Hook (diacritic)

In typesetting, the hook or tail is a diacritic mark attached to letters in many alphabets. In shape it looks like a hook and it can be attached below as a descender, on top as an ascender and sometimes to the side. The orientation of the hook can change its meaning: when it is below and curls to the left it can be interpreted as a palatal hook, and when it curls to the right is called hook tail or tail and can be interpreted as a retroflex hook. It should not be mistaken with the hook above, a diacritical mark used in Vietnamese, or the rhotic hook, used in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

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
Ɓ ɓ
Ƈ ƈ
Ɗ ɗ
Ɖ ɖ
Ƒ ƒ
Ɠ ɠ ʛ
ɦ ʱ
ɧ ʮ ʯ
ʝ ʄ
Ƙ ƙ
Ɲ ɲ
Ƥ ƥ
Ɋ ɋ
ɻ ʵ
Ƭ ƭ
Ʈ ʈ ƫ
Ʋ ʋ
Ƴ ƴ
Ȥ ȥ ʐ
Ɀ ɀ
Ӻ ӻ
Ҋ ҋ
Ӄ ӄ
Ԓ ԓ
Ӆ ӆ
Ӎ ӎ
Ӈ ӈ
Ԩ ԩ
Ӊ ӊ
Ӽ ӽ

Letters with hookEdit

It could be argued that the hook was used to derive the letter J from the letter I, or the letter Eng (ŋ) from the letter N. However, these letters are usually not identified as being formed with the hook.

Most letters with hook are used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, and many languages use them (along with capitals) representing the same sounds.

The hook often attaches to the top part of the letter, sometimes replacing the ascender.

If it attaches to the bottom part of the letter, it can curl to the left (and is often called a palatal hook), or to the right (and is often called a retroflex hook).

Latin alphabet
Letters Name Hook position
A with retroflex hook bottom
Script a or alpha with retroflex hook bottom
Ɓ ɓ B with hook top
B with flourish left
B with palatal hook bottom
Ƈ ƈ C with hook top
C with palatal hook bottom
Ɗ ɗ D with hook top
Ɖ ɖ African d or d with tail bottom
D with hook and tail top and bottom
D with palatal hook bottom
E with flourish left
E with retroflex hook bottom
ɚ Schwa with hook right
Schwa with retroflex hook bottom
Open e or epsilon with retroflex hook bottom
ɝ Reversed open e or epsilon with hook right
Reversed open e or epsilon with retroflex hook bottom
Ƒ ƒ F with hook bottom
F with palatal hook bottom
Ɠ ɠ G with hook top
ʛ Small g with hook top
G with palatal hook right
Script g with crossed-tail bottom
ɦ ʱ H with hook top
H with palatal hook bottom right
ɧ Heng with hook top
ʮ Turned h with fishhook top
ʯ Turned h with fishhook and tail top and bottom
I with retroflex hook bottom
ʝ J with crossed-tail bottom
ʄ Dotless j with stroke and hook top
Ƙ ƙ K with hook top
K with palatal hook bottom
L with palatal hook bottom
ɭ L with retroflex hook bottom
L with retroflex hook and belt bottom
ɱ M with hook bottom
M with palatal hook bottom
M with crossed-tail bottom
Ɲ ɲ N with left hook bottom left
N with palatal hook bottom right
ɳ N with retroflex hook bottom right
N with crossed-tail bottom
Eng with crossed-tail bottom
Open o with retroflex hook bottom
Ƥ ƥ P with hook top
P with palatal hook right
P with flourish left middle
P with squirrel tail left top
ʠ Q with hook top
Ɋ ɋ Small q with hook tail bottom
ɽ R with tail bottom left
R with palatal hook bottom
Turned r with tail top
ɻ ʵ Turned r with hook bottom
R with crossed-tail bottom
Double r with crossed-tail bottom
S with palatal hook bottom right
ʂ S with retroflex hook bottom left
ȿ S with swash tail bottom right
Esh with palatal hook right
Esh with retroflex hook bottom
Ƭ ƭ T with hook top
ƫ T with palatal hook bottom
Ʈ ʈ T with retroflex hook bottom
U with left hook top left
U with retroflex hook bottom
V with palatal hook bottom
V with right hook top
Ʋ ʋ Script v or v with hook top
W with hook top right
X with palatal hook bottom right
Ƴ ƴ Y with hook top right
Ȥ ȥ Z with hook bottom
Z with palatal hook bottom
ʐ Z with retroflex hook bottom
Ɀ ɀ Z with swash tail bottom
Ezh with retroflex hook bottom
ƺ Ezh with tail bottom
Cuatrillo tail bottom
Cuatrillo hook bottom
Currency symbols
ƒ Florin sign bottom
Greek alphabet
ϒ Upsilon with hook symbol top right
Cyrillic alphabet
Ӻ ӻ Ghe with stroke and hook bottom
Ҋ ҋ Short i with tail bottom right
Ӄ ӄ Ka with hook bottom right
Ԓ ԓ El with hook bottom right
Ӆ ӆ El with tail bottom right
Ӎ ӎ Em with tail bottom right
Ӈ ӈ En with hook bottom right
Ԩ ԩ En with left hook bottom left
Ӊ ӊ En with tail bottom right
Ӽ ӽ Ha with hook bottom right


Unicode has the combining diacritics U+0321  ̡  COMBINING PALATALIZED HOOK BELOW (HTML ̡) and U+0322  ̢  COMBINING RETROFLEX HOOK BELOW (HTML ̢) but these are not recommended to be used with letters, and should be used to illustrate the hooks themselves. Instead Unicode recommends the use of characters that already include the hook.

The U+02DE ˞ MODIFIER LETTER RHOTIC HOOK (HTML ˞) is used to mark an r-colored vowel.

See alsoEdit