Hook (diacritic)

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For other meanings of hook, see Hook (disambiguation).
Diacritics in Latin & Greek
acute( ´ )
double acute( ˝ )
grave( ` )
double grave(  ̏ )
breve( ˘ )
inverted breve(  ̑ )
caron, háček( ˇ )
cedilla( ¸ )
circumflex( ˆ )
diaeresis, umlaut( ¨ )
dot( · )
hook, hook above(   ̡   ̢  ̉ )
horn(  ̛ )
iota subscript(  ͅ  )
macron( ¯ )
ogonek, nosinė( ˛ )
perispomene(  ͂  )
ring( ˚, ˳ )
rough breathing( )
smooth breathing( ᾿ )
Marks sometimes used as diacritics
apostrophe( )
bar( ◌̸ )
colon( : )
comma( , )
hyphen( ˗ )
tilde( ~ )
Diacritical marks in other scripts
Arabic diacritics
Early Cyrillic diacritics
kamora(  ҄ )
pokrytie(  ҇ )
titlo(  ҃ )
Gurmukhī diacritics
Hebrew diacritics
Indic diacritics
anusvara( )
chandrabindu( )
nukta( )
virama( )
chandrakkala( )
IPA diacritics
Japanese diacritics
dakuten( )
handakuten( )
Khmer diacritics
Syriac diacritics
Thai diacritics
Dotted circle
Punctuation marks
Logic symbols
Ɓ ɓ
Ƈ ƈ
Ɗ ɗ
Ƒ ƒ
Ɠ ɠ
Ƙ ƙ
Ƥ ƥ
Ƭ ƭ
Ƴ ƴ
Ȥ ȥ

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[edit]

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.

If it attaches to the bottom part of the letter, it can curl to the left (and could be a palatal hook), or to the right (and could be a retroflex hook).

Latin alphabet
Letter Name Hook position
A with retroflex hook bottom
Script with retroflex hook bottom
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
E with retroflex hook bottom
Schwa with retroflex hook bottom
Epsilon with retroflex hook bottom
Reversed epsilon 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
I with retroflex hook bottom
Ƙ ƙ K with hook top
Ɱ ɱ M with hook bottom
Ɲ ɲ N with left hook bottom left
N with palatal hook bottom right
ɳ N with retroflex hook bottom right
Open o with retroflex hook bottom
Ƥ ƥ P with hook top
Ɋ ɋ Q with hook tail bottom
Ɽ ɽ R with tail bottom left
Esh with retroflex hook bottom
Ƭ ƭ T with hook top
Ʈ ʈ T with retroflex hook bottom
U with retroflex hook bottom
Ʋ ʋ V with hook or script V top
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
Ezh with retroflex hook bottom
Cyrillic alphabet
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.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]