|Unicode name||KATAKANA LETTER SMALL A|
Combining form 
- Small combining form of katakana ア (a) used to explicitly specify the vowel part of the previous katakana character, or to show a speaker's pronunciation or extension of that vowel.
Usage notes 
Unlike the hiragana system, used for Japanese language words that kanji does not cover, the katakana syllabary is used primarily for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of loan words (collectively gairaigo), as well as to represent onomatopoeia, technical and scientific terms, and the names of plants, animals, and minerals. Names of Japanese companies, as well as certain Japanese language words, are also written in katakana rather than the other systems.