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Schwa (Ә ә; italics: Ә ә) is a letter of the Cyrillic script, derived from the Latin letter schwa. It is currently used in Abkhaz, Bashkir, Dungan, Itelmen, Kalmyk, Kazakh, Kurdish, Uyghur and Tatar. It was also used in Azeri, Karakalpak, and Turkmen before those languages switched to the Latin alphabet. The Azeri and some other Latin-derived alphabets contain a letter of similar appearance (Ə/ə).
In many Turkic languages such as Azeri, Bashkir, Kazakh, Uyghur and Tatar, as well as the Kalmyk and Khinalug languages, it represents the near-open front unrounded vowel /æ/, like the pronunciation of ⟨a⟩ in "cat". It is often transliterated as ⟨ä⟩; however, in Kazakh, it was transliterated as Á.
In Abkhaz, it is a modifier letter, which represents labialization of the preceding consonant /ʷ/. Digraphs with ⟨ә⟩ are treated as letters and given separate positions in the Abkhaz alphabet. It is transliterated into Latin as a high ring ⟨˚⟩.
Related letters and other similar characters
- Ä ä: Latin letter A with diaeresis
- Ӓ ӓ: Cyrillic letter A with diaeresis
- Æ æ: Ligature Æ, a Danish and Norwegian letter.
- Ӕ ӕ: Cyrillic letter Æ
- Ə ə: Latin schwa, used to transliterate Azerbaijani's Cyrillic schwa and 1927—1940 Turkmen's schwa. (Now ä for a schwa in Cyrillic)
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER SCHWA||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER SCHWA|
|UTF-8||211 152||D3 98||211 153||D3 99|
|Numeric character reference||Ә||Ә||ә||ә|