Name: comma accent
Adobe PS: commaaccent
Unicode: 0326
Languages: Latvian, Romanian

Comma Accent (bellow the character)

History and examples of use

The comma accent is used in Romanian with ş and ţ, in Latvian with consonants ģ, ķ, ļ, ņ, ŗ.


It is easy to come across characters which have cedilla in place of a correct comma accent. In Romanian, the cedilla is common and tolerated, although wrong. In Latvian, the use of cedilla is wrong, the correct shape of the accent is a small comma under letter. Both for technical and aesthetic reasons, the comma accent is drawn above the lower case ģ, rotated by 180 degrees. The government of Soviet Latvia got rid of the ŗ/Ŗ characters in written Latvian and in Latvia, this rule is abided to since. However, in the Latvian communities abroad, the original orthography is used.

Please note that there is some confusion with regard to glyphs that involve the cedilla and the commaaccent acccents. Although Adobe Glyph List For New Fonts (version: 1.1 from 17 April 2003) recommends the use of names Tcommaaccent, Kcommaaccent, etc., in older fonts, there might be used older names Tcedilla, Kcedilla etc.

When designing typefaces with Romanian glyphs please read carefully the following box and follow the recommendation to build correct fonts.

Handling Romanian glyphs in OpenType fonts

A detailed explanation at FontLab Forum by Adam Twardoch (update March 2009) Original Link

In the initial version of the Unicode Standard, four Unicode characters have been encoded: Ş (U+015E), ş (U+015F), Ţ (U+0162), ţ (U+0163). All these characters are described as “Latin letter ... with cedilla.” The letters Ş and ş are used in Turkish. In addition, all four letters were encoded with the intent of using them in the Romanian language. However, later it has been recognized that, while Turkish uses S/s with cedilla, the Romanian typography prefers to use S/s and T/t with a commaaccent. In an effort to correct this mistake, Unicode added distinct S/s and T/t with commaaccent — Ș (U+0218), ș (U+0219), Ț (U+021A), ț (U+021B) — thereby producing two divergent ways of encoding the Romanian language (“old-style” and “new-style”).

As of 2009, the recommended way to deal with this confusion in OpenType fonts is as follows:

1. Put the following glyphs into your font:

Letter / Glyph name / Unicode / Design notes

Ş / Scedilla / U+015E / S with cedilla

ş / scedilla / U+015F / s with cedilla

Ș / uni0218 / U+0218 / S with commaaccent

ș / uni0219 / U+0219 / s with commaaccent

Ţ / uni0162 / U+0162 / T with cedilla

ţ / uni0163 / U+0163 / t with cedilla

Ț / uni021A / U+021A / T with commaaccent

ț / uni021B / U+021B / t with commaaccent

Note 1: The commaaccent mark looks like a small comma placed below the base letter and is disconnected from the base letter. The cedilla mark is usually connected to the base letter.

Note 2: Do not use the glyph names Tcedilla, tcedilla, Scommaaccent, scommaaccent, Tcommaaccent, tcommaaccent — as they are not compatible with AGLFN and Mac OS X 10.4 or earlier. Use the corresponding uniXXXX glyph names instead, as shown in the table above.

Note 3: In the “Letter” column above, the characters are rendered using your browser’s current font, which may or may not have the correct design of the glyphs in question. Please use the column “Design notes” for ultimate guidance on what your glyphs should look like.

2. In the lower-right pane of FontLab Studio 5’s OpenType panel, enter:


languagesystem latn dflt;

languagesystem latn MOL;

languagesystem latn ROM;

3. In the feature list of FontLab Studio 5’s OpenType panel, add a locl feature with the following contents:


feature locl { # Localized Forms

# Latin

language ROM exclude_dflt; # Romanian

lookup locl_ROM {

sub scedilla by uni0219;

sub uni0163 by uni021B;

} locl_ROM;

language MOL exclude_dflt; # Moldavian

lookup locl_ROM;

} locl;

As a result:

Note: Older recommendations that can be found on the internet suggested that the uni0162/uni0163 glyphs should be drawn using a commaaccent. But the problem with this approach was that in most applications (that do not support the locl feature), old-style-encoded Romanian text was rendered with one cedilla and one commaaccent glyph, which looked inconsistent and confusing to the users. Romanian users suggested that while the commaaccent glyphs are preferred over the cedilla glyphs, it is even more important the text is rendered consistently — using either commaaccent or cedilla — rather than if two different marks being used at the same time.


Similar rules are to be abided to with both comma accents, the one alternating for a caron and the one placed bellow the character. It may be derived from apostrophe or from acute (in such case it should be rather vertical). The symbol should not draw as much attention as a sentence comma. Since tight leading is commonly needed, the symbol should be rather low. Comma accent is placed in the visual centre of the character with the exception of a lower case ŗ, where it is placed at the centre of the vertical stroke (same as with ļ).