Ë, ë (e-diaeresis) is a letter in the Albanian, Kashubian, Emilian-Romagnol and Ladin alphabets. This letter also appears in Acehnese, Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Abruzzese dialect, the Ascolano dialect and Luxembourgish as a variant of letter e. The letter is used in Seneca, in Taiwanese Hokkien, in Turoyo and in Uyghur when written in Latin script.
Usage in various languages
In Afrikaans, the trema (Afrikaans: deelteken) is mostly used to indicate that the vowel should not be diphthongised, for example geër ("giver") is pronounced [χeər], whilst geer (a wedge-shaped piece of fabric) is pronounced [χiːr]. There are some cases where the deelteken does nothing to the pronunciation, like in reën ("rain"), which is pronounced [reən], but reen (no meaning) would be pronounced the same. The only reason for the deelteken in this case is for traditional reasons, because the archaic form of reën is regen and the deelteken just indicates that the g was removed. Some older people do pronounce reën in two syllables ([ˈreː.ən]).
The deelteken does exactly what it says (deelteken being Afrikaans for "separation mark"). It separates syllables, as it indicates the start of a new one. An example of this is the word voël ("bird"). It gets pronounced in two syllables. Without it the word becomes voel ("feel"), pronounced in one syllable.
Ë is a phonetic symbol also used in the transcription of Abruzzese dialects and in the Province of Ascoli Piceno (the ascolano dialect) and it's called "mute E": sounds like an é but just hummed. It's important for the prosody of the dialect itself.
Use of the character Ë in the English language is relatively rare. Some publications, such as the American magazine The New Yorker, use it more often than others. It is used to indicate that the e is to be pronounced separately from the preceding vowel (e.g. in the word "reëntry", the girl's name "Chloë" or in the boy's name "Raphaël"), or at all - like in the name of the Brontë sisters, where without diaeresis the final e would be mute.
French and Dutch
Ë appears in words like French Noël and Dutch koloniën. This so-called trema is used to indicate that the vowel should not be diphthonged. For example, Noël is pronounced [nɔɛl], whilst Noel would be pronounced [nœl]. Likewise, "koloniën" is pronounced [koːˈloːniən], whilst "kolonien" would be pronounced [koːˈloːnin].
In many editions of Latin texts, the diaeresis is used to indicate that ae and oe form a hiatus, not a diphthong (in the Classical pronunciation) or a monophthong (in traditional English pronunciations). Examples: aër "air", poëta "poet", coërcere "to coerce".
In Luxembourgish, ⟨ë⟩ is used for stressed schwa /ə/ like in the word ëmmer ("always"). It is also used to indicate a morphological plural ending after two ⟨ee⟩ such as in eeër ("eggs") or leeën ("lay").
In Latin-script Turoyo and Assyrian, the letter Ë gives a schwa. In grammar, sometimes it is a replacement for the other, original vowels (a, o, e, i, u). Example words that have Ë: knoţër ("he is waiting"), krëhţi ("they are running"), krëqdo ("she is dancing"), sxërla ("she has closed"), gfolëḥ ("he will work"), madënḥo ("east"), mën ("what"), ašër ("believe").
|Unicode name||LATIN LETTER CAPITAL E WITH DIAERESIS||LATIN LETTER SMALL E WITH DIAERESIS|
|UTF-8||195 139||C3 8B||195 171||C3 AB|
|Numeric character reference||Ë||Ë||ë||ë|
|Named character reference||Ë||ë|
|ISO 8859-1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16||203||CB||235||EB|