶇ||N with palatal hook||bottom right|
|ɳ||N with retroflex hook||bottom right|
|Ƥ ƥ||P with hook||top|
|Ɋ ɋ||Q with hook tail||bottom|
|Ɽ ɽ||R with tail||bottom left|
|Ƭ ƭ||T with hook||top|
|Ʈ ʈ||T with retroflex hook||bottom|
|ᶙ||U with retroflex hook||bottom|
|Ʋ ʋ||V with hook or script V||top|
|ⱱ||V with right hook||top|
|Ⱳ ⱳ||W with hook||top right|
|Ƴ ƴ||Y with hook||top right|
|Ȥ ȥ||Z with hook||bottom|
|Ӄ ӄ||Ka with hook||bottom right|
|Ӈ ӈ||En with hook||bottom right|
|Ӽ ӽ||Ha with hook||bottom right|
|Ԓ ԓ||El with hook||bottom right|
Unicode has the combining diacritics U+0321 ̡ combining palatized hook below (HTML
̡) and U+0322 ̢ combining retroflex hook below (HTML
̢) but these are not recommended to be used with letters, and should be used to illustrate the hooks themselves. Instead Unicode recommends the use of characters that already include the hook.
The U+02DE ˞ modifier letter rhotic hook (HTML
˞) is used to mark an r-colored vowel.
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