What diphthongs are available are Unicode ligatures?

I already know of æ (e.g., Romæ), œ (e.g., Œneus), and ꜷ (e.g., ꜷdire). Are there characters for the other diphthongs like ei, or eu.

See When is ‘ae’ pronounced /ae/?

  • 2
    Please don't ever use ꜷ unless you're specifically transcribing a Medieval document that uses it. It's not meant to be used in normal text. The only reason æ and œ sometimes are is because they were read as simple vowels in Medieval and later Latin.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Mar 31 at 20:56
  • If you want to indicate a diphthong, there are other means than using ligatures. We might already have a question on that, and I'd welcome one if we don't. But do bear in mind that the best solution depends on your goal.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Mar 31 at 20:59
  • @Cairnarvon Why not? according to the Unicode standard, ꜷ is "LATIN SMALL LETTER AU", and æ is "LATIN SMALL LETTER AE", so I am not using a weird thing, and I don't think anyone would get mad
    – richardIII
    Commented Mar 31 at 21:07
  • 3
    @richardIII LATIN in the Unicode standard means it's part of the Latin alphabet, as opposed to e.g. Arabic or Cyrillic. But that doesn't mean it's used for the Latin language. I don't think I've ever seen ꜷ used in a Latin text, ever.
    – Draconis
    Commented Mar 31 at 21:25
  • @Draconis Yes of course, I know that… I just mean it's not from the mathematical or misc block, just a regular letter
    – richardIII
    Commented Apr 1 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


As far as I'm aware, there are no ligatures for ei, ui, or eu in Unicode.

In general, Unicode only provides codepoints for ligatures when they're commonly-used and have semantic meaning. In Old English, for example, æ and ae are used distinctly, so they get separate encodings; in Old Norse, likewise œ and oe.

But I'm not aware of any ligatures for the other three, especially not in Latin. I believe was created as part of a spelling reform for English which wasn't aiming to cover Latin specifically.

The only ligatures that tend to be used in Latin are æ and œ, since those are relatively common diphthongs that turned into monophthongs in Romance. I've certainly never seen any others used—but then, I'm not a palaeographer or manuscript expert.

  • Even if ꜷ was not intended to be used in Latin, I don't understand why I shouldn't use it, as it is a regular letter with the correct semantics in Unicode, and I don't mind if nobody uses it, at least they can understand it with no effort, no? thank you for the answer
    – richardIII
    Commented Apr 1 at 8:05
  • 1
    @richardIII The problem is it doesn't have the correct semantics. It's like how I can't use ȸ to replace the letters db in "goodbye"—while it's a ligature of d and b, its semantics are fundamentally different (a voiced labiodental stop). If I write "gooȸye" instead of "goodbye", it'll both look fundamentally wrong to English-speakers (since that's just not how English orthography works), and cause technical problems (it won't be found in a search for "goodbye").
    – Draconis
    Commented Apr 1 at 19:03

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