Latin alpha

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The letter Latin alpha with a lowercase Greek alpha shape, as in the African reference alphabet or the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages
The letter Latin alpha with a script-a shape, as in the International phonetic alphabet
The lowercase letter A: the double-story lowercase on the left; the single-story lowercase, also called literacy a or script-a, on the right. The letter can be confused with the Latin alpha.

Latin alpha (majuscule: Ɑ, minuscule: ɑ) or script a is a letter of the Latin alphabet, based on one lowercase form of a, or on the Greek lowercase alpha (α).


Although ⟨ɑ⟩ is normally just an allograph of ⟨a⟩, there are instances in which the two letters must be carefully distinguished:

In Cameroon languages, ⟨Ɑ ɑ⟩ must look like the classical lowercase Greek alpha to better differentiate it from the letter a in script form.

U+1D45 MODIFIER LETTER SMALL ALPHA is used in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet.[7]

U+AB30 LATIN SMALL LETTER BARRED ALPHA is used in the Teuthonista phonetic transcription system.[8]

U+AB64 LATIN SMALL LETTER INVERTED ALPHA is used in Americanist phonetic notation.[9]


Latin a, Latin alpha, and Greek alpha, using the fonts: Arial, Times New Roman, Gentium, Doulos SIL, Cambria, Linux Libertine, Andron Mega Corpus, Courier New, and Consolas. Second row: italics, using the same fonts.
The letter A

Encoding and forms[edit]

In Unicode, "Latin alpha" (Latin uppercase alpha.svgLatin lowercase alpha.svg) and "Latin script a" (Latin uppercase script a.svgLatin lowercase script a.svg) are considered to be the same character, which has an uppercase and a lowercase form and is referred to as "Latin letter alpha".

Character ɑ
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 11373 U+2C6D 593 U+0251
UTF-8 226 177 173 E2 B1 AD 201 145 C9 91
Numeric character reference Ɑ Ɑ ɑ ɑ

See also[edit]

  • Turned a discusses the turned Latin alpha
  • G, which also has two distinct minuscule forms


  1. ^ Priest, Lorna A.; Constable, Peter G. (2005). "Proposal to Encode Additional Latin Phonetic and Orthographic Characters" (PDF). Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  2. ^ "L'alphabet camerounais leçon 1.2" (in French). Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  3. ^ EYOH, Julius A.; Echebi Emmanuel SANDAMU (2009). "Mbembe Orthography Guide". Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  4. ^ HEDINGER, Robert (2011). "Akoose". Retrieved March 17, 2013. Among the short vowels the two a-sounds and the two o-sounds are in complementary distribution and therefore do not have to be distinguished in the orthography. However, there is a problem in the long vowels where the two pairs of sounds distinguish between distinct words. Up to now they have not been distinguished and it seems this doesn’t cause any problem to readers.
  5. ^ SPIELMANN, Kent (1998). "Mkaa' Orthography Review (Bakaka)". Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  6. ^ SMITH, Tony (2001). "Alphabet et orthographe Muyang" (in French). Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Everson, Michael; et al. (2002-03-20). "L2/02-141: Uralic Phonetic Alphabet characters for the UCS" (PDF).
  8. ^ Everson, Michael; Dicklberger, Alois; Pentzlin, Karl; Wandl-Vogt, Eveline (2011-06-02). "L2/11-202: Revised proposal to encode "Teuthonista" phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF).
  9. ^ Schneidemesser, Luanne von; et al. (2012-07-31). "L2/12-266: Proposal for Two Phonetic Characters" (PDF).