Macron

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The macron originated in Greco-Roman poetry, where it was used for marking long syllables. It's use has since been extended to marking long vowels.[1]

Macron in Unicode

Characters with Macron
¯ ˉ ◌̄ Ā ā Ǟ ǟ Ǡ ǡ Ǣ ǣ Ē ē
U+00AF U+02C9 U+0304 U+0100 U+0101 U+01DE U+01DF U+01E0 U+01E1 U+01E2 U+01E3 U+0112 U+0113
Macron Modifier Letter Macron Combining Macron Latin Capital Letter A With Macron Latin Small Letter A With Macron Latin Capital Letter A With Diaeresis And Macron Latin Small Letter A With Diaeresis And Macron Latin Capital Letter A With Dot Above And Macron Latin Small Letter A With Dot Above And Macron Latin Capital Letter Ae With Macron Latin Small Letter Ae With Macron Latin Capital Letter E With Macron Latin Small Letter E With Macron
Note: May be confused with Overline, ‾ (U+203E); Combining Double Macron, ◌͞◌ (U+035E); or Superscript Minus, ⁻ (U+207B).
Ī ī Ō ō Ǭ
U+1E14 U+1E15 ​ U+1E16 U+1E17 U+1E20 U+1E21 U+012A U+012B U+1E38 U+1E39 U+014C ​ U+014D U+01EC
Latin Capital Letter E With Macron And Grave Latin Small Letter E With Macron And Grave Latin Capital Letter E With Macron And Acute Latin Small Letter E With Macron And Acute Latin Capital Letter G With Macron Latin Small Letter G With Macron Latin Capital Letter I With Macron Latin Small Letter I With Macron Latin Capital Letter L With Dot Below And Macron Latin Small Letter L With Dot Below And Macron Latin Capital Letter O With Macron Latin Small Letter O With Macron Latin Capital Letter O With Ogonek And Macron
ǭ Ȫ ȫ Ȭ ȭ Ȱ ȱ
U+01ED U+1E50 U+1E51 U+1E52 U+1E53 U+022A U+022B U+022C U+022D U+0230 U+0231 U+1E5C U+1E5D
Latin Small Letter O With Ogonek And Macron Latin Capital Letter O With Macron And Grave Latin Small Letter O With Macron And Grave Latin Capital Letter O With Macron And Acute Latin Small Letter O With Macron And Acute Latin Capital Letter O With Diaeresis And Macron Latin Small Letter O With Diaeresis And Macron Latin Capital Letter O With Tilde And Macron Latin Small Letter O With Tilde And Macron Latin Capital Letter O With Dot Above And Macron Latin Small Letter O With Dot Above And Macron Latin Capital Letter R With Dot Below And Macron Latin Small Letter R With Dot Below And Macron
Ū ū Ǖ ǖ Ȳ ȳ
U+016A U+016B U+1E7A U+1E7B U+01D5 U+01D6 U+0232 U+0233
Latin Capital Letter U With Macron Latin Small Letter U With Macron Latin Capital Letter U With Macron And Diaeresis Latin Small Letter U With Macron And Diaeresis Latin Capital Letter U With Diaeresis And Macron Latin Small Letter U With Diaeresis And Macron Latin Capital Letter Y With Macron Latin Small Letter Y With Macron

Macron in Natlangs

Uses of Macron
Use Language Letters Notes
Fricative consonant Arabic (Hans Wehr romanization) ḡ /ɣ~ɡ/ ḡ replaced ġ in the fourth edition of this transliteration scheme.[2] The pronunciation of this letter varies depending on dialect.[3] Hans Wehr transliteration does not include capital letters.[2] Macron below is used similarly together with other consonants in Hans Wehr.
ISO/R 233 romanization Ḡḡ /ɣ~ɡ/ The pronunciation of this letter varies depending on dialect.[3] Macron below is used similarly together with other consonants in ISO/R 233.
High tone Mandarin (Pinyin romanization) Āā /a˥/, Ēē /ə˥/, Īī /i˥/, Ōō /ə˥/, Ūū /u˥/, Ǖǖ /y˥/ Note that these tone values are based on the Beijing dialect.[4]
Long vowel Arabic (DIN 31635 romanization, ISO/R 233 romanization) Āā /aː/, Īī /iː/, Ūū /uː/
Arabic (ISO 233 romanization) Āā /aː/, W̄w̄, Ȳȳ
Arabic (Hans Wehr romanization) ā /aː/, ē /eː/, ī /iː/, ō /oː/, ū /uː/ ē and ō are only found in loan words. This romanization does not include capital letters.[2]
Croatian, Serbian Āā /aː/, Ēē /eː/, Īī /iː/, Ōō /oː/, R̄r̄ /r̩ː/, Ūū /uː/ The macron marks a long vowel without pitch accent. These letters are not used in the standard orthography of Croatian or Serbian, but in linguistic materials.[5]
Japanese (Hepburn romanization) Āā /aː/, Ēē /eː/, Īī /iː/, Ōō /oː/, Ūū /uː/ In traditional Hepburn Āā, Ēē, Īī are only used in loanwords, Aa aa, Ee ee, Ii ii being used otherwise. In modified Hepburn, only Īī is restricted to loanwords. In both systems the following also applies:
  • /eː/ can be written Ei ei, depending on its spelling in kana.
  • Long vowels are not written with a macron if a morpheme boundary appears in between. Thus /aː/ becomes Aa aa, /eː/ becomes Ee ee, /oː/ becomes Oo oo or Ou ou depending on kana spelling, and /uː/ becomes Uu uu.

There are many deviations from these principles though. For example, a circumflex may be seen used instead of a macron due to keyboard/word processor limitations, accents may be entirely restricted to Uu and/or Oo, /oː/ may variously be romanized as Ou ou, Oo oo, Oh oh regardless of kana spelling, or marking of vowel length may be entirely absent.[6]

Latgalian Āā /ɑː/, Ēē /eː/, Īī /iː/, Ōō /oː/, Ūū /uː/
Latvian Āā /ɑː/, Ēē /eː/ and /æː/, Īī /iː/, Ūū /uː/
Livonian Āā /ɑː/, Ǟǟ /æː/, Ēē /ɛː/, Īī /iː/, Ōō /oː/, Ȱȱ /ʊː/, Ȭȭ /ɨː/, Ūū /u/
Māori Āā /aː/, Ēē /eː/, Īī /iː/, Ōō /oː/, Ūū /uː/ In the early history of Māori writing, vowel length was inconsistently marked, and various methods for marking it existed. But nowadays the macron has become the established way of indicating vowel length.[7]
Mid tone Min Dong (Fuzhou dialect, Foochow romanization) Āā /a˧, ɑ˧/, Ā̤ā̤ /ɛ˧, a˧/, Ēē /ɛi˧/, Ē̤ē̤ /œ˧/, Īī /i˧/, Ōō /ou˧/, Ō̤ō̤ /o˧, ɔ˧/, Ūū /u˧/, Ṳ̄ṳ̄ /y˧/ Note that the letters here that contain ◌̤ are not precomposed characters.
Min Nan (Pe̍h-ōe-jī orthography) Āā /a˧/, Āⁿ āⁿ /ã˧/, Ēē /e˧/, Ēⁿ ēⁿ /ẽ˧/, Īī /i˧/, Īⁿ īⁿ /ĩ˧/, M̄m̄ /m̩˧/, N̄g n̄g /ŋ̍˧/, Ōō /ə˧/, Ōⁿ ōⁿ /ɔ̃˧/, Ō͘ō͘ /ɔ˧/, Ūū /u˧/, Ūⁿ ūⁿ /u˧/ There is much variation in the tones and vowel qualities between different dialects of Min Nan. The vowel qualities here seem to be an approximation between the dialects,[8] while the tones here are as they are pronounced in Taipei.[9]

Macron in Conlangs

Uses of Macron
Usage Language Creator Letters Notes
Long vowel Qwynegold (Qwadralónia dialect) Qwynegold Āā /aː/, Ēē /eː, e̞ː/, Īī /ɪː, iː/, Ōō /o̜ː, oː/, Ūū /u̜ː, uː/, Ȳȳ /ʏː, yː/, Ā̈ā̈ /æː, ɛː/, Ō̈ō̈ /øː, œː/ There are no precomposed forms of Ā̈ā̈, Ō̈ō̈.

See Also

References

  1. Macron at Wikipedia.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hans Wehr transliteration at Wikipedia.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Arabic alphabet, Table of basic letters at Wikipedia.
  4. Mandarin Chinese, Tones at Wikipedia.
  5. Serbo-Croatian phonology, Pitch accent at Wikipedia.
  6. All facts, except about accents being restricted to Oo/Uu only, are from Hepburn romanization, Long vowels at Wikipedia.
  7. Māori language, Long vowels at Wikipedia.
  8. Pe̍h-ōe-jī, Current system at Wikipedia.
  9. Taiwanese Hokkien, Tones at Wikipedia.