Diacritics in Latin & Greek
double acute˝
double grave ̏
caron, háčekˇ
inverted breve  ̑  
diaeresis, umlaut¨
palatal hook  ̡
retroflex hook  ̢
hook above, dấu hỏi ̉
horn ̛
iota subscript ͅ 
ogonek, nosinė˛
perispomene ͂ 
rough breathing
smooth breathing᾿
Marks sometimes used as diacritics
full stop/period.
Diacritical marks in other scripts
Arabic diacritics
Early Cyrillic diacritics
kamora ҄
pokrytie ҇
titlo ҃
Gurmukhī diacritics
Hebrew diacritics
Indic diacritics
IPA diacritics
Japanese diacritics
Khmer diacritics
Syriac diacritics
Thai diacritics
Dotted circle
Punctuation marks
Logic symbols

Nuqtā (Hindustani नुक़्ता, نقطہ, from Arabic nuqta نقطة "dot," or "period."), also spelled Nuktā, is a term for a diacritic mark that was introduced in Devanāgari and some other Indian scripts to represent sounds not present in the original scripts. It takes the form of a dot placed below a character. Also, in another sense deriving from the Arabic script itself, there "are some letters in Urdu that share the same basic shape but differ in the placement of dots(s) or nuqta(s)" in the Urdu script: the letter ع ain, with the addition of a nuqta, becomes the letter غ g͟hain.[1]

Use in Devanāgarī[edit]

Examples from Devanāgarī, the script used to write Hindi, are: क़ qa, ख़ ḵẖa, ग़ ġa, ज़ za, ड़ ṛa, ढ़ ṛha, फ़ fa, झ़ zha, modifying क ka, ख kha, ग ga, ज ja, ड ḍa, ढ ḍha, फ pha, झ jha, respectively. The term nuqtā नुक़्ता itself is an example; other examples include क़िला (قلعہ) qilā "fortress", and आग़ा ख़ान Āgā Khān (آغا خان, combination of a Perso-Arabic (aga) and a Turko-Mongolic (khan) honorific, now the title of the leader of the Nizari Ismaili sect. Examples of more common words are बड़ा "big", पढ़ना "read", पेड़ "tree", अंग्रेज़ी "English", or करोड़ "crore".

The nuqtā, and the phonological distinction it represents, is sometimes ignored in practice, i.e. क़िला qilā can simply be spelled as किला kilā. Manisha Kulshreshtha and Ramkumar Mathur write in the text Dialect Accent Features for Establishing Speaker Identity that "A few sounds, borrowed from the other languages like Persian and Arabic, are written with a dot (bindu or nuktā). Many people who speak Hindi as a second language, especially those who come from rural backgrounds and do not speak conventional Hindi (also called Khariboli), or speak in one of its dialects, pronounce these sounds as their nearest equivalents." For example, these rural speakers will assimilate the sound ɣ (ग़ غ) as ɡ (ग گ).[2]

With a renewed HindiUrdu language contact, many Urdu writers now publish their works in Devanagari editions. Since the Perso-Arabic orthography is preserved in Nastaʿlīq script Urdu orthography, these writers use the nuqtā in Devanāgari when transcribing these consonants.

Encoding in Unicode[edit]

Nuktā is important for accurate transliteration of scripts and representation of speech sounds. Indic scripts with nuktā include Devanāgarī, Grantha, Kannada, Gujǎrātī, Bengali, Gurmukhī, and more.

Currently, the Telugu script lacks nuktā. This results in inaccurate transliteration of Telugu. The encoding of Telugu nuktā would enable the transliteration of Perso-Arabic consonants.[3]

See also[edit]


Works cited[edit]

  1. ^ Govindaraju, Venu; Setlur, Srirangaraj (Ranga) (25 September 2009). Guide to OCR for Indic Scripts: Document Recognition and Retrieval. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 165. ISBN 9781848003309. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  2. ^ Kulshreshtha, Manisha; Mathur, Ramkumar (24 March 2012). Dialect Accent Features for Establishing Speaker Identity: A Case Study. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 19–. ISBN 9781461411376. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  3. ^ Rajan, V., Sharma, S., & Kolichala, S. (2019). "Proposal to Encode Telugu Sign Nukta".


  • Vajpeyi, K. D. (Kishorī Dās Vājpayī; किशोरीदास वाजपेयी), Hindī shabdanushāsan हिन्दी शब्दनुशासन (1957, 1958, 1973, 1976, 1988).

External links[edit]