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G with breve
Ğ ğ
ǧ, ĝ, , ġ, ǥ, ǵ, , ģ, ɠ
G with breve
Writing systemLatin script
Language of originTurkish language
Phonetic usage[]
Unicode codepointU+011E, U+011F
Pictogram of a Camel (speculated origin)
Time period1928 to present
Descendants • Ǧ
 • Ġ

Transliteration equivalentsغ, Gh (digraph), Ғ
Variationsǧ, ĝ, , ġ, ǥ, ǵ, , ģ, ɠ
Other letters commonly used withgh, ǧ, ĝ, , ġ, ǥ, ǵ, , ģ, ɠ
Writing directionLeft-to-Right
This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

Ğ (g with breve) is a Latin letter found in the Turkish and Azerbaijani alphabets as well as the Latin alphabets of Zazaki, Laz, Crimean Tatar, Tatar, and Kazakh. It traditionally represented the voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ or the voiced uvular fricative /ʁ/. However, in Turkish, the phoneme has in most cases been reduced to a silent letter, serving as a vowel-lengthener.

Turkish use[edit]

Current use[edit]

In Turkish, the ⟨ğ⟩ (sometimes represented with ⟨ɰ⟩ for convenience) is known as yumuşak ge (pronounced [jumuˈʃak ˈɟe]; 'soft g') and is the ninth letter of the Turkish alphabet. It always follows a vowel, and can be compared to the blødt g ('soft g') in Danish.[citation needed] In modern Turkish, the letter has no sound of its own and serves as a transition between two vowels, since they do not occur consecutively in native Turkish words. (In loanwords they may sometimes be separated by a glottal stop, e.g. cemaat or cemaât, which may be pronounced as either [dʒeˈma.atʲ] or [dʒeˈmaʔatʲ].)

The realization of the phoneme depends on its location in a word and the surrounding vowels:[1]

ığ [ɯː]
öğ [œː]
üğ [yː]
ağa [a.a]
ığı [ɯ.ɯ]
uğu [u.u]
eğe [e(j)e]
iği [i.i]
üğü [y(j)y]
ağu [a(w)u]
oğa [o(w)a]
oğu [o(w)u]
uğa [u(w)a]
öğe [œ.e]
öğü [œ.y]
üğe [y.e]
ağı [a.ɯ~aː~a]*
ığa [ɯ.a]
eği [eji~iː~e.i~æ]*
iğe [i.e~ije]
  • in word-final and syllable-final positions it lengthens the preceding vowel, for example: dağ(lar) [daː(laɾ)] ('mountain[s]'), sığ [sɯː] ('shallow'); when following a front vowel (e, i), it may sound /j/ instead: değnek [dejnek] ('cane');
  • between identical back vowels (a, ı, u) it is silent: sığınak [sɯːnak] ('shelter'), uğur [uːɾ] ('good luck');
  • between identical front vowels (e, i, ü) it is either silent: sevdiğim [sevdiːm] ('that I love'), or pronounced [j]: düğün [dyjyn] ('wedding');
  • between different rounded vowels (o, u, ö, ü), or between rounded (o, u, ö, ü) and unrounded (a, e) vowels it is mostly silent, but may be a bilabial glide: soğuk [so(w)uk] ('cold'), soğan [so(w)an] ('onion');
  • ağı may sound as two vowels or as long a: ağır [a.ɯɾ, aːɾ] ('heavy');
  • ığa is always two vowels: sığan [sɯ.an] ('which fits');
  • in eği and iğe it is either silent or pronounced [j] as if written y: değil [dejil] ('not'), diğer [dijeɾ] ('other'); in colloquial speech eği is long i: değil [diːl];
  • eği and ağı in the future suffix -(y)AcAK- are formally [e.i]/[a.ɯ] or colloquially [æ]/[a]: seveceğim [seveˈdʒe.im, seviˈdʒæm] ('I will love'); yazacağım [jazaˈdʒa.ɯm, jazɯˈdʒam] ('I will write').

Some webpages may use Ð (uppercase) and ð (lowercase) for ⟨Ğ⟩ because of improper encoding; see Turkish characters for the reasons of this.

Historical use[edit]

The letter, and its counterpart in the Ottoman Turkish alphabet, غ, were once pronounced as a consonant, /ɣ/, the voiced velar fricative, until very recently in the history of Turkish, but it has undergone a sound change by which the consonant was completely lost and compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel occurred, hence its function today. The sound change is not yet complete in some Turkish dialects. The previous consonantal nature of the sound is evinced by earlier English loanwords from Turkish, such as yogurt/yoghurt (modern Turkish yoğurt) and agha (modern Turkish ağa), and the corresponding velar fricative found in cognate words in the closely related Azerbaijani language and the Turkish-influenced Crimean Tatar language. In Old Turkic (as well as earlier during Proto-Turkic times), this voiced velar fricative originated as an allophone of /ɡ/, the voiced velar stop, when it occurred intervocalically. The expected process of lenition (weakening and eventual loss of the intervocalic Proto-Turkic consonant *ɡ) is thus complete in Turkish and underway in many other Common Turkic languages.

Azerbaijani and Crimean Tatar use[edit]

In Azerbaijani and Crimean Tatar, ⟨ğ⟩ represents /ɣ/, the voiced velar fricative.

Tatar use[edit]

The Tatar language is mainly written in Cyrillic, but a Latin-based alphabet is also in use. In the Latin alphabet, ğ represents /ʁ/, the voiced uvular fricative.

Kazakh use[edit]

The current Kazakh Latin alphabet proposal, last updated in March 2021 and commissioned by Tokayev, uses ğ to replace the Kazakh Cyrillic Ғ to represent the IPA /ʁ/. The earlier 2020 proposal listed Ǵ instead, but was replaced after public criticism.

Friulian use[edit]

The Faggin–Nazzi alphabet for Friulian language uses the caron, owing to its Slavic influence. However, ⟨Ǧ⟩/⟨ǧ⟩ is often substituted with ⟨Ğ⟩/⟨ğ⟩ due to the former's lack of availability in fonts and input systems. This is because ⟨Ğ⟩/⟨ğ⟩ is in Latin Extended-A alongside ⟨Č⟩/⟨č⟩ and ⟨Š⟩/⟨š⟩, the other caron bearing letters in the alphabet, whereas ⟨Ǧ⟩/⟨ǧ⟩ is in Latin Extended-B, which is available in fewer fonts and input systems.

Character encoding[edit]

Character information
Preview Ğ ğ
Encodings decimal hex dec hex
Unicode 286 U+011E 287 U+011F
UTF-8 196 158 C4 9E 196 159 C4 9F
Numeric character reference Ğ Ğ ğ ğ
Named character reference Ğ ğ
ISO 8859-3 171 AB 187 BB
ISO 8859-9 208 D0 240 F0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Göksel, Aslı; Kerslake, Celia (2005). Turkish: A Comprehensive Grammar. Routledge. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9780415114943.