Letters with diacritics are arranged in alphabetic order according to their base: ⟨å⟩ is alphabetised with ⟨a⟩, not at the end of the alphabet, as it would be in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. Substantially-modified letters, such as ⟨ſ ⟩ (a variant of ⟨s⟩) and ⟨ɔ⟩ (based on ⟨o⟩), are placed at the end.
⟨ʼb⟩ (capital ⟨ʼB⟩) is used in the Bari alphabet for /ɓ/.
⟨ʼd⟩ (capital ⟨ʼD⟩) is used in the Bari alphabet for /ɗ/.
⟨ʼy⟩ (capital ⟨ʼY⟩) is used in the Bari alphabet for /ʔʲ/. It is also used for this sound in the Hausa language in Nigeria, but in Niger, Hausa ⟨ʼy⟩ is replaced with ⟨ƴ ⟩.
⟨aa⟩ is used in the orthographies of Dutch, Finnish and other languages with phonemic long vowels for /aː/, as well as in the orthography of Northumbrian. It was formerly used in Danish and Norwegian (and still is in some proper names) to represent a single vowel, which in Danish is often [ɔ] or [ʌ], until it was replaced with the letter ⟨å⟩.
⟨ãe⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐ̃ĩ̯/.
⟨ai⟩ is used in many languages, typically representing the diphthong /aɪ/. In English, as a result of the Great Vowel Shift, the vowel of ⟨ai⟩ has shifted from this value to /eɪ/ as in pain and rain, while it may have a sound of /ə/ in unstressed syllables like bargain and certain(ly), or /ɛ/ in the stressed syllable of again(st) (AmE), depending on the word; while in French, a different change, monophthongization, has occurred, resulting in the digraph representing /ɛ/. A similar change has also occurred during the development of Greek, resulting in ⟨αι⟩ and the ⟨ε⟩ both having the same sound; originally /ɛ/, later /e/. In German orthography, it represents /aɪ/ as in Kaiser (which derived from Latin caesar). However, most German words use ⟨ei⟩ for /aɪ/. In the Kernowek Standard orthography of Cornish, it represents /eː/, mostly in loanwords from English such as paint.
⟨aí⟩ is used in Irish orthography for /iː/ between a broad and a slender consonant.
⟨aî⟩ is used in French orthography for /ɛː/, as in aînesse /ɛːnɛs/ or maître /mɛːtʁ/.
⟨ái⟩ is used in Irish orthography for /aː/ between a broad and a slender consonant.
⟨ãi⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐ̃ĩ̯/. It has, thus, the same value as ⟨ãe⟩, but the latter is much more common.
⟨an⟩ is used in many languages to write a nasal vowel. In Portuguese orthography it is used for /ɐ̃/ before a consonant, in French it represents /ɑ̃/, and in many West African languages it represents /ã/.
⟨ån⟩ is used in the Walloon language, for the nasal vowel /ɔ̃/.
⟨aŋ⟩ is used in Lakhota for the nasal vowel /ã/
⟨ao⟩ is used in the Irish orthography for /iː/ or /eː/, depending on dialect, between broad consonants. In French orthography, it is found in a few words such as paonne representing /a/. In Malagasy, it represents /o/, and in Piedmontese, /au̯/. In Wymysorys, it represents /a/ (also spelt ⟨å⟩).
⟨ão⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐ̃ũ̯/.
⟨au⟩ in English is a result of various linguistic changes from Middle English, having shifted from */au/ to /ɔː/. In a number of dialects, this has merged with /ɑː/. It occasionally represents the diphthong /aʊ/, as in flautist. Other pronunciations are /æ/ in North American English aunt and laugh, /eɪ/ in gauge, /oʊ/ as in gauche and chauffeur, and /ə/ as in meerschaum and restaurant.
In French orthography, ⟨au⟩ represents /o/ or sometimes /ɔ/. It most frequently appears in the inflectional ending marking plurals of certain kinds of words like cheval ('horse') or canal ('channel'), respectively having a plural in chevaux and canaux.
In Icelandic orthography, it represents /œy/.
⟨äu⟩ is used in German orthography for the diphthong /ɔɪ/ in declension of native words with au; elsewhere, /ɔɪ/ is written as ⟨eu⟩. In words where ä|u is separated in two syllables, mostly of Latin origin, ⟨äu⟩ is pronounced as /ɛ.ʊ/, as in Matthäus (one German form for Matthew).
⟨aû⟩ was used in French orthography but has been replaced by the trigraph eau.
⟨aw⟩ is used in English orthography in ways that parallel English ⟨au⟩, though it appears more often at the end of a word. In Cornish, ⟨aw⟩ represents the diphthong /aʊ/ or /æʊ/. In Welsh orthography, ⟨aw⟩ represents the diphthong /au/.
⟨ay⟩ is used in English orthography in ways that parallel English ⟨ai⟩, though it appears more often at the end of a word. Unlike ⟨ai⟩, ⟨ay⟩ functions almost the same as ⟨ey⟩ (the /i:/ sound in key) at the end of variant spellings of names like Lindsay and Ramsay.
In French orthography, it is usually used to represent /ɛj/ before a vowel (as in ayant) and /ɛ.i/ before a consonant (as in pays).
⟨bb⟩ is used in Pinyin for /b/ in languages such as Yi, where b stands for /p/. In English, doubling a letter indicates that the previous vowel is short (so bb represents /b/). In ISO romanized Korean, it is used for the fortis sound /p͈/, otherwise spelled ⟨pp⟩; an example is hobbang. In Hadza it is the rare ejective /pʼ/. In several African languages it is implosive /ɓ/. In Cypriot Arabic it is /bʱ/.
⟨bd⟩ is used in English orthography for /d/ in a few words of Greek origin, such as bdellatomy. When not initial, it represents /bd/, as in abdicate.
⟨bh⟩ is used in transcriptions of Indo-Aryan languages for a murmured voiced bilabial plosive (/bʱ/), and for equivalent sounds in other languages. In Juǀʼhoan, it's used for the similar prevoiced aspirated plosive /b͡pʰ/. In Irish orthography, it stands for the phonemes /w/ and /vʲ/, for example mo bhád /mə waːd̪ˠ/ ('my boat'), bheadh /vʲɛx/ ('would be'). In the orthography used in Guinea before 1985, ⟨bh⟩ was used in Pular (a Fula language) for the voiced bilabial implosive /ɓ/, whereas in Xhosa, Zulu, and Shona, ⟨b⟩ represents the implosive and ⟨bh⟩ represents the plosive /b/.
⟨bm⟩ is used in Cornish for an optionally pre-occluded /m/; that is, it is pronounced either /m/ or /mː/ (in any position); /ᵇm/ (before a consonant or finally); or /bm/ (before a vowel); examples are mabm ('mother') or hebma ('this').
⟨cc⟩ is used in Andean Spanish for loanwords from Quechua or Aymara with /q/, as in Ccozcco (modern Qusqu) ('Cuzco'). In many European languages, ⟨cc⟩ before front vowels represents a sequence such as /ks/, e.g. English success, French occire, Spanish accidente (dialectally /ks/ or /kθ/); this is not the case of Italian, where a ⟨cc⟩ before a front vowel represents a geminated /tʃ/, as in lacci /ˈlat.tʃi/. In Piedmontese and Lombard, ⟨cc⟩ represents the /tʃ/ sound at the end of a word. In Hadza it is the glottalized click /ᵑǀˀ/. Recently, in English, it has become a meme to replace the letters ⟨ck⟩ or ⟨ct⟩ with ⟨cc⟩ at the ends of words. Notable examples include thick/thicc, protect/protecc, and attack/attacc, as well as "suck/succ".
⟨cg⟩ was used for /dʒ/ in Old English (ecg in Old English sounded like 'edge' in Modern English). It is used for the click /ǀχ/ in Naro, and in the Tindall orthography of Khoekhoe for the voiceless dental click /ǀ/.
⟨ch⟩ is used in several languages. In English, it can represent /tʃ/, /k/, /ʃ/, /x/ or /h/. See article.
⟨çh⟩ is used in Manx Gaelic for /tʃ/, as a distinction from ⟨ch⟩ which is used for /x/.
⟨ci⟩ is used in the Italian alphabet for /tʃ/ before the non-front vowel letters ⟨a, o, u⟩. In English orthography, it usually represents /ʃ/ whenever it precedes any vowel other than ⟨i⟩. In Polish orthography, it represents /t͡ɕ/ whenever it precedes a vowel, and /t͡ɕi/ whenever it precedes a consonant (or in the end of the word), and is considered a graphic variant of ć appearing in other situations.
⟨ck⟩ is used in many Germanic languages in lieu of ⟨kk⟩ or ⟨cc⟩ to indicate either a geminated /kː/, or a /k/ with a preceding (historically) short vowel. The latter is the case with English tack, deck, pick, lock, and buck (compare backer with baker). In German orthography, ⟨ck⟩ indicates that the preceding vowel is short. Prior to the German spelling reform of 1996, it was replaced by ⟨k-k⟩ for syllabification. The new spelling rules allow only syllabification of the ⟨ck⟩ as a whole:
⟨cr⟩ is used in the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages for /ʈʂ/.
⟨cs⟩ is used in the Hungarian alphabet for a voiceless postalveolar affricate, /tʃ/. It is considered a distinct letter, named csé, and is placed between ⟨C⟩ and ⟨D⟩ in alphabetical order. Examples of words with cs include csak ('only'), csésze ('cup'), cső ('pipe'), csípős ('peppery').
⟨ct⟩ is used in English orthography for /t/ in a few words of Greek origin, such as ctenoid. When not initial, it represents /kt/, as in act.
⟨cu⟩ is used in the orthographies for languages such as Nahuatl (that is, based on Spanish or Portuguese orthography) for /kʷ/. In Nahuatl, ⟨cu⟩ is used before a vowel, whereas ⟨uc⟩ is used after a vowel.
⟨cw⟩ is used in modern scholarly ions of Old English for the sound /kw/, which was spelled ⟨cƿ⟩, ⟨cuu⟩ or ⟨cu⟩ in manuscripts. In Middle English these were all replaced by Latin ⟨qu⟩.
⟨cz⟩ is used in Polish orthography for /ʈ͡ʂ/ as in cześć (help·info) ('hello'). In Kashubian, ⟨cz⟩ represents /tʃ/. This digraph was once common across Europe (which explains the English spelling of Czech), but has largely been replaced. In French and Catalan, historical ⟨cz⟩ contracted to the ligature ⟨ç⟩, and represents the sound /s/. In Hungarian, it was formerly used for the sound /ts/, which is now written ⟨c⟩.
⟨dd⟩ is used in English orthography to indicate a /d/ with a preceding (historically) short vowel (e.g. jaded /ˈdʒeɪdəd/ has a "long a" while ladder /ˈlædər/ has a "short a"). In Welsh orthography, ⟨dd⟩ represents a voiced dental fricative /ð/. It is treated as a distinct letter, named èdd, and placed between ⟨D⟩ and ⟨E⟩ in alphabetical order. In the ISO romanization of Korean, it is used for the fortis sound /t͈/, otherwise spelled ⟨tt⟩; examples are ddeokbokki and bindaeddeok. In the Basque alphabet, it represents a voiced palatal plosive /ɟ/, as in onddo, ('mushroom'). In several African languages it is implosive /ɗ/.
⟨dg⟩ is used in English orthography for /dʒ/ in certain contexts, such as with judgement and hedge
⟨dh⟩ is used in the Albanian alphabet, Swahili alphabet, and the orthography of the revived Cornish language for the voiced dental fricative /ð/. The first examples of this digraph are from the Oaths of Strasbourg, the earliest French text, where it denotes the same sound /ð/ developed mainly from intervocalic Latin -t-. In early traditional Cornish ⟨ȝ⟩ (yogh), and later ⟨th⟩, were used for this purpose. Edward Lhuyd is cred for introducing the grapheme to Cornish orthography in 1707 in his Archaeologia Britannica. In Irish orthography it represents the voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ or the voiced palatal approximant /j/; at the beginning of a word it shows the lenition of /d̪ˠ/, for example mo dhoras /mˠə ɣoɾˠəsˠ/ ('my door' cf. doras /d̪ˠorˠəsˠ/ 'door').
⟨dj⟩ is used in the Faroese, French and many French-based orthographies for /dʒ/. In the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages such as Warlpiri, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara, it represents a postalveolar stop such as /ṯ/ or /ḏ/; this sound is also written ⟨dy⟩, ⟨tj⟩, ⟨ty⟩, or ⟨c⟩. It is also formerly used in Indonesian as /d͡ʒ/.
⟨dl⟩ is used in the Hmong language's Romanized Popular Alphabet for /tˡ/. In the Navajo language orthography, it represents /tɬ/, and in the orthography of Xhosa it represents /ɮ̈/. In Hadza it is ejective /cɬʼ/.
⟨dł⟩ is used in the Tlingit alphabet for /tɬ/ (in Alaska, ⟨dl⟩ is used instead).
⟨dn⟩ is used in Yélî Dnye of Papua New Guinea for nasally released /tn/. In Cornish, it is used for an optionally pre-occluded /n/; that is, it is pronounced either /n/ or /nː/ (in any position); /ᵈn/ (before a consonant or finally); or /dn/ (before a vowel); examples are pedn ('head') or pednow ('heads').
⟨dq⟩ is used for the click /ᶢǃ/ in the orthography of Naro.
⟨dx⟩ is used in the orthographies of some Zapotecan languages for a voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/. (It is placed between ⟨D⟩ and ⟨E⟩ in alphabetical order.) In Juǀʼhoan it is used for the prevoiced uvularized plosive /d͡tᵡ/.
⟨dy⟩ is used in the Xhosa language orthography for /dʲʱ/. In the Shona alphabet, it represents /dʒɡ/. It is the orthography of Tagalog is used for /dʒ/. In the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages such as Warlpiri, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara, it represents a postalveolar stop such as /ṯ/ or /ḏ/. This sound is also written ⟨tj⟩, ⟨dj⟩, ⟨ty⟩, ⟨c⟩, or ⟨j⟩.
⟨dz⟩ is used in several languages, often to represent /d͡z/. See article.
⟨dź⟩ is used in the Polish and Sorbian alphabets for /d͡ʑ/, the voiced alveolo-palatal affricate, as in dźwięk /d͡ʑvʲɛŋk/. ⟨Dź⟩ is never written before a vowel (⟨dzi⟩ is used instead, as in dziecko /d͡ʑɛt͡skɔ/ 'child').
⟨ea⟩ is used in many languages. In English orthography, ⟨ea⟩ usually represents the monophthong /i/ as in meat; due to a sound change that happened in Middle English, it also often represents the vowel /ɛ/ as in sweat. Rare pronunciations occur, like /eɪ/ in just break, great, steak, and yea, and /æ/ in the archaic ealdorman. When followed by r, it can represent the standard outcomes of the previously mentioned three vowels in this environment: /ɪər/ as in beard, /ɜːr/ as in heard, and /ɛər/ as in bear, respectively; as another exception, /ɑr/ occurs in the words hearken, heart and hearth. It often represents two independent vowels, like /eɪ.ɑː/ (seance), /i.æ/ (reality), /i.eɪ/ (create), and /i.ɪ/ or /i.ə/ (lineage). Unstressed, it may represent /jə/ (ocean) and /ɪ/ or /ə/ (Eleanor). In the Romanian alphabet, it represents the diphthong /e̯a/ as in beată ('drunk female'). In Irish orthography, ⟨ea⟩ represents /a/ between a slender and a broad consonant. In Old English, it represents the diphthong /æɑ̯/. ⟨Ea⟩ is also the transliteration of the ⟨ᛠ⟩ rune of the Anglo-Frisian Futhorc.
⟨eá⟩ is used in Irish orthography for /aː/ between a slender and a broad consonant.
⟨éa⟩ is used in Irish orthography for /eː/ between a slender and a broad consonant.
⟨ee⟩ represents a long mid vowel in a number of languages. In English orthography, ⟨ee⟩ represents /iː/ as in teen. In both the Dutch and German alphabets, ⟨ee⟩ represents /eː/ (though it is pronounced /eɪ/ in majority of northern Dutch dialects). In Bouyei, ⟨ee⟩ is used for plain /e/, as ⟨e⟩ stands for /ɯ/
⟨eh⟩ is used in the orthography of the Taa language for the murmured vowel /e̤/. In the Wade-Giles transliteration of Mandarin Chinese, it is used for /ɛ/ after a consonant, as in yeh /jɛ/. In German alphabet, ⟨eh⟩ represents /eː/, as in Reh
⟨ei⟩ This digraph was taken over from Middle High German writing systems, where it represented /eɪ/. It usually represents a diphthong. In Modern German, ⟨ei⟩ is predominant in representing /aɪ/, as in Einstein, while the equivalent digraph ⟨ai⟩ appears in only a few words. In English orthography, ⟨ei⟩ can represent many sounds, including /eɪ/, as in vein, /i/ as in seize, /aɪ/ as in heist, /ɛ/ as in heifer, /æ/ as in enceinte, and /ɪ/ or /ə/ as in forfeit. See also I before e except after c. In the southern and western Faroese dialects, it represents the diphthong /aɪ/, while in the northern and eastern dialects, it represents the diphthong /ɔɪ/.
In the Welsh alphabet, ⟨ei⟩ represents /əi/. In the Irish and Scottish Gaelic orthographies, it represents /ɛ/ before a slender consonant. In the Dutch alphabet and the Afrikaans alphabet, ⟨ei⟩ represents /ɛi/. In French orthography, ⟨ei⟩ represents /ɛ/, as in seiche.
⟨eî⟩ is used in French orthography for /ɛː/, as in reître /ʁɛːtʁ/.
⟨éi⟩ is used in Irish orthography for /eː/ between slender consonants.
⟨ej⟩ is used in Swedish Language in some short words, such as leja /leːja/ or nej /nɛj/.
⟨em⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐĩ̯ ~ ẽĩ̯/ at the end of a word and /ẽ/ before a consonant. In French orthography, it can represent /ɑ̃/.
⟨ém⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐĩ̯ ~ ẽĩ̯/ at the end of a word.
⟨êm⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐĩ̯ ~ ẽĩ̯/ at the end of a word and /ẽ/ before a consonant.
⟨en⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐĩ̯ ~ ẽĩ̯/ at the end of a word followed or not by an /s/ as in hífen or hifens; and for /ẽ/ before a consonant within a word. In French orthography, it represents /ɑ̃/ or /ɛ̃/.
⟨én⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ɐĩ̯ ~ ẽĩ̯/ before a consonant.
⟨ên⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ẽ/ before a consonant.
⟨eo⟩ is used in Irish orthography for /oː/ or occasionally /ɔ/ between a slender and a broad consonant. In the Jyutping romanization of Cantonese, it represents /ɵ/, an allophone of /œː/. In the Revised Romanization of Korean, ⟨eo⟩ represents the open-mid back unrounded vowel /ʌ/, and in Piedmontese it is /ɛu̯/. In English orthography ⟨eo⟩ is a rare digraph without a single pronunciation, representing /ɛ/ in feoff, jeopardy, leopard and the given name Geoffrey, /iː/ in people, /oʊ/ in yeoman and /juː/ in the archaic feodary, while in the originally Gaelic name MacLeod it represents /aʊ/. However, usually it represents two vowels, like /iː.ə/ in leotard and galleon, /iː.oʊ/ in stereo and, /iː.ɒ/ in geodesy, and, uniquely, /uː.iː/ in geoduck.
⟨eu⟩ is found in many languages, most commonly for the diphthong /eu/. Additionally, in English orthography, ⟨eu⟩ represents /juː/ as in neuter (though in yod dropping accents /uː/ may occur); however, the eu in "maneuver/manoeuvre" always represents /uː/ even in most yod retaining accents. In the German alphabet, it represents /ɔʏ/ as in Deutsch; and in the French, Dutch, Breton, and Piedmontese orthographies, it represents /ø/ as in feu. In Cornish, it represents either long /øː ~ œː/ and short /œ/ or long /eː/ and short /ɛ/. In Yale romanization of Cantonese it represents /œː/. In the orthographies of Sundanese and Acehnese, both Austronesian languages, it represents /ɤ/ as in beureum ('red'). In the Revised Romanization of Korean, it represents /ɯ/.
⟨eû⟩ is used in French orthography for /ø/, as in jeûne /ʒøn/.
⟨ew⟩ is used in English orthography for /juː/ as in few and flew. An exception is the pronunciation /oʊ/ in sew, leading to the heteronym sewer,(/ˈsuːər/, 'drain') vs sewer (/ˈsoʊər/, 'one who sews'). In Cornish, it stands for /ɛʊ/.
⟨ey⟩ is used in English orthography for a variety of sounds, including /eɪ/ in they, /iː/ in key, and /aɪ/ in geyser. In the Faroese alphabet, it represents the diphthong /ɛɪ/. In Cornish, it represents the diphthong /ɛɪ/ or /əɪ/.
⟨ff⟩ which may be written as the single unit: ﬀ, is used in English orthography and Cornish for the same sound as single ⟨f⟩, /f/. The doubling is used to indicate that the preceding vowel is (historically) short, or for etymological reasons, in latinisms. Very rarely, ⟨ff⟩ may be found word-initially in English, such as in proper names (e.g., Rose ffrench, Jasper Fforde). In the Welsh alphabet, ⟨ff⟩ represents /f/, while ⟨f⟩ represents /v/. In Welsh, ⟨ff⟩ is considered a distinct letter, and placed between ⟨f⟩ and ⟨g⟩ in alphabetical order. In medieval Breton, vowel nasalisation was represented by a following ⟨ff⟩. This notation was reformed during the 18th century, though proper names retain the former convention, which leads to occasional mispronunciation. For ﬀ as a single unit see: Typographic ligature and Unicode FB00 (U+FB00) in Latin script in Unicode and Unicode equivalence
⟨fh⟩ is used in Irish and Scottish Gaelic orthography for the lenition of ⟨f⟩. This happens to be silent, so that ⟨fh⟩ in Gaelic corresponds to no sound at all. For example, the Irish phrase cá fhad ('how long') is pronounced [kaː ad̪ˠ], where fhad is the lenited form of fad /fɑd/ ('long').
⟨ge⟩ is used in French orthography for /ʒ/ before ⟨a o u⟩ as in geôle /ʒol/.
⟨gg⟩ is used in English orthography for /ɡ/ before ⟨y⟩, ⟨i⟩ and ⟨e⟩ (exampleː doggy). It is also used in Pinyin for /ɡ/ in languages such as Yi. In the orthography of Central Alaskan Yup'ik, it represents /x/. In Greenlandic orthography, it represents /çː/. In the ISO romanization of Korean, it is used for the fortis sound /k͈/, otherwise spelled ⟨kk⟩ (e.g. ggakdugi). In Hadza it is ejective /kxʼ/. In Italian, ⟨gg⟩ before a front vowel represents a geminated /dʒ/, as in legge /ˈled.dʒe/. In Piedmontese and Lombard, ⟨gg⟩ is an etymological spelling representing an /tʃ/ at the end of a word which is the unvoicing of an ancient /dʒ/.
⟨gh⟩ is used in several languages. In English, it can be silent or represent /ɡ/ or /f/. See article.
⟨gj⟩ is used in the Albanian alphabet for the voiced palatal plosive /ɟ/, though for Gheg speakers it represents /dʒ/. In the Arbëresh dialect, it represents the voiced velar plosive /ɡʲ/. In the Norwegian and Swedish alphabets, ⟨gj⟩ represents /j/ in words like gjorde ('did'). In Faroese, it represents /dʒ/. It is also used in the Romanization of Macedonian as a Latin equivalent of Cyrillic ⟨Ѓ⟩. Also, it's used in Friulian to represent /dʑ/ (whilst /dʒ/ is one of the pronunciations of the letter ⟨z⟩). It can be found in some local orthographies of Lombard to represent /dʒ/ derived from Latin ⟨gl⟩.
⟨gl⟩ is used in Italian and some African languages for /ʎ/.
⟨gm⟩ is used in English orthography for /m/ in a few words of Greek origin, such as phlegm and paradigm. Between vowels, it simply represents /ɡm/, as in paradigmatic.
⟨gn⟩ is used in the Latin orthography, where it represented /ŋn/ in the classical period. Latin velar-coronal sequences like this (and also ⟨cl cr ct gd gl gr x⟩) underwent a palatal mutation to varying degrees in most Italo-Western Romance languages. For most languages that preserve the ⟨gn⟩ spelling (such as Italian and French), it represents a palatal nasal /ɲ/. This was not the case in Dalmatian and the Eastern Romance languages where a different mutation changed the velar component to a labial consonant as well as the spelling to ⟨mn⟩.
⟨go⟩ is used in the Piedmontese alphabet for /ɡw/.
⟨gr⟩ is used in the orthography for Xhosa for /ɣ̈/.
⟨gu⟩ is used in the English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Catalan orthographies for /ɡ/ before front vowels ⟨i e⟩ (⟨i e y⟩ in English and French) where a "soft g" pronunciation (English /dʒ/; Spanish /x/; French, Portuguese and Catalan /ʒ/) would otherwise occur. In English, it can also be used to represent /ɡw/. In the Ossete Latin alphabet, it is used for /ɡʷ/.
⟨gw⟩ is used in various languages for /ɡʷ/, and in the orthography for Dene Suline it represents /kʷ/.
⟨gy⟩ is used in the Hungarian alphabet for a voiced palatal plosive /ɟ/. In Hungarian, the letter's name is gyé. It is considered a single letter, and acronyms keep the digraph intact. The letter appears frequently in Hungarian words, such as the word for "Hungarian" itself: magyar. In the old orthography of Bouyei, it was used for /tɕ/.
⟨hh⟩ is used in the Xhosa language to write the murmured glottal fricative /ɦ̤/, though this is often written h. In the Iraqw language, hh is the voiceless epiglottal fricative /ʜ/, and in Chipewyan it is a velar/uvular /χ/. In Esperanto orthography, it is an official surrogate of ⟨ĥ⟩, which represents /x/.
⟨hn⟩ is used in the Romanized Popular Alphabet used to write Hmong, where it represents the sound /n̥/. It is also used in Icelandic to denote the same phoneme. See also reduction of Old English /hn/.
⟨hu⟩ is used primarily in the Classical Nahuatl language, in which it represents the /w/ sound before a vowel; for example, Wikipedia in Nahuatl is written Huiquipedia. After a vowel, ⟨uh⟩ is used. In the Ossete Latin alphabet, hu was used for /ʁʷ/, similar to French roi. The sequence hu is also found in Spanish words such as huevo or hueso; however, in Spanish this is not a digraph but a simple sequence of silent h and the vowel u.
⟨hv⟩ is used Faroese and Icelandic for /kv/ (often /kf/), generally in wh-words, but also in other words, such as Faroese hvonn. In the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages it is used for the supposed fricative /ɣ͜β/.
⟨hw⟩ is used in modern ions of Old English for /hw/, originally spelled ⟨huu⟩ or ⟨hƿ⟩ (the latter with the wynn letter). In its descendants in modern English, it is now spelled ⟨wh⟩ (see there for more details). It is used in some orthographies of Cornish for /ʍ/.
⟨hx⟩ is used in Pinyin for /h/ in languages such as Yi (⟨h⟩ alone represents the fricative /x/), and in Nambikwara it is a glottalized /hʔ/. In Esperanto orthography, it is an unofficial surrogate of ⟨ĥ⟩, which represents /x/.
⟨ie⟩ is found in English, where it usually represents the /aɪ/ sound as in pries and allied or the /iː/ sound as in priest and rallied. Followed by an r, these vowels follow the standard changes to /aɪə/ and /ɪə/, as in brier and bier. Unique pronunciations are /ɪ/ in sieve, /ɛ/ in friend and /eɪ/ in lingerie. Unstressed it can represent /jə/, as in spaniel and conscience, or /ɪ/ or /ə/ as in mischief and hurriedly. It also can represent many vowel combinations, including /aɪə/ in diet and client, /aɪɛ/ in diester and quiescent, /iːə/ in alien and skier, /iːɛ/ in oriental and hygienic, and /iːʔiː/ in British medieval.
⟨îe⟩ is used in Afrikaans for /əːə/.
⟨ih⟩, in the practical orthography of the Taa language, represents the breathy or murmured vowel /i̤/. It is also used in Tongyong Pinyin and Wade-Giles transcription for the fricative vowels of Mandarin Chinese, which are spelled i in Hanyu Pinyin.
⟨ii⟩ is used in many languages (Finnish (example:Riikka, Niinistö, Siitala, Riikkeli), Italian (example:Riina), Estonian (example:Riik), Scots (example:Auld Nii, Iisay), with phonemic long vowels for /iː/.
⟨il⟩ is used in French for /j/, historically /ʎ/, as in ail /aj/ "garlic".
⟨im⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ĩ/.
⟨ím⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ĩ/ before a consonant.
⟨ín⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ĩ/ before a consonant.
⟨în⟩ is used in French to write a vowel sound /ɛ̃/ that was once followed by a historical s, as in vous vîntes /vu vɛ̃t/ "you came".
⟨iŋ⟩ is used in Lakhota for the nasal vowel /ĩ/.
⟨io⟩ is used in Irish for /ɪ/, /ʊ/, and /iː/ between a slender and a broad consonant.
⟨ío⟩ is used in Irish for /iː/ between a slender and a broad consonant.
⟨iú⟩ is used in Irish for /uː/ between a slender and a broad consonant.
⟨ix⟩ is used in Catalan for /ʃ/ after a vowel.
⟨jh⟩ is used in Walloon to write a sound that is variously /h/ or /ʒ/, depending on the dialect. In Tongyong pinyin, it represents /tʂ/, written zh in standard pinyin. Jh is also the standard transliteration for the Devanāgarī letter झ /dʒʱ/. In Esperanto orthography, it is an official surrogate of ⟨ĵ⟩, which represents /ʒ/.
⟨jr⟩ is used in the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages for /ɖʐ/.
⟨kh⟩, in transcriptions of Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages, represents the aspirated voiceless velar plosive (/kʰ/). For most other languages ,[better source needed] it represents the voiceless velar fricative /x/, for example in transcriptions of the letter ḫāʾ (خ) in standard Arabic, standard Persian, and Urdu, Cyrillic Х, х (kha), Spanish j, as well as the Hebrew letter kaf (כ) in instances when it is lenited. When used for transcription of the letter ḥet (ח) in Sephardic Hebrew, it represents the voiceless pharyngeal fricative /ħ/. In Canadian Tlingit it represents /qʰ/, which in Alaska is written k. In the Ossete Latin alphabet, it was used for /kʼ/.
⟨kk⟩ is used in Icelandic and Faroese for the pre-aspirated sound /ʰk/, in romanized Korean for the fortis sound /k͈/, in Haida (Bringhurst orthography) for ejective /kʼ/, and in Cypriot Arabic for /kʰː/.
⟨kl⟩ is used in the Zulu language to write a sound variously realized as /kʟ̥ʼ/ or /kxʼ/.
⟨kn⟩ is used in English to write the word-initial sound /n/ (formerly pronounced /kn/) in some words of Germanic origin, such as knee and knife. It is used in Yélî Dnye of Papua New Guinea for nasally released /kŋ/.
⟨kr⟩ is used in the Xhosa language for /kxʼ/.
⟨kv⟩ is used for /kʷʰ/ in some dialects of Zhuang.
⟨kw⟩ is used in various languages for the labialized velar consonant /kʷ/, and in Dene Suline (Chipewyan) for /kʷʰ/. Used informally in English for phonemic spelling of qu, as in kwik (from quick), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European */kʷ/.
⟨ky⟩ is used in Tibetan Pinyin for /tʃʰ/.
⟨lh⟩, in Occitan, Gallo, and Portuguese, represents a palatal lateral approximant /ʎ/. In many Indigenous languages of the Americas it represents a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative /ɬ/. In the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages it represents a dental lateral, /l̪/. In the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization of Mandarin Chinese, initial ⟨lh⟩ indicates an even tone on a syllable beginning in /l/, which is otherwise spelled ⟨l⟩. In Middle Welsh it was sometimes used to represent the sound /ɬ/ as well as ⟨ll⟩, in modern Welsh it has been replaced by ⟨ll⟩. In Tibetan, it represents the voiceless alveolar lateral approximant, as in Lhasa.
⟨lj⟩ is a letter in some Slavic languages, such as the Latin orthographies of Serbo-Croatian, where it represents a palatal lateral approximant /ʎ/. For example, the word ljiljan is pronounced /ʎiʎan/. Ljudevit Gaj first used the digraph ⟨lj⟩ in 1830; he devised it by analogy with a Cyrillic digraph, which developed into the ligature ⟨љ⟩. In Swedish It represents /j/ such as in Ljus.
⟨ḷḷ⟩ is used in Asturian for a sound that was historically /ʎ/ but which is now an affricate, [t͡s], [t͡ʃ], [d͡ʒ].
⟨lr⟩ is used in the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages for /ɭ /.
⟨lw⟩ is used for /lʷ/ in Arrernte.
⟨mb⟩, in many African languages, represents /mb/ or /ᵐb/. It is used in Irish to indicate the eclipsis of b and represents /mˠ/; for example ár mbád /ɑːɾˠ mˠɑːdˠ̪/ "our boat" (cf. /bˠɑːd̪ˠ/ "boat"). The Irish digraph is capitalized mB, for example i mBaile Átha Cliath "in Dublin". In English, mb represents /m/ when final, as in lamb (see reduction of /mb/). In Standard Zhuang and in Bouyei, ⟨mb⟩ is used for /ɓ/.
⟨mg⟩ is used in Pinyin for /ŋɡ/ in languages such as Yi, where the more common digraph ⟨ng⟩ is restricted to /ŋ/. It is used in Yélî Dnye of Papua New Guinea for doubly articulated and prenasalized /ŋ͡mk͡p/.
⟨mh⟩, in Irish, stands for the lenition of ⟨m⟩ and represents /v/ or /w/; for example mo mháthair /mə ˈwɑːhəɾʲ/ or /mˠə ˈvˠɑːhəɾʲ/ "my mother" (cf. máthair /ˈmˠɑːhəɾʲ/ "mother"). In Welsh it stands for the nasal mutation of ⟨p⟩ and represents /m̥/; for example fy mhen /və m̥ɛn/ "my head" (cf. pen /pɛn/ "head"). In both languages it is considered a sequence of the two letters ⟨m⟩ and ⟨h⟩ for purposes of alphabetization. In Shona, Juǀʼhoan and several other languages, it is used for a murmured /m̤/. In the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization of Mandarin Chinese, initial mh- indicates an even tone on a syllable beginning in /m/, which is otherwise spelled m-. In several languages, such as Gogo, it's a voiceless /m̥/.
⟨mm⟩ is used in Haida (Bringhurst orthography) for glottalized /ˀm/. It is used in Cornish for an optionally pre-occluded /m/; that is, it is pronounced either /m/ or /mː/ (in any position); /ᵇm/ (before a consonant or finally); or /bm/ (before a vowel); examples are mamm ('mother') or hemma ('this').
⟨mn⟩ is used in English to write the word-initial sound /n/ in a few words of Greek origin, such as mnemonic. When final, it represents /m/, as in damn, and between vowels it represents /m/ as in damning, or /mn/ as in damnation (see /mn/-reduction). In French it represents /n/, as in automne and condamner.
⟨mw⟩ is used for /mʷ/ in Arrernte.
⟨nd⟩, in many African languages, represents /nd/ or /ⁿd/, and capitalized ⟨Nd⟩. It is used in Irish for the eclipsis of ⟨d⟩, and represents /n/, for example in ár ndoras /ɑːɾˠ ˈnˠɔɾˠəsˠ/ "our door" (cf. doras /ˈd̪ˠɔɾˠəsˠ/ "door"). In this function it is capitalized ⟨nD⟩, e.g. i nDoire "in Derry". In Standard Zhuang and in Bouyei, ⟨nd⟩ is used for /ɗ/.
⟨nf⟩, equivalent to ⟨mf⟩ for /mf/ or /ᵐf/. In Rangi nf is /ᵐf/ while mf is /m.f/.
⟨ng⟩, in Sino-Tibetan languages, as in English and several other European and derived orthographies (for example Vietnamese), generally represents the velar nasal /ŋ/. It is considered a single letter in many Austronesian languages (Māori, Tagalog, Tongan, Gilbertese, Tuvaluan, Indonesian, Chamorro), the Welsh language, and Rheinische Dokumenta, for velar nasal /ŋ/; and in some African languages (Lingala, Bambara, Wolof) for prenasalized /ɡ/ (/ⁿɡ/).
⟨ńg⟩ is used in Central Alaskan Yup'ik to write the voiceless nasal sound /ŋ̊/.
⟨ñg⟩, or more precisely ⟨n͠g⟩, was a digraph in several Spanish-derived orthographies of the Pacific, such as that of Tagalog and Chamorro, where it represented the sound /ŋ/, as opposed to ng, which originally represented /ŋɡ/. An example is Chamorro agan͠gñáijon (modern agangñaihon) "to declare". Besides ñg, variants of n͠g include gñ (as in Sagñay), ng̃, and a g̃, that is preceded by a vowel (but not a consonant). It has since been replaced by the trigraph ⟨ngg⟩ or ⟨ng⟩ (see above).
⟨ngʼ⟩ is used for /ŋ/ in Swahili and languages with Swahili-based orthographies. Since ⟨ʼ⟩ is not a letter in Swahili, ⟨ngʼ⟩ is technically a digraph, not a trigraph.
⟨nh⟩ is used in several languages. See article.
⟨ni⟩ in Polish orthography, it usually represents ɲ whenever it precedes a vowel, and ɲi whenever it precedes a consonant (or in the end of the word), and is considered a graphic variant of ń appearing in other situations. (In some cases it may represent also ɲj before a vowel; for a better description, when, see the relevant section in the article on Polish orthography).
⟨nj⟩ is a letter present in the Latin orthographies of Albanian, Serbo-Croatian. Ljudevit Gaj, a Croat, first used this digraph in 1830. In all of these languages, it represents the palatal nasal /ɲ/. For example, the Croatian and Serbian word konj (horse) is pronounced /koɲ/. The digraph was created in the 19th century by analogy with a digraph of Cyrillic, which developed into the ligature ⟨њ⟩. While there are dedicated Unicode codepoints, U+01CA (Ǌ), U+01CB (ǋ) and U+01CC (ǌ), these are included for backwards compatibility (with legacy encodings for Serbo-Croatian which kept a one-to-one correspondence with Cyrillic Њњ) and modern texts use a sequence of Basic Latin characters.
⟨nk⟩ is used in the orthography of many Bantu languages like Lingala, Tshiluba, and Kikongo, for /ŋk/ or /ᵑk/. In the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages such as Warlpiri, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara, it distinguishes a prenasalized velar stop, /ŋ͡k ~ ŋ͡ɡ/, from the nasal /ŋ/.
⟨nn⟩ is used in Irish orthography for the Old Irish "fortis sonorants" /Nˠ/ ("broad", i.e. non-palatalized or velarized) and /Nʲ/ ("slender", i.e. palatalized) in non-initial position. In modern Irish, the "broad" sound is /n̪ˠ/, while the slender sound can be any of /nʲ/, /n̠ʲ/, or /ɲ/, depending on dialect and position in the word. In Spanish historical ⟨nn⟩ has contracted to the ligature ⟨ñ⟩ and represents the sound /ɲ/. In the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization of Mandarin Chinese, final -nn indicates a falling tone on a syllable ending in /n/, which is otherwise spelled -n. It is used in Haida (Bringhurst orthography) for glottalized /ˀn/. In Piedmontese, it is /ŋn/ in the middle of a word, and /n/ at the end. In Cornish, it is used for an optionally pre-occluded /n/; that is, it is pronounced either /n/ or /nː/ (in any position); /ᵈn/ (before a consonant or finally); or /dn/ (before a vowel); examples are penn ('head') or pennow ('heads').
⟨nq⟩ is used in various alphabets. In the Romanized Popular Alphabet used to write Hmong, it represents the sound /ɴɢ/. In Xhosa and Zulu it represents the click /ᵑǃ/. In the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization of Mandarin Chinese, final -nq indicates a falling tone on a syllable ending in /ŋ/, which is otherwise spelled -ng.
⟨nv⟩, equivalent to ⟨mv⟩ for /mv/ or /ᵐv/.
⟨ny⟩ is used in several languages for /ɲ/. See article.
⟨n-⟩ is used for medial /ŋ/ in Piedmontese.
⟨o′⟩ is used for /o/ and /ø/ in Uzbek, with the preferred typographical form being ⟨oʻ⟩ (Cyrillic ⟨ў⟩). Technically it is not a digraph in Uzbek, since ⟨ʻ⟩ is not a letter of the Uzbek alphabet, but rather a typographic convention for a diacritic. In handwriting the letter is written as ⟨õ⟩.
⟨oa⟩ is used in English, where it commonly represents the /oʊ/ sound as in road, coal, boast, coaxing, etc. In Middle English, where the digraph originated, it represented /ɔː/, a pronunciation retained in the word broad and derivatives, and when the digraph is followed by an "r", as in soar and bezoar. The letters also represent two vowels, as in koala /oʊ.ɑː/, boas /oʊ.ə/, coaxial /oʊ.æ/, oasis /oʊ.eɪ/, and doable /uː.ə/. In Malagasy, it is occasionally used for /o/.
⟨oe⟩ is found in many languages. In English, it represents the /oʊ/ sound as in hoe and sometimes the /uː/ sound as in shoe. It may also represent the /ɛ/ sound in AmE pronunciation of Oedipus, (o)esophagus (also in BrE), and (o)estrogen, /eɪ/ in boehmite (AmE) and surnames like Boehner and Groening (as if spelled Bayner and Gray/Greyning respectively), and /iː/ in foetus (BrE and CoE) and some speakers' pronunciation of Oedipus and oestrogen. Afrikaans and Dutch oe is /u/, as in doen. Ligatured to ⟨œ⟩ in French, it stands for the vowels /œ/ (as in œil /œj/) and /e/ (as in œsophage /ezɔfaʒ ~ øzɔfaʒ/). It is an alternative way to write ⟨ö⟩ in German when this character is unavailable. In Cantonese Pinyin it represents the vowel /ɵ ~ œː/, and in Zhuang it is used for /o/ (⟨o⟩ is used for /oː/). In Piedmontese, it is /wɛ/. In the Kernewek Kemmyn orthography of Cornish, it is used for a phoneme which is [oː] long, [oˑ] mid-length, and [ɤ] short.
⟨oê⟩ is used in French to write the vowel sound /wa/ in a few words before what had historically been an s, mostly in words derived from poêle /pwal/ "stove". The diacriticless variant, ⟨oe⟩, rarely represents this sound except in words related to moelle /mwal/ (rarely spelt moëlle).
⟨ôe⟩ is used in Afrikaans for the vowel /ɔː/.
⟨oi⟩ is used in various languages. In English, oi represents the /oɪ̯/ sound as in coin and join. In French, it represents /wa/, which was historically – and still is in some cases – written "oy." In Irish it is used for /ɛ/, /ɔ/, /ɪ/, /əi̯/, /iː/, /oː/ between a broad and a slender consonant. In Piedmontese, it is /ui̯/.
⟨oí⟩ is used in Irish for /iː/ between a broad and a slender consonant.
⟨oî⟩ is used in French to write /wa/ before what had historically been an s, as in boîtier or cloître.
⟨ói⟩ is used in Irish for /oː/ between a broad and a slender consonant.
⟨òi⟩ is used in Piedmontese for /oi̯/.
⟨om⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /õ/, and in French to write /ɔ̃/.
⟨ôm⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /õ/ before a consonant.
⟨on⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /õ/ before a consonant, and in French to write /ɔ̃/.
⟨ôn⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /õ/ before a consonant.
⟨oo⟩ is used in many languages. In English, oo commonly represents two sounds: /uː/ as in "moon" and "food", and /ʊ/ as in "wood" and "foot". Historically, both derive from the sound /oː/, which is also the digraph's pronunciation in most other languages. In German and Dutch, the digraph represents /oː/. In Cornish, it represents either /oː/ or /uː/.
⟨ou⟩ is used in English for the diphthong /aʊ/, as in out /aʊt/. This spelling is generally used before consonants, with ⟨ow⟩ being used instead before vowels and at the ends of words. Occasionally ou may also represent other vowels – /ʌ/ as in trouble, /oʊ/ as in soul, /ʊ/ as in would, /uː/ as in group, or /juː/ as in the alternate American pronunciation of coupon. The ou in out originally represented /uː/, as in French, and its pronunciation has mostly changed as part of the Great Vowel Shift. However, the /uː/ sound was kept before p.
In Dutch ⟨ou⟩ represents /ʌu/ in the Netherlands or /oʊ/ in Flanders. In Cornish, it represents [uː], [u], or [ʊ]. In French, it represents the vowel /u/, as in vous /vu/ "you", or the approximant consonant /w/, as in oui /wi/ "yes".
⟨oû⟩ is used in French to write the vowel sound /u/ before what had historically been an s, as in soûl /su/ "drunk" (also spelt soul).
⟨ow⟩, in English, usually represents the /aʊ/ sound as in coward, sundowner, and now or the /oʊ/ sound, as in froward, landowner, and know. An exceptional pronunciation is /ɒ/ in knowledge and rowlock. There are many English heteronyms distinguished only by the pronunciation of this digraph, like: bow (front of ship or weapon), bower (a dwelling or string player), lower (to frown or drop), mow (to grimace or cut), row (a dispute or line-up), shower (rain or presenter), sow (a pig or to seed), tower (a building or towboat). In Cornish, this represents the diphthong /ɔʊ/ or /oʊ/; before vowels, it can also represent /uː/.
⟨oy⟩ is found in many languages. In English and Faroese, oy represents the diphthong /ɔɪ/. Examples in English include toy and annoy. In Cornish, it represents the diphthong /oɪ/~/ɔɪ/; in the words oy ('egg') and moy ('much'), it can also be pronounced /uɪ/~/ʊɪ/.
⟨oŷ⟩ is an obsolete digraph once used in French.
⟨øy⟩ is used in Norwegian for /øʏ/.
⟨pf⟩ in German represents a labial affricate /pf/. It can be initial (Pferd, 'horse'), medial (Apfel, 'apple'), or final (Knopf, 'button'). Where it appears in English, usually in names or words recently derived from German, it is ordinarily simplified to /f/.
⟨ph⟩, in English and some other languages, represents /f/, mostly in words derived from Greek. The Ancient Greek letter phi ⟨Φ, φ⟩ originally represented /pʰ/ (an aspirated p sound), and was thus transcribed into Latin orthography as ⟨PH⟩, a convention that was transferred to some other Western European languages. The Greek pronunciation of ⟨φ⟩ later changed to /f/, and this was also the sound adopted in other languages for the relevant loanwords. Exceptionally, in English, ⟨ph⟩ represents /v/ in the name Stephen and some speakers' pronunciations of nephew.
⟨pl⟩ is used in the Romanized Popular Alphabet used to write Hmong, where it represents the sound /pˡ/.
⟨pm⟩ is used for /ᵖm/ in Arrernte.
⟨pn⟩ is used in English for an initial sound /n/ in words of Greek origin such as pneumatic. When not initial, it represents the sequence /pn/, as in apnea.
⟨pq⟩ is used in the Nobiin language.
⟨ps⟩ is used in English for an initial sound /s/ in words of Greek origin such as psyche. When not initial, it represents the sequence /ps/, as in ellipse. It is also used in the Shona language to write a whistled sibilant cluster /ps͎/.
⟨pt⟩ is used in several languages for /t/ in words of Greek origin, where it was /pt/. An example in English is pterosaur /ˈtɛrəsɔr/, and an exception is ptarmigan //, which is Gaelic, not Greek. When not initial, pt represents the sequence /pt/, as in apt.
⟨pw⟩ is used for /pʷ/ in Arrernte.
⟨py⟩ is used in Cypriot Arabic for /pc/.
⟨qo⟩ is used in Piedmontese for /kw/.
⟨qq⟩ is used in Haida (Bringhurst orthography) for ejective /qʼ/. In Hadza it is the glottalized click /ᵑǃˀ/.
⟨qu⟩ is used in Catalan, French, Galician, Occitan, Portuguese and Spanish orthographies for /k/ before the vowel letters e, i, where the letter c represents the sound /θ/ (Castilian Spanish and most of Galicia) or /s/ (Catalan, French, American Spanish, Occitan and Portuguese). This dates to Latin qu, and ultimately the Proto-Indo-European labialized velar consonant */kʷ/; in English this sound instead became written primarily as wh, due to Grimm's law changing kʷ > xʷ (written hw), and Middle English spelling change switching hw to wh. In English, it represents /k/ in words derived from those languages (e.g., quiche), and /kw/ in other words, including borrowings from Latin (e.g., quantity). In German, where the /w/ sound evolved into /v/, it is used to represent /kv/ in both native Germanic words and Latin borrowings. In the Ossete Latin alphabet, it was used for /qʷ/. In Vietnamese it is used to represent the /kw/ or /w/ sound. In Cornish, it represents the /kw/ sound.
⟨qv⟩ is used for glottalized /ˀw/ in Bouyei.
⟨qw⟩ is used in some languages for the sound /qʷ/. In Mi'kmaq it is used for /xʷ/. In the Kernowek Standard and Standard Written Form orthographies for Revived Cornish, and in William Jordan's 1611 Creation of the World, it is used for /kw/.
⟨qy⟩ is used for glottalized /ˀj/ in Bouyei.
⟨rd⟩ is used in the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages such as Warlpiri, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara for a retroflex stop, /ʈ/. In Norwegian and Swedish it represents voiced retroflex plosive, [ɖ].
⟨rh⟩ is found in English language with words from the Greek language and transliterated through the Latin language. Examples include "rhapsody", "rhetoric" and "rhythm". These were pronounced in Ancient Greek with a voiceless "r" sound, /r̥/, as in Old English ⟨hr⟩. The digraph may also be found within words, but always at the start of a word component, e.g., "polyrhythmic". German, French, and the auxiliary language Interlingua use rh in the same way. ⟨Rh⟩ is also found in the Welsh language where it represents a voiceless alveolar trill (r̥), that is a voiceless "r" sound. It can be found anywhere; the most common occurrence in the English language from Welsh is in the slightly respelled given name "Rhonda". In Wade-Giles transliteration, ⟨rh⟩ is used for the syllable-final rhotic of Mandarin Chinese. In the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization of Mandarin Chinese, initial rh- indicates an even tone on a syllable beginning in /ʐ/, which is otherwise spelled r-. In Purépecha, it is a retroflex flap, /ɽ/.
⟨rl⟩ is used in the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages such as Warlpiri, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara, as well in Norwegian and Swedish, for a retroflex lateral, written /ɭ/ in the IPA. In the Greenlandic language, it represents /ɬː/ as the result of an assimilation of a consonant cluster with a uvular consonant as the first component.
⟨rm⟩ is used in Inuktitut for /ɴm/.
⟨rn⟩ represents the retroflex nasal /ɳ/ in Warlpiri, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara (see transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages), as well in Norwegian and Swedish. In the Greenlandic language, it represents /ɴ/. In Inuktitut, it represents /ɴn/.
⟨rp⟩ is used in the Greenlandic language for /pː/ as the result of an assimilation of a consonant cluster with a uvular consonant as the first component.
⟨rr⟩ is used in English language for ⟨r⟩, depending on etymology. It normally appears in words of Latin or Romance origin, and "rrh" in words of ancient Greek origin. It is quite a common digraph, found in words as diverse as arrest, carry, and sorry. Some words with "rr" are relatively recent loanwords from other languages; examples include burro from Spanish. It is often used in impromptu pronunciation guides to denote either an alveolar tap or an alveolar trill. It is a letter in the Albanian alphabet.
In several European languages, such as Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese or Albanian, "rr" represents the alveolar trill /r/ (or the voiced uvular fricative /ʁ/ in Portuguese) and contrasts with the single "r", which represents the alveolar tap /ɾ/ (in Catalan and Spanish a single "r" also represents the alveolar trill at the beginning of words or syllables). In Italian or Finnish, "rr" is furthermore a geminate (long) consonant /rː/. In Central Alaskan Yup'ik it is used for /χ/. In Cornish, it can represent either /rː/, /ɾʰ/, or /ɹ/.
⟨rs⟩ was equivalent to ⟨rz⟩ and stood for /r̝/ (modern ř) in medieval Czech. In the Greenlandic language, it represents /sː/ as the result of an assimilation of a consonant cluster with a uvular consonant as the first component. In Norwegian and Swedish, it represents voiceless retroflex fricative, [ʂ].
⟨rw⟩ is used for /ɻʷ/ in Arrernte.
⟨rz⟩ is used in Polish and Kashubian for a voiced retroflex fricative /ʐ/, similar to English zh as in Zhivago. Examples from Polish are marzec (help·info) "March" and rzeka (help·info) "river". ⟨Rz⟩ represents the same sound as ⟨ż⟩, which evolved from a *g (while ⟨rz⟩ is descended from a palatalized r). ⟨Rz⟩ usually corresponds to Czech ⟨ř⟩, though the pronunciations are different. When preceded by a voiceless consonant (ch, k, p, t) or end of a word, ⟨rz⟩ devoices to ⟨sz⟩ [ʂ], as in przed (help·info) ("before", [ˈpʂɛt]).
⟨sc⟩ is used in Italian for /ʃː/ before the front vowel letters e, i. It is used for /s/ in Catalan, Spanish, French, English, Occitan and Brazilian Portuguese (e.g. French/English reminiscence, Spanish reminiscencia, Brazilian Portuguese reminiscência, Catalan reminiscència, Occitan reminiscéncia); in European Portuguese this changed to /ʃs/ in the early 20th cent. In Old English it usually represented /ʃ/.
⟨sç⟩ is used in French for /s/ in a few verb forms such as simple past acquiesça /akjɛsa/. It is also used in Portuguese as in the imperative/conjuntive form of verbs ending with scer: crescer cresça. Still pronounced /s/ in Brazilian Portuguese, in European Portuguese this changed to /ʃs/ in the early 20th century.
⟨sg⟩ is used in Piedmontese for /ʒ/.
⟨si⟩ is used in English for /ʒ/ in words such as fusion (see yod-coalescence). In Polish orthography, it represents /ɕ/ whenever it precedes a vowel, and /ɕi/ whenever it precedes a consonant (or in the end of the word), and is considered a graphic variant of ś appearing in other situations. In Welsh ⟨si⟩ is used for the sound /ʃ/ as in siocled /ʃɔklɛd/ ('chocolate').
⟨sk⟩ is used in Swedish to write the sje sound /ɧ/. It takes by rule this sound value before the front vowels (e, i, y, ä and ö) word or root initially (as in sked (spoon)), while normally representing /sk/ in other positions. In Norwegian and Faroese, it is used to write voiceless postalveolar fricative /ʃ/ (only in front of i, y, ei and øy/oy).
⟨sl⟩ is used in the Iraqw and Bouyei languages to write the lateral fricative /ɬ/. (Sl is used in the French tradition to transcribe /ɬ/ in other languages as well, as in the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages.)
⟨sp⟩ is used in German for /ʃp/ as in Spaß /ʃpaːs/ instead of using schp.
⟨sr⟩ is used in Kosraean for /ʂ/.
⟨ss⟩ is used in Pinyin for /z/ in languages such as Yi. For its use in the Wade–Giles system of Romanization of Chinese, see Wade–Giles → Empty rime. In English, ⟨ss⟩ represents /z/ in the first ss of possess and its derivatives possessed, possession, possessive, and possessor, even in Missouri(an), scissors, and pronunciations of Aussie outside the United States. In other languages, such as Catalan, Cornish, French, Italian, Occitan, Portuguese and Central Alaskan Yup'ik, where ⟨s⟩ transcribes /z/ between vowels (and elsewhere in the case of Yup'ik), ⟨ss⟩ is used for /s/ in that position (/sː/ in Italian and also in some cases in Cornish). In romanized Korean, it represents the fortis sound /s͈/. In Cypriot Arabic it is used for /sʰː/.
Also to note, there are spellings of words with ⟨ss⟩ as opposed to them with just one ⟨s⟩, varied in different types of English. For the word focus, in British English the 3rd person singular, the past participle and the present participle are spelled with ⟨ss⟩ (i.e. focusses, focussed and focussing) whereas in American English and usually Canadian and Australian English they are spelled with one ⟨s⟩ (i.e. focuses, focused and focusing).
⟨st⟩ is used in German for /ʃt/ as in Stadt /ʃtat/ instead of using scht (or cht). In some parts of northern Germany, the pronunciation /st/ (as in English) is still quite common in the local dialect.
⟨sz⟩ is used in several languages. See article.
⟨s-c⟩ and ⟨s-cc⟩ are used in Piedmontese for the sequence /stʃ/.
⟨s-g⟩ and ⟨s-gg⟩ are used in Piedmontese for the sequence /zdʒ/.
⟨ti⟩, before a vowel, is usually pronounced /sj/ in French.
⟨tj⟩ is used in Norwegian and Faroese words like tjære/tjøra ('tar') for /ç/ (Norwegian) and /tʃ/ (Faroese). In the closely related Swedish alphabet, it represents /ɕ/, as in tjära /ˈɕæːɾa/. It is also the standard written form of the /tʃ/ sound in Dutch and was likewise used in Dutch-based orthographies that used to apply for languages in Indonesia and Surinam. In the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages such as Warlpiri, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara, it represents a postalveolar stop, written /ṯ/ or /ḏ/. This sound is also written ⟨dj⟩, ⟨ty⟩, ⟨dy⟩, ⟨c⟩, or ⟨j⟩. In Catalan orthography it represents /d͡ʒ/. In Juǀʼhoan it is used for the ejective affricate /tʃʼ/.
⟨tl⟩ is used in various orthographies for the affricate /tɬ/.
⟨tł⟩ is used in the transcription of Athabascan languages for a lateral affricate /tɬ/ or /tɬʰ/.
⟨tm⟩ is used in Yélî Dnye of Papua New Guinea for doubly articulated and nasally released /t̪͡pn̪͡m/. In Catalan, it's used to represent /mː/, that can result not geminated as well, /m/, as in setmana (pronounced /səˈmːanə/ in standard Catalan and /seˈmana/ in Valencian).
⟨tr⟩ generally represents a sound like a retroflex version of English "ch" in areas of German influence, such as Truk lagoon, now spelled ⟨chuuk⟩. For instance, in the orthography of Malagasy it represents /tʂ/. In southern dialects of Vietnamese, ⟨tr⟩ represents a voiceless retroflex affricate /tʂ/. In the northern dialects, this sound is pronounced /tɕ/, just like what ⟨ch⟩ represents. ⟨tr⟩ was formerly considered a distinct letter of the Vietnamese alphabet, but today is not.
⟨ts⟩ is used in the orthography of Basque, where it represents an apical voiceless alveolar affricate /t̺s̺/. It contrasts with ⟨tz⟩, which is laminal /t̻s̻/. In the orthography of Hausa, ⟨ts⟩ represents an alveolar ejective fricative /sʼ/ or affricate /tsʼ/), depending on dialect. It is considered a distinct letter, and placed between ⟨t⟩ and ⟨u⟩ in alphabetical order. It is also used in the Catalan spelling for /t͡s/. It is also used in Hausa Boko.
The Wade-Giles and Yale romanizations of Chinese use ⟨ts⟩ for an unaspirated voiceless alveolar affricate /ts/. Wade-Giles also uses ⟨ts'⟩ for the aspirated equivalent /tsʰ/. These are equivalent to Pinyin ⟨z⟩ and ⟨c⟩, respectively. The Hepburn romanization of Japanese uses ⟨ts⟩ for a voiceless alveolar affricate /ts/). In native Japanese words, this sound only occurs before ⟨u⟩, but it may occur before other vowels in loanwords. Other romanization systems write /tsu/ as ⟨tu⟩. ⟨Ts⟩ in the orthography of Tagalog is used for /tʃ/. The sequence ⟨ts⟩ occurs in English, but it has no special function and simply represents a sequence of ⟨t⟩ and ⟨s⟩. It occurs word-initially only in some loanwords, such as tsunami and tsar. Most English-speakers do not pronounce a /t/ in such words and pronounce them as if they were spelled ⟨sunami⟩ and ⟨sar⟩ or ⟨zar⟩, respectively.
⟨tt⟩ is used in the orthography of Basque for /c/, and in romanized Kabyle for /ts/. In romanized Korean, it represents the fortis sound /t͈/, in Haida (Bringhurst orthography) it is ejective /tʼ/, and in Cypriot Arabic, it represents /tʰː/.
⟨tw⟩ is used for /tʷ/ in the orthography of Arrernte.
⟨tx⟩ is used in the orthographies of Basque, Catalan, Fataluku in East Timor, as well as some indigenous languages of South America, for a voiceless postalveolar affricate /t͡ʃ/. In the orthography of Nambikwara it represents a glottalized /tʔ/. In Juǀʼhoan it is used for the uvularized-release /tᵡ/.
⟨ty⟩ is used in the Hungarian alphabet for /cç/, a voiceless palatal affricate; in Hungarian, digraphs are considered single letters, and acronyms keep them intact. In the orthography of Xhosa, ⟨ty⟩ represents /tʲʼ/ and the similar /tʲʼ/ in the Algonquian Massachusett orthography. In that of Shona, it represents /tʃk/. In the orthography of Tagalog it uses /tʃ/. In the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages such as Warlpiri, Arrernte, and Pitjantjatjara, it represents a postalveolar stop, either voiceless /ṯ/ or voiced /ḏ/. (This sound is also written ⟨tj⟩, ⟨dj⟩, ⟨dy⟩, ⟨c⟩, and ⟨j⟩). In Cypriot Arabic, it represents /c/.
⟨tz⟩ is used in the orthographies of Basque, German and Nahuatl for the voiceless alveolar affricate /t͡s/). In Basque, this sound is laminal and contrasts with the apical affricate represented by ⟨ts⟩. It is also used in Catalan to represent the voiced alveolar affricate /d͡z/. In Juǀʼhoan it is used for the ejective affricate /tsʼ/. For its use in the Wade–Giles system of Romanization of Chinese, see Wade–Giles → Empty rime.
⟨uc⟩ is used in Nahuatl for /kʷ/ before a consonant. Before a vowel, ⟨cu⟩ is used.
⟨ue⟩ is found in many languages. In English, ⟨ue⟩ represents /ju/ or /u/ as in cue or true, respectively. In German, it is equivalent to Ü, and as such may appear in proper names of people, representing /ʏ/ or /yː/.
⟨ûe⟩ is used in Afrikaans to represent /œː/.
⟨ug⟩ is used in Central Alaskan Yup'ik for /ɣʷ/.
⟨ui⟩ in Dutch stands for the diphthong /œy/. In Irish and Scottish Gaelic, it is /ɪ/ after a velarized (broad) consonant, and in Irish, it is used for /ɪ/ /ʊ/ /iː/ /uː/ between a broad and a slender consonant. In German, it represents the diphthong /ʊɪ̯/, which appears only in interjections such as "pfui!". In English, it represents the sound /uː/ in fruit, juice, suit and pursuit. However, in many English words, this does not hold. For example, it fails in words where the u in ui functions as a modifier of a preceding g (forcing g to remain /ɡ/ rather than shifting to /dʒ/ in guild, guilt, guilty, sanguine, Guinea, etc.), doing the same with c (in words like circuit and biscuit), or in cases of unusual etymological spelling or syllable separation (e.g. build, suite, and intuition). In Mandarin pinyin, it is /wei̯/ after a consonant. (In initial position, this is spelled wei.) In French, it is not a digraph, but a predictable sequence /ɥi/, as in huit "eight".
⟨uí⟩ is used in Irish for /iː/ between a broad and a slender consonant.
⟨úi⟩ is used in Irish for /uː/ between a broad and a slender consonant.
⟨úm⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ũ/ before a consonant.
⟨un⟩ is used in many languages to write a nasal vowel. In Portuguese orthography before a consonant, and in many West African languages, it is /ũ/, while in French it is /œ̃/, or among the younger generation /ɛ̃/. In pinyin, /u̯ən/ is spelled un after a consonant, wen initially.
⟨ún⟩ is used in Portuguese orthography for /ũ/ before a consonant.
⟨ün⟩ is used in Tibetan Pinyin for /ỹ/.
⟨uŋ⟩ is used in Lakhota for the nasal vowel /ũ/.
⟨uu⟩ is used in Dutch for /y/. In languages with phonemic long vowels, it may be used to write /uː/.
⟨uy⟩ is used in Afrikaans orthography for /œy/.
⟨vv⟩ is used in Central Alaskan Yup'ik for /f/.
⟨vr⟩ is used in Quechua.
⟨wh⟩ is used in English to represent Proto-Germanic /hw/, the continuation of the PIE labiovelar */kʷ/ (which became ⟨qu⟩ in Latin and the Romance languages). Most English question words begin with this digraph, hence the terms wh-word and wh-question. In Old English, /hw/ was spelled ⟨huu⟩ or ⟨hƿ⟩, and only the former was retained during the Middle English period, becoming ⟨hw⟩ during the gradual development of the letter ⟨w⟩ during the 14th-17th centuries. In most dialects it is now pronounced /w/, but a distinct pronunciation realized as a voiceless w sound, [ʍ], is retained in some areas: Scotland, central and southern Ireland, the southeastern United States, and (mostly among older speakers) in New Zealand. In a few words (who, whole, etc.) the pronunciation used among almost all speakers regardless of geography is /h/. For details, see Pronunciation of English ⟨wh⟩. In the Māori language, ⟨wh⟩ represents /ɸ/ or more commonly /f/, with some regional variations approaching /h/ or /hw/. In the Taranaki region, for some speakers, this represents a glottalized /wʼ/. In Xhosa, it represents /w̤/, a murmured variant of /w/ found in loan words. In Cornish, it represents /ʍ/.
⟨ww⟩ is used in Haida (Bringhurst orthography) for glottalized /ˀw/.
⟨xf⟩ is used in the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages for the supposed affricate /x͡ɸ/.
⟨xh⟩, in Albanian, represents the sound of the voiced postalveolar affricate consonant /dʒ/, as in the surname Hoxha /ˈhɔdʒa/. In Zulu and Xhosa it represents the voiceless aspirated alveolar lateral click /kǁʰ/, for example in the name of the language Xhosa /ˈkǁʰoːsa/. In Walloon to write a sound that is variously /h/ or /ʃ/, depending on the dialect. In Canadian Tlingit it represents /χ/, which in Alaska is written x̱.
⟨xi⟩ is used in English for /kʃ/ in words such as flexion. (It is equivalent to ⟨c⟩ plus the digraph ⟨ti⟩, as in action.)
⟨xu⟩ was used in the Ossete Latin alphabet for /χʷ/.
⟨ye⟩ used in various languages. In some languages such as English it is used as an /aɪ/ such as in bye or dye. In most languages, it is used as an /jɛ/ sound, such as in yellow.
⟨yh⟩ was used in the pre-1985 orthography of Guinea, for the "ejective y" or palatalized glottal stop (/ʔʲ/) in Pular (a Fula language). In the current orthography it is now written ƴ. In Xhosa it is used for the sound / j̈ /. In a handful of Australian languages, it represents a "dental semivowel".[clarification needed]
⟨yi⟩ is used in Mandarin pinyin to write the vowel /i/ when it forms an entire syllable.
⟨ym⟩ is used in French to write the vowel sound /ɛ̃/ (/im/ before another vowel), as in thym /tɛ̃/ "thyme".
⟨yn⟩ is used in French to write the vowel sound /ɛ̃/ in some words of Greek origin, such as syncope /sɛ̃kɔp/ "syncope".
⟨yu⟩ is used in romanized Chinese to write the vowel /y/. In Mandarin pinyin it is used for /y/ in initial position, whereas in Cantonese Jyutping it is used for /y/ in non-initial position. (See jyu.)
⟨yy⟩ is used in some languages such as Finnish to write the long vowel /yː/. In Haida (Bringhurst orthography) it is glottalized /ˀj/.
⟨zh⟩ represents the voiced postalveolar fricative (/ʒ/), like the ⟨s⟩ in pleasure, in Albanian and in Native American orthographies such as Navajo. It is used for the same sound in some English-language dictionaries, as well as to transliterate the sound when represented by Cyrillic ⟨ж⟩ and Persian ⟨ژ⟩ into English; though it is rarely used for this sound in English words (perhaps the only ones being zhoosh, or the primarily spoken-only abbreviation of "usual" sometimes spelled uzhe). ⟨Zh⟩ as a digraph is rare in European languages using the Latin alphabet; in addition to Albanian it is found in Breton in words that are pronounced with /z/ in some dialects and /h/ in others. In Hanyu Pinyin, ⟨zh⟩ represents the voiceless retroflex affricate /tʂ/. When the Tamil language is transliterated into the Latin script, ⟨zh⟩ represents a retroflex approximant (Tamil ழ U+0BB4, ḻ, [ɻ]).
⟨zi⟩ in Polish orthography represents /ʑ/ whenever it precedes a vowel, and /ʑi/ whenever it precedes a consonant (or in the end of the word), and is considered a graphic variant of ź appearing in other situations.
⟨zr⟩ is used in the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages for /ʐ/.
⟨zs⟩ is the last (forty-fourth) letter of the Hungarian alphabet. Its name is "zsé" and represents /ʒ/, a voiced postalveolar fricative, similar to J in Jacques and s in vision. A few examples are rózsa "rose" and zsír "fat".
⟨zw⟩ is used in the Dutch language It represent as a (/zʷ/).
⟨ŋg⟩ is used in the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages for /ᵑɡ/.
⟨ŋk⟩ is used in the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages for /ᵑk/.