Circumflex

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ˆ
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caron, háček( ˇ )
cedilla( ¸ )
circumflex( ˆ )
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Template:Letters with circumflex The circumflex is a diacritic in the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic scripts that is used in the written forms of many languages and in various romanization and transcription schemes. It received its English name from Latin circumflexus "bent around"Template:Spaced ndasha translation of the Greek περισπωμένη (perispōménē). The circumflex in the Latin script is chevron-shaped ( ˆ ), while the Greek circumflex may be displayed either like a tilde ( ˜ ) or like an inverted breve (   ̑ ).

In English the circumflex, like other diacritics, is sometimes retained on loanwords that used it in the original language (for example, rôle).

The diacritic is also used in mathematics, where it is typically called a hat or roof or house.

Uses

Phonetic marker

Pitch

{{#invoke:see also|seealso}} The circumflex has its origins in the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek, where it marked long vowels that were pronounced with high and then falling pitch. In a similar vein, the circumflex is today used to mark tone contour in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

The shape of the circumflex was originally a combination of the acute and grave accents (^), as it marked a syllable contracted from two vowels: an acute-accented vowel and a non-accented vowel (all non-accented syllables in Ancient Greek were once marked with a grave accent).{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} Later a variant similar to the tilde (~) was also used.

νόος contraction

(synaeresis)
ν-´ō`-ς = νō͂ς = νοῦς
nóos n-´ō`-s = nō̂s = noûs

The termTemplate:Clarify is also used to describe similar tonal accents that result from combining two vowels in related languages such as Sanskrit and Latin.

Since Modern Greek has a stress accent instead of a pitch accent, the circumflex has been replaced with an acute accent in the modern monotonic orthography.

Length

The circumflex accent marks a long vowel in the orthography or transliteration of several languages.

  • Akkadian. In the transliteration of this language, the circumflex indicates a long vowel resulting from an aleph contraction.
  • French. In some varieties, such as in Belgian French, Swiss French and Acadian French, vowels with a circumflex are long: fête [fɛːt] (party) is longer than faite [fɛt]. This length compensates for a deleted consonant, usually s.
  • Standard Friulian.
  • Japanese. In the Kunrei-shiki system of Romanization, and sometimes the Hepburn system, the circumflex is used as a replacement for the macron.
  • Jèrriais.
  • Ligurian language.
  • In Serbo-Croatian the circumflex can be used to distinguish homographs, and it is called the "genitive sign" or "length sign". Examples include sam "am" versus sâm "alone". For example, the phrase "I am alone" may be written Ja sam sâm to improve clarity. Another example: da "yes", "gives".[1]
  • Turkish. According to Turkish Language Association orthography, düzeltme işareti "correction mark" over a, i and u marks a long vowel to disambiguate similar words.For example, compare ama "but" and âmâ "blind", şura 'that place, there' and şûra "council".[2] In general, circumflexes only occur in Arabic and Persian loanwords as vowel length in early Turkish was not phonemic. However, this standard was never applied entirely consistently[3] and by the early 21st century many publications had stopped using circumflexes almost entirely.[4]
  • Welsh. The circumflex is known as hirnod "long sign", acen grom "crooked accent" and also colloquially as tô bach "little roof". It lengthens a vowel (a, e, i, o, u, w, y), and is used particularly to differentiate between homographs; e.g. tan and tân, ffon and ffôn, gem and gêm, cyn and cŷn, or gwn and gŵn.
  • In Adûnaic, the Black Speech, and Khuzdul, constructed languages of J. R. R. Tolkien, all long vowels are transcribed with the circumflex. In Sindarin long vowels in monosyllabic words take the circumflex and long vowels in longer words take the acute.

Stress

The circumflex accent marks the stressed vowel of a word in some languages:

  • Portuguese â, ê, and ô are stressed vowels. The circumflex further indicates their height (see below).
  • Welsh: the circumflex, due to its function as a disambiguating lengthening sign (see above), is used in polysyllabic words with word-final long vowels. The circumflex thus indicates the stressed syllable (which would normally be on the penultimate syllable), since in Welsh, non-stressed vowels may not normally be long. This happens notably where the singular ends in an a, to, e.g. singular camera, drama, opera, sinema → plural camerâu, dramâu, operâu, sinemâu; however, it also occurs in singular nominal forms, e.g. arwyddocâd; in verbal forms, e.g. deffrônt, cryffânt; etc.

Vowel quality

Other articulatory features

Abbreviation, contraction, and disambiguation

  • In eighteenth-century British English, before the cheap Penny Post and during the time paper was taxed, the combination ough was shortened to ô when the gh was not pronounced, in order to save room in letters: thô for though, thorô for thorough, and brôt for brought.
  • In French, the circumflex generally marks the former presence of a consonant (usually s) that was deleted and is no longer pronounced. (The corresponding English words frequently retain the lost consonant.)
    • ancêtre "ancestor"
    • hôpital "hospital"
    • hôtel "hostel"
    • forêt "forest"
    • rôtir "to roast"
    • côte "coast"
    • pâte "paste"
    • août "August"
    • dépôt (from the Latin depositum 'deposit', but now usually referring to a bus/rail terminal or garage)
Note that in current French, the English spellings, at least in terms of the syllable with the circumflex, could be pronounced the same as the French spellings, owing to the transformative effect of s on the preceding vowelTemplate:Spaced ndashfor example forêt Template:IPA-fr "forest", as per est Template:IPA-fr "is" (third person singular of être). Conversely, in the homograph est Template:IPA-fr "east", the Template:IPA-fr sound is pronounced.
Some homophones (or near-homophones in some varieties of French) are distinguished by the circumflex, for instance cote Template:IPA-fr "level, mark" and côte Template:IPA-fr "rib, coast". (See also Use of the circumflex in French.)
In handwritten French, for example in taking notes, an m with a circumflex (m̂) is an informal abbreviation for même "same".
  • In Italian, î is occasionally used in the plural of nouns and adjectives ending with -io Template:IPA-it as a crasis mark. Other possible spellings are -ii and obsolete -j or -ij. For example, the plural of vario Template:IPA-it "various" can be spelt vari, varî, varii; the pronunciation will usually stay Template:IPA-it with only one Template:IPA-it. The plural forms of principe Template:IPA-it "prince" and of principio Template:IPA-it "principle, beginning" can be confusing. In pronunciation, they are distinguished by whether the stress is on the first or on the second syllable, but principi would be a correct spelling of both. When necessary to avoid ambiguity, it is advised to write the plural of principio as principî or as principii.
  • In Norwegian, the circumflex differentiates fôr "lining, fodder" from the preposition for. From a historical point of view, the circumflex also indicates that the word used to be spelled with the letter ð in Old NorseTemplate:Spaced ndashfor example, fôr is derived from fóðr, lêr 'leather' from leðr, and vêr "weather, ram" from veðr (both lêr and vêr only occur in the Nynorsk spelling; in Bokmål these words are spelled lær and vær). Before the ð disappeared, it was replaced by an ordinary d (fodr, vedr).

Mathematics

In mathematics, the circumflex is used to modify variable names; it is usually read "hat", e.g., î is "i hat". The Fourier transform of a function ƒ is often denoted by .

In the notation of sets, a hat above an element signifies that the element was removed from the set.

In vector notation, a hat above a letter indicates a unit vector (a dimensionless vector with a magnitude of 1). For instance, , , or stands for a unit vector in the direction of the x-axis of a Cartesian coordinate system.

In statistics, the hat is used to denote an estimator or an estimated value, as opposed to its theoretical counterpart. For example, in errors and residuals, the hat in indicates an observable estimate (the residual) of an unobservable quantity called (the statistical error). It is read x-hat or x-roof, where x represents the character under the hat.

Music

In music theory and musicology, a circumflex above a numeral is used to make reference to a particular scale degree.

In music notation, a chevron-shaped symbol placed above a note indicates marcato, a special form of emphasis or accent. In music for string instruments, a narrow inverted chevron indicates that a note should be performed up-bow.

Circumflex in digital character sets

The precomposed characters Â/â, Ê/ê, Î/î, Ô/ô, and Û/û (which incorporate the circumflex) are included in the ISO-8859-1 character set, and dozens more are available in Unicode. In addition, Unicode has Template:Unichar, which in principle allows adding the diacritic to any base letter.

For historical reasons, there is a similar but larger character, Template:Unichar, which is also included in ASCII but often referred to as caret instead. It is, however, unsuitable for use as a diacritic on modern computer systems, as it is a spacing character. Another spacing circumflex character in Unicode is the smaller Template:Unichar, mainly used in phonetic notationsTemplate:Spaced ndashor as a sample of the diacritic in isolation.

See also

Template:Latin alphabet

References

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External links