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The reference for the ugly Trema/Umlaut hack is [1] Pjacobi 09:42, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)


The indicated pronounciation for Catalan veïna is specific to the Barcelonian dialect. Others pronounce it as [ve'ina], for example in Valencia; of course all the intermediate possibilities may also be encountered.

In English[edit]

In English, does the diæresis (got a "æ" key on my keyboard, why not use it :) vanish when syllable division occurs between the two vowels? Like:

Bla bla coöperate bla bla co-
operate bla bla.

This how it is done in Dutch, and it makes some sense given that the word breaking clearly separates the two vowels and that the diæresis would thus be redundant. Thanks for the answer.

In English, we don't actually use the diaeresis much, the one example I can think of is daïs. Occasionally I've seen one on naive though I suspect it to be spurious. By convention, "cooperate" doesn't have one, though ideally it should be hyphenated as "co-operate" anyway. Chris 06:35, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Naïve is a correct spelling. Coöperate has become out-of-fashion, but it's still used by The New Yorker, I think. 'Cooperate' without a hyphen is a misspelling. Michael Z. 2005-03-15 14:39 Z
Cooperate is perfectly acceptable spelling. In the Oxford English Dictionary, none of the 17th century cites use a hypen or diaresis, and the latest cite, of a 1882 publication, spells it "cooperate". --Prosfilaes 06:53, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Just wondering why this page states that the ij ligature is "discouraged", when the main IJ (letter) page makes no mention of that? 12:46, 5 May 2005 (UTC)


The paragraph on Galician use of the diaeresis is not written in any dialect of English that I recognise ... In particular, what does "standed" mean? Some corrections are necessary. 18:31, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Diaereses in "diaeresis"[edit]

If you were using the conventions used by the New Yorker (e.g. coöperate), wouldn't you spell diaeresis as diäeresis? 10:44, 25 October 2005

No. The diaeresis is used to distinguish a digraph from a sequence. There is no digraph "ia" in English, so every time you see "ia", you know to read them separately. On the other hand, "cooperate" would be read as "coo-pe-rate" by normal English rules, so a diaeresis would be used to break it up. (Similarly, you wouldn't spell it "diaëresis", because the "ae" here is a digraph. Another option is "diëresis", which makes sense because "ie" is a digraph, but we don't want to use one here. I've never seen it, but—the people who drop the "a" are also usually the sort to skip diaereses.) A similar line of thought could be applied to "mediæval" vs "mediëval" vs "medieval"—tho I understand the originaters of the "medieval" spelling, being americans, are also inclined to pronounce the "ie" as a digraph anyway giving three syllables where god meant there to be four. —Felix the Cassowary (ɑe hɪː jɐ) 13:21, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Writing and speech

The article would do well to distinguish the two-dots diacritic from the phonetic reality of dieresis. There are plenty of cases where we pronounce a dieresis but would be taken for weirdos if we used the diacritic (e.g. create), as well as cases of where the orthography has the diacritic but people say a monophthong or diphthong. An example of the latter is of people called Noël having their name pronounced /nol/.


  • ... yet in both languages the o and the e and the i an the e are pronounced separately.

Does one not pronounce the final syllable as "sjent"? with "ci" as a hissing noise? Maybe it's my un-nativeness. Zanaq 14:40, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm a native speaker, and I pronounce it more or less as "shjent".--Prosfilaes 23:21, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Glad to hear I´m not totally insane. thanx. Zanaq 10:59, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
It depends on the accent in which you speak - i speak a southern accent, and so i say it as: (English pronunciation: /ko.əfɨsʲənʔ/ which sounds, with the e's and the later i sounding the same... Esc luver (talk) 23:30, 19 June 2010 (UTC)


As I understand it, the diacritical mark ¨ itself is what is called trema. It can mark either a diaeresis (the division of two adjacent vowels discussed in this article) or an Umlaut. If this weren't the case, there would be no word for the "two little dots" themselves. Therefore, the German Wikipedia has separate articles de:Trema for the "dots" and for their function as diaeresis and umlaut. Hence I think that Tréma shouldn't be a redirect to this article but needs an own article with links to Diaeresis and Umlaut. Gestumblindi 01:46, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I have only rarely heard trema as an English word. It isn't in the OED, the American Heritage Dictionary, or Merriam-Webster's. Normally in English, I think we just use the word "diaeresis" for both the diacritic and the division of one syllable into two. This is similar to "umlaut", which denotes both a sound change process and a diacritic. Lesgles (talk) 03:38, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
 : Unicode calls it a diaeresis, and I've only heard trema used for non-umlaut functions of diaeresis in a German context. I think the current division is probably best for English.--Prosfilaes 03:42, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
let's be clear that this is the article on diaeresis, the separate pronunciation of two adjacent vowels in various languages. The diacritic used to indicate this is treated at umlaut (diacritic)=diaeresis (diacritic). dab () 09:44, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
At least the article Umlaut (diacritic) is confusing things in that it states wrongly that trema=diaeresis as opposed to umlaut (diacritic), even talks about The need to distinguish between Umlaut and Trema - whereas "trema" in fact is nothing but the name of the two dots that are used for umlaut (diacritic) als well as diaeresis. So, there is in fact a need to distinguish between umlaut (diacritic) and diaeresis, whereas the trema is encompassing both. Gestumblindi 16:58, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
This is not clear. On the Unicode mailing list [2], (username unicode-ml, password unicode), Marc Wilhelm Küster wrote "On the one hand, DIN 5007 (the German ordering standard) indeed distinguishes between umlaut and trema, handling them quite differently." and Asmus Freytag [3] wrote "If there is anything in UCA that would make it impossible to design correct collation tables for German university libraries, when CGJ is used with Trema, but not for umlaut, then you have an issue." If there really was a clear distinction, I would think someone would have pointed it out on the linguist- and typographer-heavy Unicode list. From years on the list, Asmus Freytag has struck me as a generally reliable source of information.--Prosfilaes 17:42, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, sounds convincing. Gestumblindi 01:08, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Bad link[edit]

The table of diacritics still links to the umlaut mark. Personally, I think it's a bit pedantic to distinguish the two based on minor typographic variations, but if you're going to do that you should change the links accordingly. FilipeS 15:37, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Nevermind. I've dealt with it. See diaeresis (diacritic). FilipeS 23:19, 15 May 2006 (UTC)


Spanish wikipedia has lots of useful info and background. Someone should translate and merge.

Please revise the mention of diaeresis in Spanish. The only case for synaeresis in Spanish is "ue" after g or q. Only after g there is the possibility of diaeresis and it is signaled by the standard diaeresis diacritic mark ( ¨ ). The acute accent is never used to signal a diaeresis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

The article mentions that "in Spanish this indicates a different pronunciation of hard G" which in fact is false. How does that happen in the word for penguin, pingüino [piŋ'gʷino] as in /piŋ'gino/ i.e. same pronunciation of /g/ as /g/, or the word for prediction agüero [a'ɣʷero], which would be pronounced /a'ɣero/ without the diaeresis, i.e. without a change in the pronunciation of /g/ as a voiced velar fricative when between two vowels. I would say that it indicates a diphthongization, and not a consonantal change from /g/ to /gʷ/ or from /ɣ/ to /ɣʷ/. cullen (talk) 16:00, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

I think I just understood what whoever wrote the part I was contesting wrote, putting a u between g and a front vowel, e.g. i or e is how to mark the change in the pronunciaiton of g which would be pronounced like j in front of vowels i and e, but pronounced like 'hard g' /g/ in the sequences (-)gue(-) and (-)gui(-). This has to do with letter sequences, not the diaeresis. cullen (talk) 16:12, 24 August 2010 (UTC)



Thanks, but that's rather obscure and high-falutin'. :-) FilipeS (talk) 23:07, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter uses a diaeresis for the word "reëchoed" about half-way through the chapter The Elf-Child and the Minister. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

what the mark does[edit]

The text presently says that the mark indicates "that two adjacent vowels are to be pronounced separately". However, the mark appears on just one letter, so it, rather, indicates that a vowel is to be pronounced separately from the one to its left. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Diaeresis of diphthong vs. vowel digraph[edit]

The fundamental difference between original Ancient Greek diaeresis and modern diaeresis needs to be clarified in the article. Diaeresis in Ancient Greek breaks up diphthongs for the sake of meter, but diaeresis in modern languages breaks up a vowel digraph (at least in the examples I can think of in English, French, and Modern Greek).

Similarly, diaeresis in Ancient Greek marks a slightly different pronunciation of the same word for the sake of meter, but diaeresis in modern languages marks a different word with an entirely different pronunciation. The Homeric diaeresis ἐΰ "well" is the same word as the synaeresis εὖ, but French naïf (na-if) with diaeresis is not the same as non-existent naif (nèf).

I thought I'd note this down for others until I get around to revising the article myself. — Erutuon (talk) 22:09, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that ancient and modern uses are really all that different, except that in modern languages there are often a greater number of diphthong-appearing spellings which are not actually pronounced as diphthongs (which was already often the case with EI and OU even in ancient Greek, of course). AnonMoos (talk) 02:33, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, the difference is that Homeric diaeresis was phonetic (after all, the Homeric epics were orally composed), while modern diaeresis is often merely orthographical (as in the French example above, where the pronunciations na-if and nèf have no relationship except in how they are written). Diaeresis means separation: Homeric diaeresis is separate pronunciation of vowel sounds, but French diaeresis is separate pronunciation of vowel letters. — Erutuon (talk) 03:31, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

a couple of uses not mentioned[edit]

Should there be made mention of a couple of uses of the diaeresis (1) In the name Brontë the diaeresis indicates that the final e is not a Silent e, but is pronounced (2) in the name Pierre Lecomte du Noüy it indicates that the ou and y are two distinct vowels - it could, conceivably, separate o from uy, or even three vowels, o, u, and y? TomS TDotO (talk) 12:00, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

It's a rather idiosyncratic use of the diaeresis sign. At any rate, the proper place for remarks on spelling is the article umlaut (diacritic). FilipeS (talk) 12:53, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Merger with Hiatus (linguistics) change to dab page[edit]

There's one issue with merging this article with Hiatus (linguistics): hiatus refers to a state, whereas diaeresis sometimes refers to a change — only in Ancient Greek, I think. Homer sometimes changes diphthongs to syllabic vowels (or more correctly, retains syllabic vowels) that are pronounced as diphthongs or monophthongs in later Greek. We could merge the text already in this article with Hiatus, but if we were to cover the Homeric poetic use of the term, it would have to be separate. — Eru·tuon 18:59, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Already merged!
There was actually almost nothing to merge with hiatus; the article was a combination of dab page and a summary of umlaut (diacritic). I moved a few details over to that article and reduced this to a dab. 
There does seem to be some confusion over whether diaeresis refers to separate vowels or to diphthongs, perhaps related to the (Modern) Greek use of 'diphthong' for 'digraph' and therefore for monophthong. 'Hiatus' is less ambiguous in that regard. 
It sounds like the Homeric use, which in any case did not occur in this article, is a bit of a misnomer, since it's not a change but the lack of one. Why would it be inappropriate at hiatus? [Ah, I see, it was the poetic separation of a diphthong into separate syllables for the sake of meter.] Could it be an additional dab line here? — kwami (talk) 19:33, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
That's probably the right thing to do, since very few readers will be looking for the Ancient Greek use. — Eru·tuon 20:24, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
My Spanish dictionary gives an example of a similar use in Spanish poetry, though I've found online that that usage is archaic. 
Thanks for cleaning up. But is synaeresis typically used for historical sound change, or for a poetic effect? Should it maybe be given as a cf. under the first def? — kwami (talk) 21:57, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't know myself, since I'm only familiar with the Ancient Greek use of the term. I put synaeresis after the linguistic definition of diaeresis because it could apply to the two definitions above it, but perhaps it would be better immediately after the poetic definition, since, once we write a Diaeresis (poetry) article, the two terms will be parallels to each other. — Eru·tuon 22:26, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Meanwhile I've added an example for English (I've seen the term used for "righteous", but who uses 3 syll for that anymore?), but 'hiatus' tends to be a static descriptor, as you've noted, whereas synaeresis implies some change, so for now I think it's a better parallel to the first def. — kwami (talk) 00:13, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm redirecting links here to the appropriate articles. Almost all go to trema (diacritic). However, I'm linking most of them through the rd's diaeresis (diacritic) or umlaut (diacritic) so that if the article is ever resplit, much of the rd work will be prepared. — kwami (talk) 18:28, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Dab cleanup[edit]

   A colleague reverted, complaining "that deleted half of the dab", but clearly ignored my edit summary

Dab-CU done per WP:MoSDab, except Dabs may only interlang-lk to other Dabs

A key directive they would have found at WP:MoSDab#Individual entries (above that section's first subsection) -- along with (emphasis just as on the MoS page)

Each entry should have exactly one navigable (blue) link to efficiently guide readers to the most relevant article for that use of the ambiguous term. Do not wikilink any other words in the line.

-- is the following:

The description associated with a link should be kept to a minimum, just sufficient to allow the reader to find the correct link. In many cases, the title of the article alone will be sufficient and no additional description is necessary. ...

And the removal (of fully 75.7% of the content, actually!) was because the kind of material removed may not appear on a Dab page. The reverter, and other colleagues, are welcome to use the removed content within articles -- as i did (10 minutes before the disputed removals, for the record) with

"(also spelled diæresis or dieresis; from the Greek noun διαίρεσις diaíresis 'taking apart' or 'division', from the verb διαιρεῖν diaireîn)"

from the former lead of the accompanying Dab page -- but don't revert removals from Dab pages without understanding what a Wikipedia Dab has to be, and what it can't do.
--Jerzyt 05:58, 21 October 2010 (UTC)