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S-comma facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Not to be confused with Ş (S-cedilla).
Virguliţa şi sedila
Appearance of comma (upper row) and cedilla (lower row) in the Times New Roman font. Note that the cedilla is placed higher than the comma.

S-comma (majuscule: Ș, minuscule: ș) is a letter which is part of the Romanian alphabet, used to represent the sound /ʃ/, the voiceless postalveolar fricative (like sh in shoe).


S signo mediae lunulae in Lexicon de Buda
S "half moon" proposed as a letter in the Buda Lexicon.
Ş, ţ and cedilla in Ortografia limbei române 1895
S-cedilla, T-cedilla and a cedilla illustrated with a comma in Ortografia limbei române published by the Romanian Academy in 1895.

The letter was proposed in the Buda Lexicon, a book published in 1825, which included two texts by Petru Maior, Orthographia romana sive latino-valachica una cum clavi and Dialogu pentru inceputul linbei române, introducing ș for /ʃ/ and ț for /ts/.

Unicode support

S-comma was not initially supported in early Unicode versions, nor in the predecessors like ISO/IEC 8859-2 and Windows-1250. Instead, Ş (S-cedilla), a character available since Unicode 1.1.0 (1993), was used for digital texts written in Romanian. In some contexts, like with low-resolution screens and printouts, the visual distinction between ș and ş is minimal. In 1999, at the request of the Romanian Standardization Association, S-comma was introduced in Unicode 3.0. Nevertheless, encoding for the S-comma was not supported in retail versions of Microsoft Windows XP, but a later European Union Expansion Font Update provided the feature. While digital accessibility to S-comma has since improved, both characters continue to be used interchangeably in various contexts like publishing.

The letter is part of Unicode's Latin Extended-B range, under "Additions for Romanian", titled as "Latin capital letter S with comma below" (U+0218) and "Latin small letter s with comma below" (U+0219). In HTML, these can be encoded by Ș and ș, respectively.

Use of the comma with the letter S


acute, apex( ´ )
double acute( ˝ )
grave( ` )
double grave(  ̏ )
breve( ˘ )
inverted breve(  ̑ )
caron / háček( ˇ )
cedilla / cédille( ¸ )
diaeresis, umlaut)( ¨ )
circumflex / vokáň( ˆ )
dot( · )
hook(  ̡  ̢ )
hook above / dấu hỏi(  ̉ )
horn / dấu móc(  ̛ )
macron, macron below( ¯  ̱ )
ogonek / nosinė( ˛ )
ring / kroužek( ˚, ˳ )
rough breathing / dasia( )
sicilicus(  ͗ )
smooth breathing / psili( ᾿ )
Marks sometimes used as diacritics
apostrophe( )
bar( | )
colon( : )
comma( , )
hyphen( ˗ )
tilde( ~ )
titlo(  ҃ )
Diacritical marks in other scripts
Arabic diacritics
Greek diacritics
Gurmukhi diacritics
Hebrew diacritics
Indic diacritics
anusvara( )
chandrabindu( )
nukta( )
virama( )
IPA diacritics
Japanese diacritics
dakuten( )
handakuten( )
Khmer diacritics
Syriac diacritics
Thai diacritics
Quick facts for kids
Punctuation marks

  • Romanian
    • The Romanian letter Ș/ș (S with comma) represents the voiceless postalveolar fricative /ʃ/ (as in "show"). On outdated systems which do not support the glyph, the symbol Ş/ş (S with cedilla) is used. Example word: Timișoara.

Character encoding


See also

  • Ş (S-cedilla)
  • Š
  • Ț (T-comma)
  • D-comma
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