Inverted breve

Inverted breve or arch is a diacritical mark, shaped like the top half of a circle ( ̑ ), that is, like an upside-down breve (˘). It looks similar to the circumflex (ˆ), but the circumflex has a sharp tip; the inverted breve is rounded: compare Ȃ ȃ Ȇ ȇ Ȋ ȋ Ȏ ȏ Ȗ ȗ (inverted breve) versus  â Ê ê Î î Ô ô Û û (circumflex).

Inverted breve
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
Ȃ ȃ
Ȇ ȇ
Ȋ ȋ
Ȏ ȏ
Ȓ ȓ
Ȗ ȗ

Inverted breve can occur above or below the letter. It is not used in any natural language alphabet,[citation needed] but only as a phonetic indicator though it is identical in form to the Ancient Greek circumflex.



The inverted breve above is used in traditional Slavicist notation of Serbo-Croatian phonology to indicate long falling accent. It is placed above the syllable nucleus, which can be one of five vowels (ȃ ȇ ȋ ȏ ȗ) or syllabic ȓ.

This use of the inverted breve is derived from the Ancient Greek circumflex, which was preserved in the polytonic orthography of Modern Greek and influenced[clarification needed] early Serbian Cyrillic printing through religious literature. In the early 19th century, it began to be used in both Latin and Cyrillic as a diacritic to mark prosody in the systematic study of the Serbian-Croatian linguistic continuum.

International Phonetic AlphabetEdit

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, inverted breve below is used to denote that the vowel is not syllabic. Thus, semivowels are transcribed either using dedicated symbols (of which there are only a few, e.g. [j, w, ɥ]) or by adding the diacritic to a vowel sound (e.g. [i̯, u̯]), enabling more possible semivowels (e.g. [ɐ̯, ʏ̯, e̯]).

The same diacritic is placed under iota (ι̯) to represent the Proto-Indo-European semivowel *y as it relates to Greek grammar; upsilon with an inverted breve (υ̯) is used alongside digamma (ϝ) to represent the Proto-Indo-European semivowel *w.[1]


Inverted breve characters are supported in Unicode and HTML code (decimal numeric character reference).

Name Letter Unicode HTML
Combining Inverted Breve ◌̑ U+0311 ̑
Combining Inverted Breve Below ◌̯ U+032F ̯
Combining Double Inverted Breve ◌͡◌ U+0361 ͡
Combining Double Inverted Breve Below ◌᷼◌ U+1DFC ᷼
Modifier Breve With Inverted Breve U+AB5B ꭛
Latin Capital Letter A With Inverted Breve Ȃ U+0202 Ȃ
Latin Small Letter A With Inverted Breve ȃ U+0203 ȃ
Latin Capital Letter E With Inverted Breve Ȇ U+0206 Ȇ
Latin Small Letter E With Inverted Breve ȇ U+0207 ȇ
Latin Capital Letter I With Inverted Breve Ȋ U+020A Ȋ
Latin Small Letter I With Inverted Breve ȋ U+020B ȋ
Latin Capital Letter O With Inverted Breve Ȏ U+020E Ȏ
Latin Small Letter O With Inverted Breve ȏ U+020F ȏ
Latin Capital Letter R With Inverted Breve Ȓ U+0212 Ȓ
Latin Small Letter R With Inverted Breve ȓ U+0213 ȓ
Latin Capital Letter U With Inverted Breve Ȗ U+0216 Ȗ
Latin Small Letter U With Inverted Breve ȗ U+0217 ȗ

In LaTeX the control \textroundcap{o} puts an inverted breve over the letter o.[2]


  1. ^ Herbert Weir Smyth. Greek Grammar. par. 20 a: semivowels.
  2. ^ "LaTeX for Classical Philologists and Indo-Europeanists". Retrieved 2010-09-23.[dead link]

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit