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A macron () is a
diacritical mark A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter (alphabet), letter or to a basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek (, "distinguishing"), from (, "to distinguish"). T ...
: it is a straight bar placed above a letter, usually a
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 the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables ...

vowel
. Its name derives from
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
(''makrón'') "long", since it was originally used to mark long or heavy
syllable A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels a ...

syllable
s in Greco-Roman metrics. It now more often marks a
long Long may refer to: Measurement * Long, characteristic of something of great duration Duration may refer to: * The amount of Time#Terminology, time elapsed between two events * Duration (music) – an amount of time or a particular time interval, ...
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 the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables ...

vowel
. In the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic transcription, phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standa ...
, the macron is used to indicate a mid-
tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
; the sign for a long vowel is instead a modified triangular
colon Colon commonly refers to: * Colon (punctuation) (:), a punctuation mark * Major part of large intestine, the final section of the digestive system Colon may also refer to: Places * Colon, Michigan, US * Colon, Nebraska, US * Kowloon, Hong Kong, s ...
. The opposite is the
breve A breve (, less often , neuter form of the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

breve
, which marks a short or light syllable or a short vowel.


Uses


Syllable weight

In Greco-Roman metrics and in the description of the metrics of other literatures, the macron was introduced and is still widely used to mark a long (heavy) syllable. Even relatively recent classical Greek and Latin dictionaries are still concerned with indicating only the length (weight) of syllables; that is why most still do not indicate the length of vowels in syllables that are otherwise metrically determined. Many textbooks about Ancient Rome and Greece use the macron, even if it was not actually used at that time (an
apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional entities * Apex (comics), a teenaged super villainess in the Marvel Universe * Ape-X, a super-intelligent ape in the Squadron Supreme universe *Apex, a genetically-engineered human population in the TV s ...
was used if vowel length was marked in Latin).


Vowel length

The following languages or transliteration systems use the macron to mark
long vowels In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langua ...
: *
Slavicist Slavic studies (North America), Slavonic studies (Britain and Ireland) or Slavistics (borrowed from Russian ''славистика'' or Polish ''slawistyka'') is the academic field of area studies concerned with Slavic peoples, Slavic areas, Slavic ...
s use the macron to indicate a non-tonic long vowel, or a non-tonic syllabic liquid, such as on ''l'', ''lj'', ''m'', ''n'', ''nj'', and ''r''. Languages with this feature include standard and dialect varieties of
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
,
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
, and
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
. * Transcriptions of
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
typically use macrons to indicate long vowels – (
alif
alif
when pronounced ), ( waw, when pronounced or ), and ( ya', when pronounced or ). Thus the Arabic word (three) is transliterated ''thalāthah''. *Transcriptions of
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
typically use a macron over ā, ī, ū, ṝ, and ḹ in order to mark a long vowel (e and o are always long and consequently do not need any macron). * In
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
, many of the more recent dictionaries and learning materials use the macron as the modern equivalent of the ancient Roman
apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional entities * Apex (comics), a teenaged super villainess in the Marvel Universe * Ape-X, a super-intelligent ape in the Squadron Supreme universe *Apex, a genetically-engineered human population in the TV s ...
to mark long vowels. Any of the six vowel letters ''(ā, ē, ī, ō, ū, ӯ)'' can bear it. It is sometimes used in conjunction with the
breve A breve (, less often , neuter form of the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

breve
, especially to distinguish the short vowels and from their semi-vowel counterparts and , originally, and often to this day, spelt with the same letters. However, the older of these editions are not always explicit on whether they mark long vowels or heavy syllables – a confusion that is even found in some modern learning materials. In addition, most of the newest academic publications use both the macron and the breve sparingly, mainly when vowel length is relevant to the discussion. *In
romanization Romanization or romanisation, 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 aspec ...
of
classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, nati ...
, the letters η (''eta'') and ω (''omega'') are transliterated, respectively, as ''ē'' and ''ō'', representing the long vowels of classical Greek, whereas the short vowels ε (''epsilon'') and ο (''omicron'') are always transliterated as plain ''e'' and ''o.'' The other long vowel phonemes don't have dedicated letters 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
, being indicated by digraphs (transliterated likewise as digraphs) or by the letters
α
α
,
ι
ι
, υ – represented as ''ā, ī, ū''. The same three letters are transliterated as plain ''a, i, u'' when representing short vowels. * The
Hepburn romanization Hepburn romanization (Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...
system of
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
, for example, ''kōtsū'' (, ) "traffic" as opposed to ''kotsu'' (, ) "bone" or "knack". * The
Syriac language The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that ...

Syriac language
uses macrons to indicate long vowels in its romanized transliteration: ''ā'' for , ''ē'' for , ''ū'' for and ''ō'' for . *
Baltic languages The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic The Balto-Slavic languages are a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It traditionally comprises the Baltic languages, Baltic and Slavic languages. Baltic and Slavic languages sha ...

Baltic languages
and
Baltic-Finnic languages The Finnic (''Fennic'') or Balto-Finnic (''Balto-Fennic''; Baltic Finnic, ''Baltic Fennic'') languages are a branch of the Uralic language family spoken around the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark ...
: ** Latvian. ''ā'', ''ē'', ''ī'', ''ū'' are separate letters but are given the same position in
collation Collation is the assembly of written information into a standard order. Many systems of collation are based on numerical order or alphabetical order, or extensions and combinations thereof. Collation is a fundamental element of most office fili ...
as ''a'', ''e'', ''i'', ''u'' respectively. ''Ō'' was also used in Latvian, but it was discarded as of 1946. Some usage remains in Latgalian. **
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
. ''ū'' is a separate letter but is given the same position in
collation Collation is the assembly of written information into a standard order. Many systems of collation are based on numerical order or alphabetical order, or extensions and combinations thereof. Collation is a fundamental element of most office fili ...
as the unaccented ''u''. It marks a long vowel; other long vowels are indicated with an
ogonek 100px, Ogonek The ( Polish: , "little tail", the diminutive of ; lt, nosinė, "nasal") is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The t ...

ogonek
(which used to indicate nasalization, but it no longer does): ''ą'', ''ę'', ''į'', ''ų'' and ''o'' being always long in Lithuanian except for some recent loanwords. For the long counterpart of ''i'', ''y'' is used. ** Livonian. ''ā'', ''ǟ'', ''ē'', ''ī'', ''ō'', ''ȱ'', ''ȭ'' and ''ū'' are separate letters that sort in alphabetical order immediately after ''a'', ''ä'', ''e'', ''i'', ''o'', ''ȯ'', ''õ'', and ''u'', respectively. ** Samogitian. ''ā'', ''ē'', ''ė̄'', ''ī'', ''ū'' and ''ō'' are separate letters that sort in alphabetical order immediately after ''a'', ''e'', ''ė'', ''i'', ''u'' and ''o'' respectively. * Transcriptions of
Nahuatl Nahuatl (; ),The Classical Nahuatl word (noun stem ''nāhua'', + absolutive ''-tl'' ) is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl (the standard spelling in the Spanish language),() Nao ...

Nahuatl
, the
Aztecs The Aztecs () were a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico in the post-classic period from 1300 to 1521. The Aztec peoples included different Indigenous peoples of Mexico, ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those ...

Aztecs
' language, spoken in
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived, they wrote the language in their own alphabet without distinguishing long vowels. Over a century later, in 1645,
Horacio Carochi 210px, Frontispiece of Carochis "Arte de la Lengva Mexicana con la declaración de los adverbios della" Horacio Carochi (1586–1666) was a Jesuit priest and grammarian who was born in Florence and died in New Spain. He is known for his grammar of ...
defined macrons to mark long vowels ''ā'', ''ē'', ''ī'' and ''ō'', and short vowels with grave (`) accents. This is rare nowadays since many people write Nahuatl without any orthographic sign and with the letters ''k'', ''s'' and ''w'', not present in the original alphabet. * Modern transcriptions of
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
, for long vowels. * Latin transliteration of
Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasion theory (disambiguat ...
and
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
, and in the
IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It ...
and
ISO 15919 ISO 15919 "Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters" is one of a List of ISO romanizations, series of international standards for romanization by the International Organization for Standardization. It was publ ...
transcriptions of
Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also

*Aryan invasion theory (disambiguation) *Indo-Aryan tribes (disambigua ...
and
Dravidian languages Dravidian languages (or sometimes Dravidic languages) are a family of languages spoken by 220 million people, mainly in southern India and north-east Sri Lanka, with pockets elsewhere in South Asia. Since the colonial era, there have been smal ...
. *
Polynesian languages The Polynesian languages form a genealogical group of languages, itself part of the Oceanic Oceanic may refer to: *Of or relating to the ocean *Of or relating to Oceania **Oceanic climate **Oceanic languages **Oceanic person or people, also cal ...

Polynesian languages
: ** Cook Islands Māori. In Cook Islands Māori, the macron or ''mākarōna'' is not commonly used in writing, but is used in references and teaching materials for those learning the language. **
Hawaiian Hawaiian may refer to: * Hawaii state residents, regardless of ancestry * Native Hawaiians, the current term for the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants * Hawaiian language Historic uses * things and people of the Kingdo ...
. The macron is called ''kahakō'', and it indicates vowel length, which changes meaning and the placement of stress. ** Māori. In modern written Māori, the macron is used to designate long vowels, with the trema mark sometimes used if the macron is unavailable (e.g. "Mäori"). The Māori word for macron is ''tohutō.'' The term ''pōtae'' ("hat") is also used. In the past, writing in Māori either did not distinguish vowel length, or doubled long vowels (e.g. "Maaori"), as some
iwi Iwi () are the largest social units in Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of A ...
dialects still do. ** Niuean. In Niuean, "popular spelling" does not worry too much about vowel quantity (length), so the macron is primarily used in scholarly study of the language. ** Tahitian. The use of the macron is comparatively recent in Tahitian. The ''Fare Vānaa'' or ''Académie Tahitienne'' (Tahitian Academy) recommends using the macron, called the ''tārava,'' to represent long vowels in written text, especially for scientific or teaching texts and it has widespread acceptance. (In the past, written Tahitian either did not distinguish vowel length, or used multiple other ways). ** Tongan and
Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands ** Something of, from, o ...
. The macron is called the ''toloi/fakamamafa'' or ''fa'amamafa'', respectively. Its usage is similar to that in Māori, including its substitution by a trema. Its usage is not universal in Samoan, but recent academic publications and advanced study textbooks promote its use. * The macron is used in
Fijian language Fijian (') is an Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ... language of the Malayo-Polynesian family spoke ...
dictionaries, in instructional materials for non-Fijian speakers, and in books and papers on Fijian linguistics. It is not typically used in Fijian publications intended for fluent speakers, where context is usually sufficient for a reader to distinguish between heteronyms. * Both
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 ...
and Latin transcriptions of Udege. * The Latin and Cyrillic alphabet transcriptions of the Tsebari dialect of Tsez. * In western
Cree The Cree ( cr, Néhinaw, script=Latn, , etc.; french: link=no, Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Can ...

Cree
, Sauk, and
Saulteaux The Saulteaux (pronounced , or in imitation of the French pronunciation , also written Salteaux, Saulteau and Ojibwa ethnonyms, other variants), otherwise known as the Plains Ojibwe, are a First Nations band government in Ontario, Manitoba, ...
, the Algonquianist Standard Roman Orthography (SRO) indicates long vowels either with a
circumflex The circumflex is a diacritic in the Latin script, Latin and Greek alphabet, Greek scripts that is used in the written forms of many languages and in various romanization and Transcription (linguistics), transcription schemes. It received its E ...
⟨''â ê î ô''⟩ or with a macron ⟨''ā ē ī ō''⟩.


Tone

The following languages or alphabets use the macron to mark tones: * In the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic transcription, phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standa ...
, a macron over a vowel indicates a mid-level tone. * In
Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objecti ...

Pinyin
, the official
Romanization of Mandarin Chinese Romanization of Chinese is the use of the Latin alphabet to transliterate Varieties of Chinese, Chinese. Chinese uses a logogram, logographic script and its Chinese characters, characters do not represent phonemes directly. There have been many s ...
, macrons over a, e, i, o, u, ü (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū, ǖ) indicate the high level
tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
of
Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic (Chinese) languages natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more ...
. The alternative to the macron is the number 1 after the syllable (for example, tā = ta1). * Similarly in the
Yale romanization of Cantonese The Yale romanization of Cantonese was developed by Gerard P. Kok for his and Parker Po-fei Huang's textbook ''Speak Cantonese'' initially circulated in looseleaf form in 1952 but later published in 1958. Unlike the Yale romanization of Mandar ...
, macrons over a, e, i, o, u, m, n (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū, m̄, n̄) indicate the high level
tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
of
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, Brit ...

Cantonese
. Like Mandarin, the alternative to the macron is the number 1 after the syllable (for example, tā = ta1). * In
Pe̍h-ōe-jī (; abbreviated POJ; literally ''vernacular writing''; also sometimes known as the Church Romanization) is an orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the re ...
romanization of
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureau ...
, macrons over a, e, i, m, n, o, o͘, u, (ā, ē, ī, m̄, n̄, ō, ō͘, ū) indicate the mid level
tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
("light departing" or 7th tone) of Hokkien.


Omission

Sometimes the macron marks an omitted ''n'' or ''m'', like the
tilde The tilde (
in the American Heritage dictionary
), or , is a

tilde
: * In Old English texts a macron above a letter indicates the omission of an m or n that would normally follow that letter. * In older handwriting such as the German
Kurrent Danish script () from about 1800 with Æ and Ø at the end of the alphabet () is an old form of German-language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and of ...

Kurrent
schrift, the macron over an a-e-i-o-u or ä-ö-ü stood for an ''n'', or over an ''m'' or an ''n'' meant that the letter was doubled. This continued into print in English in the sixteenth century, and to some extent in German. Over a ''u'' at the end of a word, the macron indicated ''um'' as a form of
scribal abbreviation Scribal abbreviations or sigla (singular Singular may refer to: * Singular, the grammatical number In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verb agreement (linguistics), agreement th ...
.


Letter extension

In romanizations of Hebrew, the
macron below Macron below, , is a combining diacritical mark In digital typography, combining characters are Character (computing), characters that are intended to modify other characters. The most common combining characters in the Latin script are the ...

macron below
is typically used to mark the
begadkefat Begadkefat (also begadkephat, begedkefet) is the name given to a phenomenon of lenition affecting the non- emphatic stop consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in ...
consonant
lenition In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
. However, for typographical reasons a regular macron is used on ''p'' and ''g'' instead: ''p̄, ḡ''. The macron is used in the orthography of a number of vernacular languages of the
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
and
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; Bislama Bislama (; ; also known by its earlier French name, ) is a creole language, and one of the official languages of Vanuatu. It is the fi ...

Vanuatu
, particularly those first transcribed by Anglican missionaries. The macron has no unique value, and is simply used to distinguish between two different phonemes. Thus, in several languages of the
Banks Islands The Banks Islands (in Bislama ''Bankis'') are a group of islands in northern Vanuatu. Together with the Torres Islands to their northwest, they make up the northernmost province of Torba Province, Torba. The island group lies about north of Mae ...
, including Mwotlap, the simple ''m'' stands for , but an ''m'' with a macron (m̄) is a rounded labial-velar nasal ; while the simple ''n'' stands for the common
alveolar nasal The voiced alveolar nasal is a type of al sound used in numerous spoken s. The symbol in the that represents , , and is , and the equivalent symbol is n. The vast majority of languages have either an alveolar or dental nasal. There are a f ...

alveolar nasal
, an ''n'' with macron (n̄) represents the
velar nasal The voiced velar nasal, also known as agma, from the Greek word for 'fragment', is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans ...

velar nasal
; the vowel ē stands for a (short) higher by contrast with plain ''e'' ; likewise ō contrasts with plain ''o'' . In Hiw orthography, the consonant ''r̄'' stands for the prestopped velar lateral approximant . In Araki language, Araki, the same symbol ''r̄'' encodes the alveolar trill – by contrast with ''r'', which encodes the alveolar flap . In Bislama language, Bislama (orthography before 1995), Lamenu language, Lamenu and Lewo language, Lewo, a macron is used on two letters '. ''m̄'' represents , and ''p̄'' represents . The orthography after 1995 (which has no diacritics) has these written as ''mw'' and ''pw''. In Kokota language, Kokota, ''ḡ'' is used for the voiced velar stop, velar stop , but ''g'' without macron is the voiced velar fricative . In Marshallese language, Marshallese, a macron is used on four letters – ' – whose pronunciations differ from the unmarked '. Marshallese uses a vertical vowel system with three to four vowel phonemes, but traditionally their allophones have been written out, so vowel letters with macron are used for some of these allophones. Though the standard diacritic involved is a macron, there are no other diacritics used ''above'' letters, so in practice other diacritics can and have been used in less polished writing or print, yielding nonstandard letters like ', depending on displayability of letters in computer fonts. * The letter ' is pronounced , the Palatalization (sound change), palatalized allophone of the phoneme . * The letter ' represents the
velar nasal The voiced velar nasal, also known as agma, from the Greek word for 'fragment', is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans ...

velar nasal
phoneme and the labialized velar consonant, labialized velar nasal phoneme , depending on context. The standard letter does not exist as a precombined glyph in Unicode, so the nonstandard variant ' is often used in its place. * The letter ' is pronounced or , which are the roundedness, unrounded velarization, velarized allophones of the phonemes and respectively. * The letter ' is pronounced , the unrounded velarized allophone of the phoneme . In Obolo language, Obolo, the simple n stands for the common
alveolar nasal The voiced alveolar nasal is a type of al sound used in numerous spoken s. The symbol in the that represents , , and is , and the equivalent symbol is n. The vast majority of languages have either an alveolar or dental nasal. There are a f ...

alveolar nasal
, while an ''n'' with macron (n̄) represents the
velar nasal The voiced velar nasal, also known as agma, from the Greek word for 'fragment', is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans ...

velar nasal
.


Other uses

* In older German language, German and in the German
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handwriting, as well as older Danish language, Danish, a macron is used on some consonants, especially n and m, as a short form for a double consonant (for example, ''n̄'' instead of ''nn''). * In Russian cursive, as well as in some others based on the Cyrillic script (for example, Bulgarian alphabet, Bulgarian), a lowercase ''Т'' looks like a lowercase ''m'', and a macron is often used to distinguish it from ''Ш'', which looks like a lowercase ''w'' (see ''Te (Cyrillic)#Form, Т''). Some writers also underline the letter ''ш'' to reduce ambiguity further. Also, in some instances, a diacritic will be written like a macron, although it represents another diacritic whose standard form is different: * In some Finnish language, Finnish, Estonian language, Estonian and Swedish language, Swedish comic books that are hand-lettered, or in handwriting, a macron-style umlaut is used for ''ä'' or ''ö'' (also ''õ'' and ''ü'' in Estonian), sometimes known colloquially as a "lazy man's umlaut". This can also be seen in some modern handwritten German language, German. * In Norwegian language, Norwegian ''ū'', ''ā'', ''ī'', ''ē'' and ''ō'' can be used for decorative purposes both in handwritten and computed Bokmål and Nynorsk or to denote vowel length such as in ''dū'' (you), ''lā'' (infinitive form of to let), lēser (present form of "to read") and ''lūft'' (air). The diacritic is entirely optional, carries no IPA value and is seldom used in modern Norwegian outside of handwriting. * In informal Hungarian language, Hungarian handwriting, a macron is often a substitute for either a double acute accent or an umlaut (diacritic), umlaut (e.g., ''umlaut (diacritic), ö'' or ''double acute accent, ő''). Because of this ambiguity, using it is often regarded as bad practice. * In informal handwriting, the Spanish language, Spanish ''ñ'' is sometimes written with a macron-shaped tilde: (''n̄'').


Medicine

In medical prescriptions and other handwritten notes, macrons mean: * ā, ''before'', abbreviating Latin ''ante'' * c̄, ''with'', abbreviating Latin language, Latin ''wikt:cum#Latin, cum'' * p̄, ''after'', abbreviating Latin ''wikt:post#Latin, post'' * q̄, ''every'', abbreviating Latin ''wikt:quisque#Latin, quisque'' (and its inflected forms) * s̄, ''without'', abbreviating Latin ''wikt:sine#Latin, sine'' * x̄, ''except''


Mathematics and science

The overline is a typographical symbol similar to the macron, used in a number of ways in mathematics and science. For example, it is used to represent Complex conjugate, complex conjugation: z = a + bi; \quad \overline = a - bi and to represent a line segment in geometry (e.g., \overline ), sample means in statistics (e.g., \overline ) and Negation, negations in logic. It is also used in Hermann–Mauguin notation.


Music

In music, the tenuto marking resembles the macron. The macron is also used in German lute tablature to distinguish repeating alphabetic characters.


Technical notes

The Unicode, Unicode Standard encodes Combining character, combining and Precomposed character, precomposed macron characters: Macron-related Unicode characters not included in the table above: * CJK Halfwidth and fullwidth forms, fullwidth variety: ** * Kazakhstani tenge ** * Overlines * Characters using a
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instead of above * Tone contour transcription characters incorporating a macron: ** ** ** ** * Two intonation marks historically used by Antanas Baranauskas for Lithuanian dialectology: ** ** In LaTeX a macron is created with the command "\=", for example: M\=aori for Māori. In OpenOffice.org, OpenOffice, if the extension Compose Special Characters is installed, a macron may be added by following the letter with a hyphen and pressing the user's predefined shortcut key for composing special characters. A macron may also be added by following the letter with the character's four-digit hex-code, and pressing the user's predefined shortcut key for adding unicode characters.


See also

* Macron below * Vinculum (symbol)


References


External links


Diacritics Project – All you need to design a font with correct accents

Kupu o te Rā
How to set up the keyboard to type macrons in various operating systems. {{Latin alphabet, , show diacritic = macron Latin-script diacritics Greek-script diacritics Cyrillic-script diacritics Poetic rhythm