The double acute accent ( ˝ ) is a diacritic mark of the Latin script used primarily in written Hungarian. Consequently, it is sometimes referred to as Hungarumlaut (< Hungarian umlaut).. The signs formed with diacritic marks are letters of their own right in the Hungarian alphabet.
smooth breathing / spiritus lenis ( ᾿ )
|Marks sometimes used as diacritics|
titlo ( ҃ )
Standard Hungarian has 14 vowels in a symmetrical system: seven short vowels (a, e, i, o, ö, u, ü) and seven long ones, which are written in the case of a, e, i, o, u with an acute accent, and in the case of ö, ü with the double acute (instead of using trema+acute). (Vowel length has phonemic significance in Hungarian, that is, it has a lexical and grammatical distinctive function.) Note that in the case of á and é, the acute accent changes not only the length but also the quality of the respective vowels.
The double acute acts as combined acute with a diaeresis, giving the longer counterparts of ö and ü.
Length marks first appeared in the Hungarian orthography in the 15th century under the influence of the Hussite orthography. Initially, only á and é were marked as these two vowels have a noticeable qualitative difference in addition to the quantitative one. Later í, ó, ú were marked as well, but up to the 18th century length marks were not used for ö and ü. In the 18th century, still before the Hungarian typography was fixed, the trema+acute form (ǘ) was used in some printed documents. The double-acute version was found to be a more esthetic solution and introduced by 19th century typographers.
The Chuvash language written in the Cyrillic alphabet extends the basic Cyrillic alphabet by several new letters, among them the by Ӳ, ӳ which is the Cyrillic letter U with double acute accent representing the sound /y/. The double acute accent probably found its way by analogy from Latin script languages (probably German) — cf. ger. u /u/ ~ ü /y/ to chuv. у /u/ ~ ӳ /y/ — via its handwritten form.
|Extra high||High||Mid||Low||Extra low|
One may encounter this use as a tone sign in some IPA-derived orthographies of small languages, such as in the North American Native Tanacross (Athapascan). In line with the IPA usage it denotes the extra-high tone.
Much less significant uses of this diacritic are the following cases:
At the beginning of 20th century, the letter A̋ a̋ (A with double acute) has seen some marginal use as a long variant of the short vowel Ä ä (A with diaeresis), representing the vowel /æː/ in some loanwords.
This use clearly derives from the Hungarian use of the double acute accent as the long counterpart of the umlaut/diaraesis, but fits well into the Slovak system, where long vowels are marked with an acute accent similarly to Hungarian and Czech.
The letter is still used for this purpose in Slovak phonetic transcription system(s).
In several Latin script languages where umlaut/diaraesis is used, but double acute accent is not (i.e., there is no danger of mixing them up) handwriting umlaut may look like double acute accent. This is known for German and Swedish. Classical Danish handwriting uses "ó" for "ø", which becomes a problem when writing Faroese in the same tradition, as "ó" is a part of the Faroese alphabet. Thus ő is sometimes used for ø in Faroese handwriting.
|Alphabet, including ő ű and
cs dz dzs gy ly ny sz ty zs
|Phonetics and phonology|
(Noun phrases · Verbs ·
Hungarian pronunciation of English
Old Hungarian script
English words from Hungarian
In ISO 8859-2 Ő, ő, Ű, ű take the place of some similar looking (but distinct, especially at bigger font sizes) letters of ISO 8859-1.
All occurrences of "double acute" in the Unicode 4.1 standard:
|Ő||Ő||U+0150||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH DOUBLE ACUTE|
|ő||ő||U+0151||LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH DOUBLE ACUTE|
|Ű||Ű||U+0170||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH DOUBLE ACUTE|
|ű||ű||U+0171||LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH DOUBLE ACUTE|
|˝||˝||U+02DD||DOUBLE ACUTE ACCENT|
|˶||˶||U+02F6||MODIFIER LETTER MIDDLE DOUBLE ACUTE ACCENT|
|̋||̋||U+030B||COMBINING DOUBLE ACUTE ACCENT|
|Ӳ||Ӳ||U+04F2||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER U WITH DOUBLE ACUTE|
|ӳ||ӳ||U+04F3||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER U WITH DOUBLE ACUTE|
|ᐥ||ᐥ||U+1425||CANADIAN SYLLABICS FINAL DOUBLE ACUTE|
Note, that the last entry is unrelated to the others above, and got its name purely by analogy of its shape.
In modern X11 system, the double acute can be typed by pressing the Compose key followed by = (the equal sign) and desired letter (o or u).
|The Basic modern Latin alphabet|
Letters using double acute sign
Ő (uppercase, lowercase ő)
|The Latin alphabet|