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A breve (// (listen), less often // (listen); French: [bʁɛv] (listen); neuter form of the Latin brevis “short, brief”) is the diacritic mark ˘, shaped like the bottom half of a circle. As used in Ancient Greek, it is also called vrachy, or brachy. It resembles the caron (the wedge or háček in Czech) but is rounded; the caron has a sharp tip.
- Ǎ ǎ Ě ě Ǐ ǐ Ǒ ǒ Ǔ ǔ
- Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ
The breve sign indicates a short vowel, as opposed to the macron ¯, which indicates long vowels, in academic transcription. It is often used that way in dictionaries and textbooks of Latin, Ancient Greek, Tuareg and other languages. However, there is a frequent convention of indicating only the long vowels. It is then understood that a vowel with no macron is short. If the vowel length is unknown, a breve as well as a macron are used in historical linguistics (Ā̆ ā̆ Ē̆ ē̆ Ī̆ ī̆ Ō̆ ō̆ Ū̆ ū̆).
In Cyrillic script, a breve is used for Й. In Belarusian, it is used for both the Cyrillic Ў (semivowel U) and in the Latin (Łacinka) Ŭ. Ў was also used in Cyrillic Uzbek under the Soviet Union. The Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet uses a breve on Ӂ to represent a voiced postalveolar affricate /d͡ʒ/ (corresponding to ⟨g⟩ before a front vowel in the Latin script for Moldovan). In Chuvash, a breve is used for Cyrillic letters Ӑ (A-breve) and Ӗ (E-breve). In Itelmen orthography, it is used for Ӑ, О̆ and Ў. The traditional Cyrillic breve differs in shape and is thicker on the edges of the curve and thinner in the middle, compared to the Latin one. In Latin types, the shape looks like ears.
In Emilian, ĕ ŏ are used to represent [ɛ, ɔ] in dialects where also long [ɛː, ɔː] occur.
In other languages, it is used for other purposes.
- In Romanian, A with breve represents /ə/, as in măr (apple).
- G-breve appears in the Azerbaijani, Crimean Tatar, Tatar, and Turkish alphabets. In Turkish, ğ lengthens the preceding vowel. It is thus placed between two vowels and is silent in standard Turkish but may be pronounced [ɰ] in some regional dialects or varieties closer to Ottoman Turkish.
- The breve, together with the circumflex and horn, are used in the Vietnamese language to represent additional vowels.
- The McCune-Reischauer romanization system of the Korean alphabet's script uses breves over o and u to represent the vowels ㅓ (ŏ) and ㅡ (ŭ).
- H-breve below Ḫ ḫ is used to transliterate the Arabic character Ḫāʾ (خ) in DIN 31635. It is also used to transliterate Akkadian, Hittite cuneiform, and Egyptian hieroglyphs.
- On German-language maps, a double breve is often used in abbreviated placenames that end in -b͝g., short for -burg, a common suffix originally meaning “castle”. This prevents misinterpretation as -berg, another common suffix in placenames (meaning “mountain”). Thus, for example, Freib͝g. stands for Freiburg, not Freiberg.
- Certain transcription systems for certain varieties of Chinese employ the breve to represent one of the tones, including Foochow Romanized for the Fuzhou dialect of Eastern Min, and Kienning Colloquial Romanized for the Jian'ou dialect of Northern Min (which also uses the caron).
- I-breve (Ǐ, ǐ) is used in the dialects of Crimean Tatar language spoken in Romania.
- In the Syriac languages, ĕ is used to denote an "eh" or /ˈɛ/ sound.
|Combining breve below||◌̮||U+032E||̮|
|Combining double breve||◌͝◌||U+035D||͝|
|Combining double breve below||◌͜◌||U+035C||͜|
|Breve with inverted breve (spacing)||꭛||U+AB5B||꭛|
|Azerbaijani, Tatar, Turkish|
|Short I||Й |
|U+041E U+0306 |
|Short U||Ў |
|Alpha with vrachy||Ᾰ |
|Iota with vrachy||Ῐ |
|Upsilon with vrachy||Ῠ |
|Arabic, Hittite, Akkadian, Egyptian transliteration|
|H-breve below||Ḫ |
In LaTeX the controls \u and \breve put a breve over the letter o.
- Бреве кириллическое, "кратка" [Cyrillic breve ("kratka")] (in Russian). ParaType.
- For example, that word 한글 han-geul is romanized in McCune-Reischauer as han'gŭl. The spelling han-geul is based on South Korea's Revised Romanization of Korean adopted in 2000 in part for ease in computer use, not on McCune-Reischauer. It is common, for convenience, to omit writing all diacritical marks in McCune-Reishchauer including breves, in which case the word is spelled hangul not han'gŭl. North Korea uses a variant of McCune-Reischauer that also utilizes breves for those two vowels.
- "Code chart for Latin Extended Additional (U+1E00–U+1EFF)" (PDF). The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2016-11-12.