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A, or a, is the first
letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy ...
and the first
vowel letter A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables * ...
of the
modern English alphabet Modern may refer to: History *Modern history ** Early Modern period ** Modern age, Late Modern period *** 18th century *** 19th century *** 20th century ** Contemporary history * Moderns, a faction of Freemasonry that existed in the 18th century ...
and the
ISO basic Latin alphabet The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet A Latin-script alphabet (Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet) is an alphabet that uses Letter (alphabet), letters of the Latin script. The 21-letter archaic Latin alphabet and the 23-lette ...
. Its name in English is ''a'' (pronounced ), plural ''aes''. It is similar in shape to the
Ancient Greek letter Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from t ...

Ancient Greek letter
alpha Alpha (uppercase , lowercase ; grc, ἄλφα, ''álpha'', modern pronunciation ''álfa'') is the first letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A s ...

alpha
, from which it derives. The
uppercase Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or ...
version consists of the two slanting sides of a triangle, crossed in the middle by a horizontal bar. The lowercase version can be written in two forms: the double-storey a and single-storey ɑ. The latter is commonly used in handwriting and fonts based on it, especially fonts intended to be read by children, and is also found in
italic type In typography, italic type is a cursive font based on a stylised form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, italics normally slant slightly to the right. Italics are a way to emphasise key points in a printed tex ...
. In the English grammar, " a", and its variant " an", are
indefinite articles An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The category of articles constitutes a part of speech. In English, both "the" and "a/an" are ...
.


History

The earliest certain ancestor of "A" is
aleph Aleph (or alef or alif, transliterated ʾ) is the first letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, sig ...

aleph
(also written 'aleph), the first letter of the
Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician alphabet is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes t ...

Phoenician alphabet
, which consisted entirely of
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...
s (for that reason, it is also called an
abjad An abjad () is a type of writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to th ...

abjad
to distinguish it from a true
alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semanti ...

alphabet
). In turn, the ancestor of aleph may have been a
pictogram A pictogram, also called a pictogramme, pictograph, or simply picto, and in computer usage an icon An icon (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, ...

pictogram
of an ox head in
proto-Sinaitic script Proto-Sinaitic (also referred to as Sinaitic, Proto-Canaanite when found in Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of ...
influenced by
Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent ...
, styled as a triangular head with two horns extended. When the
ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
adopted the alphabet, they had no use for a letter to represent the —the consonant sound that the letter denoted in
Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also

* Phoenix (mythology) * Phoenicia (disambiguation) {{disambiguation Language an ...
and other
Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication u ...

Semitic languages
, and that was the first
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
of the Phoenician pronunciation of the letter—so they used their version of the sign to represent the vowel , and called it by the similar name of
alpha Alpha (uppercase , lowercase ; grc, ἄλφα, ''álpha'', modern pronunciation ''álfa'') is the first letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A s ...

alpha
. In the earliest Greek inscriptions after the
Greek Dark Ages The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locate ...
, dating to the 8th century BC, the letter rests upon its side, but in the
Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was the first alphabetic script in history to have distinct letters for vowels ...

Greek alphabet
of later times it generally resembles the modern capital letter, although many local varieties can be distinguished by the shortening of one leg, or by the angle at which the cross line is set. The
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civilization, Etruscans, and Celts ha ...
brought the Greek alphabet to their civilization in the
Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Reg ...
and left the letter unchanged. The Romans later adopted the
Etruscan alphabet The Etruscan alphabet was the alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that ...
to write the
Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin language
, and the resulting letter was preserved in the
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived ...

Latin alphabet
that would come to be used to write many languages, including English.


Typographic variants

During Roman times, there were many variant forms of the letter "A". First was the monumental or lapidary style, which was used when inscribing on stone or other "permanent" media. There was also a
cursive Cursive (also known as script, among other names) is any style of penmanship Penmanship is the technique of writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writi ...

cursive
style used for everyday or utilitarian writing, which was done on more perishable surfaces. Due to the "perishable" nature of these surfaces, there are not as many examples of this style as there are of the monumental, but there are still many surviving examples of different types of cursive, such as
majuscule Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or ...
cursive,
minuscule Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the Letter (alphabet), letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minuscule'') in the written representation ...
cursive, and semicursive minuscule. Variants also existed that were intermediate between the monumental and cursive styles. The known variants include the early semi-uncial, the uncial, and the later semi-uncial. At the end of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
(5th century AD), several variants of the cursive minuscule developed through Western Europe. Among these were the semicursive minuscule of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
, the
Merovingian script Merovingian script or Gallo-Roman script was a Middle Ages, medieval variant of the Latin script so called because it was developed in Gaul during the Merovingian dynasty. It was used in the 7th and 8th centuries before the Carolingian dynasty and ...
in France, the
Visigothic script Visigothic script was a type of medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of ...
in Spain, and the
Insular Insular is an adjective used to describe: * An island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Sa ...
or Anglo-Irish semi-uncial or Anglo-Saxon majuscule of Great Britain. By the 9th century, the
Caroline script Carolingian minuscule or Caroline minuscule is a hand (handwriting), script which developed as a calligraphic standard in Europe so that the Latin alphabet of Jerome's Vulgate Bible could be easily recognized by the literate class from one region ...
, which was very similar to the present-day form, was the principal form used in book-making, before the advent of the printing press. This form was derived through a combining of prior forms. 15th-century Italy saw the formation of the two main variants that are known today. These variants, the ''Italic'' and ''Roman'' forms, were derived from the Caroline Script version. The Italic form, also called ''script a,'' is used in most current
handwriting Handwriting is the writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themselves human languages (with the debatable exception of computer languag ...

handwriting
and consists of a circle and vertical stroke. This slowly developed from the fifth-century form resembling the Greek letter
tau Tau (uppercase Τ, lowercase τ; el, ταυ ) is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician ...

tau
in the hands of medieval Irish and English writers. The Roman form is used in most printed material; it consists of a small loop with an arc over it ("a"). Both derive from the majuscule (capital) form. In Greek handwriting, it was common to join the left leg and horizontal stroke into a single loop, as demonstrated by the uncial version shown. Many fonts then made the right leg vertical. In some of these, the
serif In typography, a serif () is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. A typeface or "font family" making use of serifs is called a serif typeface ( ...

serif
that began the right leg stroke developed into an arc, resulting in the printed form, while in others it was dropped, resulting in the modern handwritten form. Graphic designers refer to the ''Italic'' and ''Roman'' forms as "single decker a" and "double decker a" respectively.
Italic type In typography, italic type is a cursive font based on a stylised form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, italics normally slant slightly to the right. Italics are a way to emphasise key points in a printed tex ...
is commonly used to mark emphasis or more generally to distinguish one part of a text from the rest (set in Roman type). There are some other cases aside from italic type where ''script a'' ("ɑ"), also called
Latin alpha Latin alpha (majuscule Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minuscule'') in the written repres ...

Latin alpha
, is used in contrast with Latin "a" (such as in the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
).


Use in writing systems


English

In modern
English orthography English orthography is the system of writing conventions used to represent spoken English in written form that allows readers to connect spelling to sound to meaning. Like the orthography of most world languages, English orthography has a broad ...
, the letter represents at least seven different vowel sounds: *the
near-open front unrounded vowel The near-open front unrounded vowel, or near-low front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consona ...
as in ''pad''; *the
open back unrounded vowel The open back unrounded vowel, or low back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that form ...
as in ''father'', which is closer to its original Latin and Greek sound; *the
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
as in ''ace'' and ''major'' (usually when is followed by one, or occasionally two, consonants and then another vowel letter) – this results from
Middle English lengthening Middle English phonology Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any parti ...
followed by the
Great Vowel Shift The Great Vowel Shift was a series of changes in the pronunciation of the English language that took place primarily between 1400 and 1700, beginning in southern England and today having influenced effectively all dialects of English. Through ...

Great Vowel Shift
; *the modified form of the above sound that occurs
before Before is the opposite of after, and may refer to: * Before (album), ''Before'' (album) by Gold Panda * Before (song), "Before" (song) by the Pet Shop Boys * Before (short story), "Before" (short story) by Gael Baudino * The Before film trilogy by ...
, as in ''square'' and ''Mary''; *the rounded vowel of ''water''; *the shorter rounded vowel (not present in
General American General American English or General American (abbreviated GA or GenAm) is the umbrella accentAccent may refer to: Speech and language * Accent (sociolinguistics), way of pronunciation particular to a speaker or group of speakers * Accent (p ...

General American
) in ''was'' and ''what''; *a
schwa In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as t ...
, in many unstressed syllables, as in ''about'', ''comma'', ''solar''. The double sequence does not occur in native English words, but is found in some words derived from foreign languages such as ''Aaron'' and ''
aardvark The aardvark ( ; ''Orycteropus afer'') is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata, although other prehistoric species and genera of Tubulidentata are known. Unlike mo ...
''. However, occurs in many common digraphs, all with their own sound or sounds, particularly , , , , and . is the third-most-commonly used letter in English (after and ), and the second most common in Spanish and French. In one study, on average, about 3.68% of letters used in English texts tend to be , while the number is 6.22% in Spanish and 3.95% in French.


Other languages

In most languages that use the Latin alphabet, denotes an open unrounded vowel, such as , , or . An exception is Saanich, in which (and the glyph Á) stands for a
close-mid front unrounded vowel A close-mid vowel (also mid-close vowel, high-mid vowel, mid-high vowel or half-close vowel) is any in a class of vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the tw ...
.


Other systems

In phonetic and phonemic notation: *in the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
, is used for the
open front unrounded vowel The open front unrounded vowel, or low front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of speech sounds, t ...
, is used for the
open central unrounded vowel The open central unrounded vowel, or low central unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant tha ...
, and is used for the
open back unrounded vowel The open back unrounded vowel, or low back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that form ...
. *in
X-SAMPA The Extended Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (X-SAMPA) is a variant of SAMPA __NOTOC__ The Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (SAMPA) is a computer-readable phonetic script using 7-bit printable American Standard Code for In ...
, is used for the
open front unrounded vowel The open front unrounded vowel, or low front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of speech sounds, t ...
and is used for the
open back unrounded vowel The open back unrounded vowel, or low back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that form ...
.


Other uses

In
algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In its most ge ...

algebra
, the letter ''a'' along with other letters at the beginning of the alphabet is used to represent known quantities, whereas the letters at the end of the alphabet (''x'', ''y'', ''z'') are used to denote unknown quantities. In
geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mat ...

geometry
, capital A, B, C etc. are used to denote
segment Segment or segmentation may refer to: Biology *Segmentation (biology), the division of body plans into a series of repetitive segments **Segmentation in the human nervous system *Internodal segment, the portion of a nerve fiber between two Nodes of ...

segment
s,
line Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * ''The Line'' (2017 film) * ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line'', a 2009 independent film by Nancy Schwartzman Lite ...

line
s, , etc. A capital A is also typically used as one of the letters to represent an angle in a
triangle A triangle is a polygon In geometry, a polygon () is a plane (mathematics), plane Shape, figure that is described by a finite number of straight line segments connected to form a closed ''polygonal chain'' (or ''polygonal circuit''). The ...

triangle
, the lowercase a representing the side opposite angle A. "A" is often used to denote something or someone of a better or more prestigious quality or status: A-, A or A+, the best grade that can be assigned by teachers for students' schoolwork; "A grade" for clean restaurants;
A-list An A-list actor is a major movie star A movie star (also known as a film star or cinema star) is an actor or actress who is famous for their starring, or leading, roles in movies. The term is used for performers who are marketable stars and ...
celebrities, etc. Such associations can have a effect, as exposure to the letter A has been found to improve performance, when compared with other letters. "A" is used as a prefix on some words, such as
asymmetry Asymmetry is the absence of, or a violation of, symmetry (the property of an object being invariant to a transformation, such as reflection). Symmetry is an important property of both physical and abstract systems and it may be displayed in prec ...

asymmetry
, to mean "not" or "without" (from Greek). In English grammar, "a", and its variant "an", is an
indefinite article Indefinite may refer to: * the opposite of definite in grammar ** indefinite article ** indefinite pronoun An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the ...
, used to introduce noun phrases. Finally, the letter A is used to denote size, as in a narrow size shoe, or a small cup size in a
brassiere A bra, short for brassiere or brassière (, or ; ), is a form-fitting undergarment designed to support or cover a woman's breast The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper ventral region of the torso of primates. ...
.


Related characters


Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

*Æ æ :
Latin ''AE'' Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin ''AE''
ligature *A with
diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembled on a composing stick using pieces that ...
s: Ǻ ǻ Ḁ ḁ Ă ă Ặ ặ Ắ ắ Ằ ằ Ẳ ẳ Ẵ ẵ Ȃ ȃ Â â Ậ ậ Ấ ấ Ầ ầ Ẫ ẫ Ẩ ẩ Ả ả Ⱥ ⱥ Ȧ ȧ Ǡ ǡ Ạ ạ Ä ä Ǟ ǟ Ȁ ȁ Á á Ā ā Ā̀ ā̀ Ã ã Ą ą Ą́ ą́ Ą̃ ą̃ A̲ a̲ * Phonetic alphabet symbols related to A (the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
only uses lowercase, but uppercase forms are used in some other writing systems): **Ɑ ɑ : , which represents an
open back unrounded vowel The open back unrounded vowel, or low back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that form ...
in the IPA **ᶐ : Latin small letter alpha with retroflex hook **Ɐ ɐ :
Turned A#REDIRECT Turned A Turned A (capital: Ɐ, lowercase: ɐ, math symbol ∀) is a letter and symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy), object, or wikt:relatio ...

Turned A
, which represents a
near-open central vowel The near-open central vowel, or near-low central vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms th ...
in the IPA **Λ ʌ :
Turned V Turned v ( majuscule: Ʌ, minuscule: ʌ) is a letter of the Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical la ...
(also called a wedge, a caret, or a hat), which represents an
open-mid back unrounded vowel The open-mid back unrounded vowel or low-mid back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of speech soun ...
in the IPA **Ɒ ɒ : Turned alpha / script A, which represents an
open back rounded vowel Open or OPEN may refer to: citizen * Open (band), Australian pop/rock band * The Open (band), English indie rock band * Open (Blues Image album), ''Open'' (Blues Image album), 1969 * Open (Gotthard album), ''Open'' (Gotthard album), 1999 * Open ...
in the IPA **ᶛ : Modifier letter small turned alpha **ᴀ : Small capital A, an obsolete or non-standard symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet used to represent various sounds (mainly open vowels) **A a ᵄ : Modifier letters are used in the
Uralic Phonetic Alphabet The Uralic Phonetic Alphabet (UPA) or Finno-Ugric transcription system is a phonetic transcription Phonetic transcription (also known as phonetic script or phonetic notation) is the visual representation of speech sounds (or phones) by means o ...
(UPA) (sometimes encoded with
Unicode subscripts and superscripts Unicode Unicode is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. The stan ...
) **a : Subscript small a is used in
Indo-European studies Indo-European studies is a field of linguistics and an interdisciplinary field of study dealing with Indo-European languages, both current and extinct. The goal of those engaged in these studies is to amass information about the hypothetical prot ...
**ꬱ : Small letter a reversed-schwa is used in the
Teuthonista Teuthonista is a phonetic transcription Phonetic transcription (also known as phonetic script or phonetic notation) is the visual representation of speech sounds (or phones) by means of symbols. The most common type of phonetic transcription use ...
phonetic transcription system **Ꞻ ꞻ : Glottal A, used in the transliteration of
Ugaritic Ugaritic () is an extinct , classified by some as a of the and so the only known Amorite dialect preserved in writing. It is known through the discovered by French in 1929 at , including several major literary texts, notably the . It has be ...


Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

*ª : an
ordinal indicator In written languages, an ordinal indicator is a character, or group of characters, following a numeral denoting that it is an Ordinal number (linguistics), ordinal number, rather than a Names of numbers in English#Cardinal numbers, cardinal num ...

ordinal indicator
*Å :
Ångström The angstromEntry "angstrom" in the Oxford online dictionary. Retrieved on 2019-03-02 from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/angstrom.Entry "angstrom" in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Retrieved on 2019-03-02 from https://www.m ...

Ångström
sign *∀ : a turned capital letter A, used in
predicate logic First-order logic—also known as predicate logic, quantificational logic, and first-order predicate calculus—is a collection of formal systems used in mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. First-order logic uses Quantifica ...
to specify
universal quantification In mathematical logic Mathematical logic is the study of formal logic within mathematics. Major subareas include model theory, proof theory, set theory, and recursion theory. Research in mathematical logic commonly addresses the mathematical ...
("for all") *@ :
At sign The at sign, , is normally read aloud as "at"; it is also commonly called the at symbol, commercial at or address sign. It is used as an accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantif ...

At sign
*₳ :
Argentine austral The austral was the currency of Economy of Argentina, Argentina between June 15, 1985, and December 31, 1991. It was subdivided into 100 centavos. The symbol was an uppercase A with an extra horizontal line, code point . This symbol appeared on al ...


Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

*𐤀 :
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...

Semitic
letter
Aleph Aleph (or alef or alif, transliterated ʾ) is the first letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, sig ...

Aleph
, from which the following symbols originally derive **Α α :
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
letter
Alpha Alpha (uppercase , lowercase ; grc, ἄλφα, ''álpha'', modern pronunciation ''álfa'') is the first letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A s ...

Alpha
, from which the following letters derive ***А а :
Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is ...
letter A *** :
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...

Coptic
letter Alpha ***𐌀 :
Old ItalicOld Italic may refer to: * Old Italic alphabet * Old Italic (Unicode block) * Ancient Italic peoples * Early (pre-Roman) Italic languages * ''Vetus Latina'', the "Old Latin" translation of the Christian Bible, occasionally referred to as "Old Italic" ...
A, which is the ancestor of modern Latin A **** :
Runic Runes are the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing ...

Runic
letter ansuz, which probably derives from old Italic A *** :
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...

Gothic
letter aza/asks *Ա ա : Ayb


Computing codes

: 1


Other representations


Notes


Footnotes


References

* * * * * * * * *


External links


History of the Alphabet
* {{Authority control ISO basic Latin letters Vowel letters