Ê, ê (e-circumflex) is a letter in the Friulan, Kurdish, Gagauz, and Vietnamese languages. The letter also appears in Afrikaans, French, Portuguese, Welsh, and Albanian dialects as a variant of the letter "e", as well as being used in certain Chinese and Ukrainian transliteration systems. It is also used in Dutch but only in loanwords, mostly from French. Some examples are: enquête, fête, tête-à-tête.
Usage in various languages
Ê is not considered a separate letter in Afrikaans, but rather, as aforementioned, a variation of the letter "e".
In Pinyin, ê represents /ɛ/. It corresponds to ㄝ in zhuyin symbol. The circumflex is only present if ê is written alone, e.g. ề (诶; 誒; "eh!"); elsewhere, it is written as e, e.g. xué (学; 學; "to learn").
In Pe̍h-ōe-jī, ê is the fifth tone of e, e.g. ê (的; possessive, adjectival suffix).
In Dutch, ê is used to change the pronunciation of e from /ə/ to /ɛ/. It only appears in words taken over from the French language.
In French, ê changes the pronunciation of e from /ə/ to /ɛ/. Diacritics are not usually considered to be letters of the French alphabet. It is used instead of "è" when the archaic was "es". In other words, it shows that it should be pronounced as if it were "es".
Ê is used to represent the /e/ and /ɛː/ sounds.
In Portuguese, ê is used to mark a stressed /e/ in words whose stressed syllable is in an unpredictable location within the word, as in "dê" (give!) and "pêssego" (peach). Where the location of the stressed syllable is predictable, the circumflex accent is not used. Ê /e/ contrasts with é, pronounced /ɛ/.
- Ề ề
- Ể ể
- Ễ ễ
- Ế ế
- Ệ ệ
In Welsh, ê is used to represent long stressed e [eː] when, without the circumflex, the vowel would be pronounced as short [ɛ], e.g.. llên [ɬeːn] "literature", as opposed to llen [ɬɛn] "curtain", or gêm [ɡeːm] "game", rather than gem [ɡɛm] "gem, jewel". It is useful in writing borrowed words with final stress, e.g. apêl [apˈeːl] "appeal".
Unicode encoded 5 pairs of precomposed characters (Ề / ề, Ể / ể, Ễ / ễ, Ế / ế, Ệ / ệ) for the five tones of ê in Vietnamese. Two pairs of the five (Ế / ế and Ề / ề) can also be used as the second and fourth tones of ê in Pinyin. The first and third tones of ê in Pinyin have to be represented by combining diacritical marks, like ê̄ (ê̄) and ê̌ (ê̌).