Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about the breve as a diacritical mark. For a breve in music, see double whole note.
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|Azerbaijani, Tatar, Turkish|
A breve (Latin Brevis "short, brief") is a diacritical mark ˘, shaped like a little round cup, designed to indicate a short vowel, as opposed to the macron ¯ which indicates long vowels. It is used this way in dictionaries and textbooks of Latin and some other languages. It looks similar to caron or háček, but the caron has a sharp tip, whilst the breve is rounded. Compare Ǎ ǎ Ě ě Ǐ ǐ Ǒ ǒ Ǔ ǔ (hacek) with Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ (breve).
In the Cyrillic alphabet, a breve is used for Й (short I). In Belarusian, it is used for both the Cyrillic Ў (U short) and Latin (Łacinka) Ŭ. Ў was also used in Cyrillic Uzbek under the Soviet Union. In the Chuvash a breve is used for Cyrillic letters Ӑ (A-breve) and Ӗ (Ye-breve).
In other languages, it is used for other purposes. In Romanian it can be used above the A to form the schwa (ə) vowel and in Esperanto it can be used above the U to form a non-syllabic U, similar to english W in sound.
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