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? ?
?, ?
Latin letter .svg
Writing systemLatin script
Language of originAzerbaijani language
Phonetic usage[?]
Unicode codepointU+01A2, U+01A3
Alphabetical position8 (after G)
Time period~1900 to 1983
Descendants • (None)
? ?
? ?
? ?
Transliteration equivalents?, q, g, gh, ?
Variations?, ?

The letter ? (minuscule: ?) has been used in the Latin orthographies of various, mostly Turkic languages, such as Azeri or the Ja?alif orthography for Tatar.[1] It is also included in Pinyin for Kazakh and Uyghur. It usually represents a voiced velar fricative but is sometimes used for a voiced uvular fricative . All orthographies that used the letter have been phased out and so it is not well-supported in fonts. It can still be seen in pre-1983 books published by the People's Republic of China.

Letters Q and q of Sütterlin script

Historically, it is derived from a handwritten form of the small Latin letter q around 1900. The majuscule is then based on the minuscule. Its use for stems from the linguistic tradition of representing such sounds (and similar ones) by q in Turkic languages and in transcriptions of Arabic or Persian (compare kaf and qaf).[2]

In alphabetical order, it comes between G and H.

Modern replacements


In Unicode, the majuscule ? is encoded in the Latin Extended-B block at U+01A2 and the minuscule ? is encoded at U+01A3.[3] The assigned names, "LATIN CAPITAL LETTER OI" and "LATIN SMALL LETTER OI" respectively, are acknowledged by the Unicode Consortium to be mistakes, as gha is unrelated to the letters O and I.[4] The Unicode Consortium therefore has provided the character name aliases "LATIN CAPITAL LETTER GHA" and "LATIN SMALL LETTER GHA".[3]

In popular culture

Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow features an episode purporting to be the story of a Soviet officer, Tchitcherine, dispatched to Kirghizstan to serve on a committee tasked with devising an alphabet for the Kirghiz language. Tchitcherine's particular contribution is the invention of the letter ?, which is thus perhaps the only obsolete letter of a Central Asian language that may be familiar to the non-specialist, English-reading public through a widely circulated novel.


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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