The character Å (å) is derived from an A with a ring. It is a distinct letter in the Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Walloon alphabets. For example the 29 letter Swedish alphabet begins with the basic 26 Latin letters and ends with these six letters, 'X', 'Y', 'Z', 'Å', 'Ä', and 'Ö'.
The character Ů (ů; a Latin U with overring, or kroužek in Czech Republic) is a grapheme in the Czech language preserved for historic reasons, which identifies a vowel shift. For example, the word for "horse" used to be written kóň, which evolved, along with pronunciation, into kuoň. Ultimately, the vowel [o] disappeared completely, and the uo evolved into ů, modern form kůň. The letter ů now has the same pronunciation as the letter ú (long [uː]), but changes to a short o when a word is morphed (e.g. nom. kůň → gen. koně, nom. dům → gen. domu), thus showing the historical evolution of the language. Ů cannot occur in initial position, however, ú occurs almost exclusively in initial position or at the beginning of a word root in a compound. These characters are used also in Steuer's Silesian alphabet. The [uo] pronunciation has prevailed in some Moravian dialects, as well as in the Slovak language, which uses the letter ô instead of ů.
The ring is used in some dialects of Emilian-Romagnol to distinguish the sound /ʌ/ (å) from /a/ (a).
ů has been used in Old Lithuanian in Lithuania Minor from the 16th till the beginning of the 20th century and for a shorter time in 16th-century Lithuania Major for diphthong [uo].
The ring has been used in the Lithuanian Cyrillic alphabet promoted by Russian authorities in the last quarter of the 19th century with the letter У̊ / у̊ used to represent the /wɔ/ diphthong (now written uo in Lithuanian orthography).
Ring upon e (e̊) is used by certain dialectologists of the Walloon language (especially Jean-Jacques Gaziaux) to note the /ə/ vowel typically replacing /i/ and /y/ in the Brabant province central Walloon dialects. The difficulty of type-writing it has led some writers to prefer ë for the same sound.
Many more characters can be created in Unicode using the U+030A ◌̊ COMBINING RING ABOVE, including the above-mentioned у̊ (Cyrillic у with overring) or ń̊ (n with acute and overring).
The standalone (spacing) symbol is U+02DA ˚ RING ABOVE. The unrelated, but nearly identical degree symbol is U+00B0 ° DEGREE SIGN.
Although similar in appearance, it is not to be confused with the Japanese handakuten (U+309C ゜ KATAKANA-HIRAGANA SEMI-VOICED SOUND MARK), a diacritic used with the kana for syllables starting with h to indicate that they should instead be pronounced with [p].
- U+030A ◌̊ COMBINING RING ABOVE
- U+00C5 Å LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH RING ABOVE
- U+00E5 å LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH RING ABOVE
- U+016E Ů LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH RING ABOVE
- U+016F ů LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH RING ABOVE
- U+1E98 ẘ LATIN SMALL LETTER W WITH RING ABOVE
- U+1E99 ẙ LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH RING ABOVE
- U+212B Å ANGSTROM SIGN
- U+2103 ℃ DEGREE CELSIUS
- U+2109 ℉ DEGREE FAHRENHEIT
Unicode encodes the underring at U+0325 ◌̥ COMBINING RING BELOW
The underring is used in IPA to indicate voicelessness, and in Indo-European studies or in Sanskrit transliteration (IAST) to indicate syllabicity of r, l, m, n etc. (e.g. r̥ corresponding to IPA [ɹ̩]).
- U+1E00 Ḁ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH RING BELOW
- U+1E01 ḁ LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH RING BELOW
In Romagnol, e̥ is used to represent /ə/ in diphthongs, e.g. Santarcangelo dialect ame̥ig [aˈməig] ‘friend’, ne̥ud [ˈnəud] ‘naked’. In Emilian, e̥ can be used to represent unstressed /ə/ in very accurate transcriptions.
Half rings also exist as diacritic marks, these are characters U+0351 ◌͑ COMBINING LEFT HALF RING ABOVE and U+0357 ◌͗ COMBINING RIGHT HALF RING ABOVE. These characters may be used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, denoting roundedness. They are here given with the lowercase a: a͑ and a͗.
U+1E9A ẚ LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH RIGHT HALF RING is similar in appearance but differs from a͗ because its compatibility decomposition uses U+02BE ʾ MODIFIER LETTER RIGHT HALF RING instead of U+0357 ◌͗ COMBINING RIGHT HALF RING ABOVE.
Other, similar signs are in use in Armenian: the U+0559 ◌ՙ ARMENIAN MODIFIER LETTER LEFT HALF RING and the U+055A ◌՚ ARMENIAN APOSTROPHE.
Unicode also supports U+031C ◌̜ COMBINING LEFT HALF RING BELOW and U+0339 ◌̹ COMBINING RIGHT HALF RING BELOW.
The ring as a diacritic mark should not be confused with the dot or U+0366 ◌ͦ COMBINING LATIN SMALL LETTER O diacritic marks, or with the degree sign °.