The (; Polish: , "little tail",
diminutive A diminutive is a root word A root (or root word) is the core of a word that is irreducible into more meaningful elements. In morphology, a root is a morphologically simple unit which can be left bare or to which a prefix A prefix is an aff ...
of ) is a
diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembled on a composing stick using pieces that ...
hook placed under the lower right corner of a vowel in the
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived ...

Latin alphabet
used in several
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

an languages, and directly under a vowel in several
Native American languages Over a thousand Indigenous languages An indigenous language or autochthonous language, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign la ...
. It is also placed on the lower right corner of consonants in some Latin transcriptions of various indigenous languages of the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
mountains. An ogonek can also be attached to the bottom of a vowel in
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
–Icelandic to show length or vowel
affection Affection or fondness is a "disposition or state of mind or body" that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It has given rise to a number of branches of philosophy and psychology concerning emotion, disease, influence, and sta ...
. For example, in Old Norse, ''ǫ'' represents the Old Norwegian vowel , which in Old Icelandic merges with '' ø'' ‹ö›.


* Abaza (''s̨'', ''z̨'', ''c̨'', ''c̨, ''j̨'') *
(''s̨'', ''s̨u'', ''z̨'', ''z̨u'', ''c̨'', ''c̨u'', ''c̨, ''c̨'u'', ''j̨'', ''j̨u'') * Adyghe (''s̨'', ''z̨'') * Archi (''ł̨'', ''ɫ̨'') * Numerous
Athabaskan languages Athabaskan (also spelled ''Athabascan'', ''Athapaskan'' or ''Athapascan'', and also known as Dene) is a large family of indigenous languages An indigenous language or autochthonous language, is a language A language is a structured syste ...

Athabaskan languages
, including
Navajo The Navajo (; British English: Navaho; nv, Diné or ') are a Native American people Native Americans, also known as American Indians, First Americans, Indigenous Americans and #Terminology differences, other terms, are the Indigenous peop ...
and Dogrib (''ą'', ''ą́'', ''ę'', ''ę́'', ''į'', ''į́'', ''ǫ'', ''ǫ́'', ''ų'', ''ų́'', ''ɛ̨'') *
Cayuga Cayuga often refers to: * Cayuga people, a native tribe to North America, part of the Iroquois Confederacy * Cayuga language, the language of the Cayuga Cayuga may also refer to: Places Canada *Cayuga, Ontario United States *Cayuga, Illinois *C ...
(letters ''ę'', ''ǫ'') * Dadibi language, Dadibi (''ą'', ''ę'', ''į'', ''ǫ'') * Elfdalian language, Elfdalian (''ą'', ''ę'', ''į'', ''ų'', ''y̨'' and ''ą̊'') * some romanizations of Iota subscript, Ancient Greek (''ą'', ''ę'', ''ǫ'') * Winnebago language, Ho-Chunk (''ą'', ''ąą'', ''į'', ''įį'', ''ų'', ''ųų'') * Kabardian language, Kabardian (''s̨'', ''s̨, ''z̨'') * Kashubian language, Kashubian (''ą'') * scholarly transcriptions of Vulgar Latin and Romance languages#Stressed vowels, Proto-Romance (''ę, ǫ'') * Lithuanian language, Lithuanian (''ą'', ''ę'', ''į'', ''ų'') * Ojibwe language, Ojibwe in older Romanization standards, representing either nasalization or Fronting (sound change), vowel backing (''ą'', ''ąą'', ''ą́'', ''ę'', ''įį'', ''ǫǫ'') * scholarly transcriptions of Old Church Slavonic and Proto-Slavic language, Proto-Slavic (''ę'', ''ǫ'') *
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
(''ǫ'' , ''ǫ́'' , ''o᷎'', ''ǫ᷎''), (''ę'' , ''æ'' ), (Alternatively, ''ą'', etc. instead represent any nasalized vowel (, etc.) corresponding to the Norse runic letter Áss and the Proto-Norse runic letter Ansuz (rune), AnsuR.) * Old Norwegian and Old Icelandic (''æ̨'', ''ø̨'', ''a᷎'', ''e᷎'', ''i᷎'', ''o᷎'', ''ø᷎'', ''u᷎'') * Onondaga language, Onondaga dialects (''ę'', ''ǫ''), (Alternatively, ''eñ'' and ''oñ'' can also be used. ''ų'' is sometimes used for ''ǫ'') * Otomi language, Otomi dialects (''ą'', ''į'', ''ɛ̨'') * Polish language, Polish (letters ''ą'', ''ę'') * Rheinische Dokumenta (''ą̈'', ''ǫ'', ''ǫ̈'', ''ą̈ą̈'', ''ǫǫ'', ''ǫ̈ǫ̈'') * Shapsug Adyghe dialect, Shapsugh (''s̨'', ''s̨u'', ''z̨'', ''z̨u'', ''c̨u'', ''c̨ɦu'') * Karachay-Balkar language, Tawlu (''n̨'') * Ubykh language, Ubykh (''s̨'', ''s̨u'', ''z̨'', ''z̨u'', ''c̨'', ''c̨u'', ''c̨, ''c̨'u'', ''j̨'', ''j̨u'') Example in Polish: : : :: — Jan Brzechwa, ''Chrząszcz'' Example in Cayuga: : — we will become poor Example in Dogrib: : — native people Example in Lithuanian: : : :: — Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas, ''Margi sakalai'' Example in Elfdalian: :"Ja, eð war įe plåg að gęslkallum, dar eð war slaik uondlostjyner i gęslun." :: — Vikar Margit Andersdotter, ''I fäbodlivet i gamla tider''. Example in Western Apache: : — created



The use of the ogonek to indicate nasal vowel, nasality is common in the transcription of the indigenous languages of the Americas. This usage originated in the orthographies created by Christian missionaries to transcribe these languages. Later, the practice was continued by Americanist anthropologists and linguists who still, to the present day, follow this convention in phonetic transcription (see Americanist phonetic notation). The ogonek is also used to indicate a nasalized vowel in Polish, academic transliteration of Old Church Slavonic language, Old Church Slavonic, Navajo, Western Apache, Chiricahua, Tlicho language, Tłįch Yatiì, Slavey language, Slavey, Chipewyan language, Dëne Sųłiné and Elfdalian. In Polish, ''ę'' is nasalized ''e''; however, ''ą'' is nasalized ''o'', not ''a'', because of a vowel shift: ''ą'', originally a long nasal ''a'', turned into a short nasal ''o'' when the distinction in vowel quantity disappeared.


In Lithuanian, the nosinė (literally, "nasal") mark originally indicated vowel nasalization but around the late 17th century, nasal vowels gradually evolved into the corresponding long vowel, long non-nasal vowels in most dialects. Thus, the mark is now ''de facto'' an indicator of vowel length (the length of etymologically non-nasal vowels is marked differently). The mark also helps to distinguish different grammatical forms with otherwise the same written form, but have different stress, which is not indicated directly by the orthography.

Lowered articulation

Between 1927 and 1989, the ogonek denoted relative articulation, lowering in vowels, and, since 1976, in consonants as well, in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). While the obsolete diacritic has also been identified as the ring (diacritic), left half ring diacritic , many publications of the IPA used the ogonek. In Rheinische Dokumenta, it marks vowels that are more open than those denoted by their base letters Ää, Oo, Öö. In two cases, it can be combined with Trema (diacritic), umlaut marks.

Similar diacritics

E caudata and o caudata

The ''E caudata'' (''ę''), a symbol similar to an ''e'' with ogonek, evolved from a ligature (typography), ligature of ''a'' and ''e'' in medieval scripts, in Latin and Irish language, Irish palaeography. The ''O caudata'' of
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
(letter ''ǫ'', with ''ǫ́'') is used to write the open-mid back rounded vowel, . Medieval Nordic manuscripts show this 'hook' in both directions, in combination with several vowels. Despite this distinction, the term 'ogonek' is sometimes used in discussions of typesetting and encoding Norse texts, as ''o caudata'' is typographically identical to o with ogonek. Similarly, the ''E caudata'' was sometimes used to designate the Norse vowel or .

Cedilla and comma

The ogonek is functionally equivalent to the cedilla and Comma (diacritic), comma diacritic marks. If two of these three are used within the same orthography their respective use is restricted to certain classes of letters, i.e. usually the ogonek is used with vowels whereas the cedilla is applied to consonants. In handwritten text, the marks may even look the same.

Superscript ogonek

In Old Norse and Old Icelandic manuscripts, there is an over-hook or curl that may be considered a variant of the ogonek. It occurs on the letters a᷎ e᷎ i᷎ o᷎ ø᷎ u᷎.

Typographical notes

The ogonek should be almost the same size as a descender (relatively, its size in larger type may be significantly shorter), and should not be confused with the cedilla or comma diacritics used in other languages.


Because attaching an ogonek does not affect the shape of the base letter, Unicode covers it with a combining diacritic, U+0328. There are a number of precomposed legacy characters, but new ones are not being added to Unicode (e.g. for or ).


In LaTeX2e, macro \k will typeset a letter with ogonek, if it is supported by the font encoding, e.g. \k will typeset ''ą''. (The default LaTeX OT1 encoding does not support it, but the newer T1 one does. It may be enabled by saying \usepackage[T1] in the preamble.) However, \k rather places the diacritic "right-aligned" with the carrying ''e'' (ę), suitably for Polish, while \textogonekcentered horizontally ''centers'' the diacritic with respect to the carrier, suitably for Native American Languages as well as for #E caudata and o caudata, e caudata and o caudata. So \textogonekcentered better fits the latter purposes. Actually, \k (for ǫ) is defined to result in \textogonekcentered, and \k is defined to result in \textogonekcentered.See t1enc.def in LaTeX2e distributions. The package TIPA (software), TIPA, activated by using the command "\usepackage", offers a different way: "\textpolhook" will produce ''ą''.


External links

Diacritics Project — All you need to design a font with correct accents

Förslag till en enhetlig stavning för älvdalska (March, 2005)

w3schools.com — UTF-8 Latin Extended A
{{Latin script, , ogonek Latin-script diacritics Lithuanian language Polish letters with diacritics, Diakrytyka