Modifier letter apostrophe

The modifier letter apostrophe (ʼ) is a letter in Unicode encoding, used primarily for various glottal sounds.


The letter apostrophe is encoded at U+02BC ʼ MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE (HTML ʼ).

In Unicode code charts it looks identical to the U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK,[1] but this is not true for all fonts. The primary difference between the letter apostrophe and U+2019 is that the letter apostrophe U+02BC has the Unicode General Category "Letter, modifier" (Lm), while U+2019 has the category "Punctuation, Final quote" (Pf).

In early Unicode (versions 1.0[2]–2.1.9[3]) U+02BC was preferred for the punctuation apostrophe in English. Since version 3.0.0,[4][5] however, U+2019 is preferred, because it is defined as a punctuation mark. The behavior of Unicode letters and punctuation marks differs, causing complications if punctuation code points are used for letters or vice versa.


In the International Phonetic Alphabet, it is used to express ejective consonants, such as [kʼ], [tʼ].

It denotes a glottal stop [ʔ] in orthographies of many languages, such as Nenets (in Cyrillic script) and the artificial Klingon language.

In one version of the Kildin Sami alphabet it denotes preaspiration.[6]

In the Ukrainian alphabet, U+02BC is used for the semi-letter 'apostrophe', which plays a role similar to Russian ⟨ъ⟩, for example in internationalized domain names where a punctuation mark would be disallowed.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Unicode code charts Archived 15 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 7 April 2013.
  2. ^ "The Unicode Standard, Version 1.0, v. 1, p. 173" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 February 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Unicode 2.1.9 NamesList-1.txt". Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Unicode 3.0.0 NamesList-3.0.0.txt". Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Current NamesList.txt". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  6. ^ Куруч, Р. Д.; Афанасьева, Н. Е.; Виноградова, И. В. 1995. Правила орфографии и пунктуации саамского языка. Мурманск.
  7. ^ "IDN Variant TLDs – Cyrillic Script Issues" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2016.