From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The circumflex ( ˆ ) is a diacritic mark used in written French, Esperanto, Norwegian, and other languages.
- In French the circumflex is used on the vowels â, ê, î, ô, and û. It is largely redundant. It marks the former presence of the letter s in the spelling of the word. For example, hôpital, forêt.
- In Esperanto, it is used on ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, and ŝ. It indicates a completely different consonant from the unaccented form, and is considered a separate letter for purposes of collation. See Esperanto orthography.
- In Norwegian, it is used, with the exception of loan words, on ô and ê, almost exclusively in the words "fôr" (from Norse fóðr, meaning "animal food", and "vêr", meaning "weather".
- In English, the circumflex is sometimes used on loanwords; for example, rôle.
- In Romanian, the circumflex is used on the vowels â and î to mark a sound similar to Russian 'yery'.
- In Kunrei-shiki romanized Japanese, the circumflex marks long vowels. It may also be used as an alternative to the macron for marking long vowels in the Hepburn system.
- In Welsh the circumflex (to bach) is used in single-syllable words to show the difference between other words that have the same spelling. The circumflex in Welsh makes a vowel a long vowel (môr/mor).
The circumflex receives its English name from the Latin circumflexus (bent about).