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English Alphabets

A Wikibook

This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For the English
indefinite article, see English articles Indefinite article. For other
uses, see A (disambiguation).

For technical reasons, "A#" redirects here. For A-sharp, see A-sharp
(disambiguation).

A (named /e/, plural As, A's, as, a's or aes[nb 1]) is the first letter
and the first vowel in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is similar to the
Ancient Greek letter alpha, from which it derives. The upper-case version
consists of the two slanting sides of a triangle, crossed in the middle by
a horizontal bar. The lower-case version can be written in two forms: the
double-storey a and single-storey . The latter is commonly used in
handwriting and fonts based on it, especially fonts intended to be read by
children, and is also found in italic type.

History

The earliest certain ancestor of "A" is aleph (also written 'aleph), the
first letter of the Phoenician alphabet, which consisted entirely of
consonants (for that reason, it is also called an abjad to distinguish it
from a true alphabet). In turn, the ancestor of aleph may have been a
pictogram of an ox head in proto-Sinaitic script influenced by Egyptian
hieroglyphs, styled as a triangular head with two horns extended.

In 1600 B.C.E., the Phoenician alphabet letter had a linear form that
served as the base for some later forms. Its name is thought to have
corresponded closely to the Hebrew or Arabic aleph.

When the ancient Greeks adopted the alphabet, they had no use for a letter
to represent the glottal stopthe consonant sound that the letter denoted
in Phoenician and other Semitic languages, and that was the first phoneme
of the Phoenician pronunciation of the letterso they used their version of
the sign to represent the vowel /a/, and called it by the similar name of
alpha. In the earliest Greek inscriptions after the Greek Dark Ages, dating
to the 8th century BC, the letter rests upon its side, but in the Greek
alphabet of later times it generally resembles the modern capital letter,
although many local varieties can be distinguished by the shortening of one
leg, or by the angle at which the cross line is set.

The Etruscans brought the Greek alphabet to their civilization in the


Italian Peninsula and left the letter unchanged. The Romans later adopted
the Etruscan alphabet to write the Latin language, and the resulting letter
was preserved in the Latin alphabet that would come to be used to write
many languages, including English.

Typographic variants

During Roman times, there were many variant forms of the letter "A". First
was the monumental or lapidary style, which was used when inscribing on
stone or other "permanent" mediums. There was also a cursive style used for
everyday or utilitarian writing, which was done on more perishable
surfaces. Due to the "perishable" nature of these surfaces, there are not
as many examples of this style as there are of the monumental, but there
are still many surviving examples of different types of cursive, such as
majuscule cursive, minuscule cursive, and semicursive minuscule. Variants
also existed that were intermediate between the monumental and cursive
styles. The known variants include the early semi-uncial, the uncial, and
the later semi-uncial.

At the end of the Roman Empire (5th century AD), several variants of the
cursive minuscule developed through Western Europe. Among these were the
semicursive minuscule of Italy, the Merovingian script in France, the
Visigothic script in Spain, and the Insular or Anglo-Irish semi-uncial or
Anglo-Saxon majuscule of Great Britain. By the 9th century, the Caroline
script, which was very similar to the present-day form, was the principal
form used in book-making, before the advent of the printing press. This
form was derived through a combining of prior forms.

15th-century Italy saw the formation of the two main variants that are
known today. These variants, the Italic and Roman forms, were derived from
the Caroline Script version. The Italic form, also called script a, is used
in most current handwriting and consists of a circle and vertical stroke.
This slowly developed from the fifth-century form resembling the Greek
letter tau in the hands of medieval Irish and English writers. The Roman
form is used in most printed material; it consists of a small loop with an
arc over it ("a"). Both derive from the majuscule (capital) form. In Greek
handwriting, it was common to join the left leg and horizontal stroke into
a single loop, as demonstrated by the uncial version shown. Many fonts then
made the right leg vertical. In some of these, the serif that began the
right leg stroke developed into an arc, resulting in the printed form,
while in others it was dropped, resulting in the modern handwritten form.

Italic type is commonly used to mark emphasis or more generally to


distinguish one part of a text from the rest (set in Roman type). There are
some other cases aside from italic type where script a (""), also called
Latin alpha, is used in contrast with Latin "a" (such as in the
International Phonetic Alphabet).

Use in writing systems

English

Further information: Pronunciation of English a

In modern English orthography, the letter a represents at least seven


different vowel sounds:

- the near-open front unrounded vowel // as in pad;


- the open back unrounded vowel // as in father, which is closer to its
original Latin and Greek sound;
- the diphthong /e/ as in ace and major (usually when a is followed by
one, or occasionally two, consonants and then another vowel letter)
this results from Middle English lengthening followed by the Great Vowel
Shift;
- the modified form of the above sound that occurs before r, as in square
and Mary;
- the rounded vowel of water;
- the shorter rounded vowel (not present in General American) in was and
what;
- a schwa, in many unstressed syllables, as in about, comma, solar.

The double aa sequence does not occur in native English words, but is
found in some words derived from foreign languages such as Aaron and
aardvark. However, a occurs in many common digraphs, all with their own
sound or sounds, particularly ai, au, aw, ay, ea and oa.

a is the third-most-commonly used letter in English (after e and t),


and the second most common in Spanish and French. In one study, on average,
about 3.68% of letters used in English texts tend to be a, while the
number is 6.22% in Spanish and 3.95% in French.

Other languages

In most languages that use the Latin alphabet, a denotes an open


unrounded vowel, such as /a/, //, or //. An exception is Saanich, in
which a (and the glyph ) stands for a close-mid front unrounded vowel
/e/.

Other systems

In phonetic and phonemic notation:

- in the International Phonetic Alphabet, a is used for the open front


unrounded vowel, is used for the open central unrounded vowel, and
is used for the open back unrounded vowel.
- in X-SAMPA, a is used for the open front unrounded vowel and A is
used for the open back unrounded vowel.

Other uses

Main article: A (disambiguation)

In algebra, the letter "A" along with other letters at the beginning of the
alphabet is used to represent known quantities, whereas the letters at the
end of the alphabet (x,y,z) are used to denote unknown quantities.

In geometry, capital A, B, C etc. are used to denote segments, lines, rays,


etc. A capital A is also typically used as one of the letters to represent
an angle in a triangle, the lowercase a representing the side opposite
angle A.

"A" is often used to denote something or someone of a better or more


prestigious quality or status: A-, A or A+, the best grade that can be
assigned by teachers for students' schoolwork; "A grade" for clean
restaurants; A-list celebrities, etc. Such associations can have a
motivating effect, as exposure to the letter A has been found to improve
performance, when compared with other letters.

Finally, the letter A is used to denote size, as in a narrow size shoe, or


a small cup size in a brassiere.

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

- : Latin AE ligature
- A with diacritics:


- Phonetic alphabet symbols related to A (the International Phonetic
Alphabet only uses lowercase, but uppercase forms are used in some other
writing systems):
+ : Latin letter alpha / script A, which represents an open back
unrounded vowel in the IPA
+ : Turned A, which represents a near-open central vowel in the IPA
+ : turned V (also called a wedge, a caret, or a hat), which
represents an open-mid back unrounded vowel in the IPA
+ : Turned script A, which represents an open back rounded vowel in
the IPA
+ : Small capital A, an obsolete or non-standard symbol in the
International Phonetic Alphabet used to represent various sounds
(mainly open vowels)

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

- : an ordinal indicator
- : ngstrm sign
- : a turned capital letter A, used in predicate logic to specify
universal quantification ("for all")
- @ : At sign
- : Argentine austral

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

- : Semitic letter Aleph, from which the following symbols originally


derive
+ : Greek letter Alpha, from which the following letters derive
* : Cyrillic letter A
* : Coptic letter Alpha
* : Old Italic A, which is the ancestor of modern Latin A
- : Runic letter ansuz, which probably derives from old Italic A
* : Gothic letter aza/asks

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

Notes

[1] Aes is the plural of the name of the letter. The plural of the letter
itself is rendered As, A's, as, or a's.

Footnotes

[1] Simpson & Weiner 1989, p. 1


[2] McCarter 1974, p. 54
[3] Hoiberg 2010, p. 1
[4] Hall-Quest 1997, p. 1
[5] Diringer 2000, p. 1
[6] Gelb & Whiting 1998, p. 45
[7] Anon 2004
[8] Anon 2006
[9] British Psychological Society 2010

References

- Anon (2004). "English Letter Frequency". Math Explorer's Club. Cornell


University. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May
2014.
- Anon (2006). "Percentages of Letter frequencies per Thousand words".
Trinity College. Archived from the original on 25 January 2007. Retrieved
11 May 2015.
- British Psychological Society (9 March 2010). "Letters Affect Exam
Results". Science Alert. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014.
Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Diringer, David (2000). "A". In Bayer, Patricia. Encyclopedia Americana.
I: A-Anjou (First ed.). Danbury, CT: Grolier Incorporated. ISBN
0-7172-0133-3.
- Gelb, I. J.; Whiting, R. M. (1998). "A". In Ranson, K. Anne. Academic
American Encyclopedia. I: AAng (First ed.). Danbury, CT: Grolier
Incorporated. ISBN 0-7172-2068-0.
- Hall-Quest, Olga Wilbourne (1997). "A". In Johnston, Bernard. Collier's
Encyclopedia. I: A to Ameland (First ed.). New York, NY: P.F. Collier.
- Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "A". Encyclopdia Britannica. 1:
A-akBayes. Chicago, IL: Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc. ISBN
978-1-59339-837-8.
- McCarter, P. Kyle (September 1974). "The Early Diffusion of the
Alphabet". The Biblical Archaeologist. 37 (3): 5468. JSTOR 3210965.
doi:10.2307/3210965.
- Simpson, J. A.; Weiner, E.S.C., eds. (1989). "A". The Oxford English
Dictionary. I: ABazouki (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
ISBN 0-19-861213-3.

External links

- History of the Alphabet


- Texts on Wikisource:
+ "A" in A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson
+ "A". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
+ "A". The New Student's Reference Work. 1914.
+ "A". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.

This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For other uses, see B
(disambiguation).

For technical reasons, "B#" redirects here. For B-sharp, see B.

B or b (pronounced /bi/, bee) is the second letter in the ISO basic


Latin alphabet. It represents the voiced bilabial stop in many languages,
including English. In some other languages, it is used to represent other
bilabial consonants.

History

Old English was originally written in runes, whose equivalent letter was
beorc , meaning "birch". Beorc dates to at least the 2nd-century Elder
Futhark, which is now thought to have derived from the Old Italic
alphabets' either directly or via Latin .

The uncial and half-uncial introduced by the Gregorian and Irish


missions gradually developed into the Insular scripts' . These Old
English Latin alphabets supplanted the earlier runes, whose use was fully
banned under King Canute in the early 11th century. The Norman Conquest
popularized the Carolingian half-uncial forms which latter developed into
blackletter . Around 1300, letter case was increasingly distinguished,
with upper- and lower-case B taking separate meanings. Following the advent
of printing in the 15th century, Germany and Scandinavia continued to use
forms of blackletter (particularly Fraktur), while England eventually
adopted the humanist and antiqua scripts developed in Renaissance Italy
from a combination of Roman inscriptions and Carolingian texts. The present
forms of the English cursive B were developed by the 17th century.

The Roman B derived from the Greek capital beta via its Etruscan and
Cumaean variants. The Greek letter was an adaptation of the Phoenician
letter bt . The Egyptian hieroglyph for the consonant /b/ had been an
image of a foot and calf , but bt (Phoenician for "house") was a
modified form of a Proto-Sinaitic glyph probably adapted from the
separate hieroglyph Pr meaning "house". The Hebrew letter beth
is a separate development of the Phoenician letter.

By Byzantine times, the Greek letter came to be pronounced /v/, so


that it is known in modern Greek as vta (still written ). The Cyrillic
letter ve represents the same sound, so a modified form known as be
was developed to represent the Slavic languages' /b/. (Modern Greek
continues to lack a letter for the voiced bilabial plosive and
transliterates such sounds from other languages using the digraph/consonant
cluster , mp.)

Use in writing systems

English

In English, b denotes the voiced bilabial stop /b/, as in bib. In


English, it is sometimes silent. This occurs particularly in words ending
in mb, such as lamb and bomb, some of which originally had a /b/ sound,
while some had the letter b added by analogy (see Phonological history of
English consonant clusters). The b in debt, doubt, subtle, and related
words was added in the 16th century as an etymological spelling, intended
to make the words more like their Latin originals (debitum, dubito,
subtilis).

As /b/ is one of the sounds subject to Grimm's Law, words which have b in
English and other Germanic languages may find their cognates in other
Indo-European languages appearing with bh, p, f or instead. For
example, compare the various cognates of the word brother.

Other languages

Many other languages besides English use b to represent a voiced bilabial


stop.

In Estonian, Icelandic, and Chinese Pinyin, b does not denote a voiced


consonant. Instead, it represents a voiceless /p/ that contrasts with
either a geminated /p:/ (in Estonian) or an aspirated /p/ (in Pinyin,
Danish and Icelandic) represented by p. In Fijian b represents a
prenasalized /mb/, whereas in Zulu and Xhosa it represents an implosive
//, in contrast to the digraph bh which represents /b/. Finnish uses b
only in loanwords.

Phonetic transcription

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, [b] is used to represent the voiced


bilabial stop phone. In phonological transcription systems for specific
languages, /b/ may be used to represent a lenis phoneme, not necessarily
voiced, that contrasts with fortis /p/ (which may have greater aspiration,
tenseness or duration).

Other uses

Main article: B (disambiguation)

B is also a musical note. In English-speaking countries, it represents Si,


the 12th note of a chromatic scale built on C. In Central Europe and
Scandinavia, "B" is used to denote B-flat and the 12th note of the
chromatic scale is denoted "H". Archaic forms of 'b', the b quadratum
(square b, ) and b rotundum (round b, ) are used in musical notation as
the symbols for natural and flat, respectively.

In Contracted (grade 2) English braille, 'b' stands for "but" when in


isolation.

In computer science, B is the symbol for byte, a unit of information


storage.

In engineering, B is the symbol for bel, a unit of level.

In chemistry, B is the symbol for boron, a chemical element.

Related characters

Ancestors, descendants and siblings

- : Semitic letter Bet, from which the following symbols originally


derive
- : Greek letter Beta, from which B derives
- Coptic letter Bta, which derives from Greek Beta
- : Cyrillic letter Ve, which also derives from Beta
- : Cyrillic letter Be, which also derives from Beta
- : Old Italic B, which derives from Greek Beta
- : Runic letter Berkanan, which probably derives from Old Italic B
- : Gothic letter bercna, which derives from Greek Beta
- IPA-specific symbols related to B:
- B with diacritics:

Derived ligatures, abbreviations, signs and symbols

- : U+2422 Blank Symbol


- : Thai baht
- : The flat in music, mentioned above, still closely resembles lowercase
b.

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

References

[1] "B", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1989
[2] "B", Merriam-Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary of the English
Language, Unabridged, 1993
[3] Baynes, T.S., ed. (1878), "B", Encyclopdia Britannica, 3 (9th ed.),
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 173
[4] Schumann-Antelme, Ruth; Rossini, Stphane (1998), Illustrated
Hieroglyphics Handbook, English translation by Sterling Publishing
(2002), pp. 2223, ISBN 1-4027-0025-3
[5] Goldwasser, Orly (MarApr 2010), "How the Alphabet Was Born from
Hieroglyphs", Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. 36 (No. 1), Washington:
Biblical Archaeology Society, ISSN 0098-9444
[6] It also resembles the hieroglyph for /h/ meaning "manor" or "reed
shelter".

External links

- Media related to B at Wikimedia Commons


- The dictionary definition of B at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of b at Wiktionary
- Giles, Peter (1911), "B", Encyclopdia Britannica, 3 (11th ed.), p. 87

This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For other uses, see C
(disambiguation).

For technical reasons, "C#" redirects here. For C#, see C-sharp
(disambiguation).

For technical reasons, "C#Builder" redirects here. For the computer


program, see CSharpBuilder.

C is the third letter in the English alphabet and a letter of the alphabets
of many other writing systems which inherited it from the Latin alphabet.
It is also the third letter of the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is named
cee (pronounced /si/) in English.

History

"C" comes from the same letter as "G". The Semites named it gimel. The sign
is possibly adapted from an Egyptian hieroglyph for a staff sling, which
may have been the meaning of the name gimel. Another possibility is that it
depicted a camel, the Semitic name for which was gamal. Barry B. Powell, a
specialist in the history of writing, states "It is hard to imagine how
gimel = "camel" can be derived from the picture of a camel (it may show his
hump, or his head and neck!)".

In the Etruscan language, plosive consonants had no contrastive voicing, so


the Greek '' (Gamma) was adopted into the Etruscan alphabet to represent
/k/. Already in the Western Greek alphabet, Gamma first took a '' form in
Early Etruscan, then '' in Classical Etruscan. In Latin it eventually took
the 'c' form in Classical Latin. In the earliest Latin inscriptions, the
letters 'c k q' were used to represent the sounds /k/ and // (which were
not differentiated in writing). Of these, 'q' was used to represent /k/ or
// before a rounded vowel, 'k' before 'a', and 'c' elsewhere. During the
3rd century BC, a modified character was introduced for //, and 'c' itself
was retained for /k/. The use of 'c' (and its variant 'g') replaced most
usages of 'k' and 'q'. Hence, in the classical period and after, 'g' was
treated as the equivalent of Greek gamma, and 'c' as the equivalent of
kappa; this shows in the romanization of Greek words, as in '',
'', and '' came into Latin as 'cadmvs', 'cyrvs' and 'phocis',
respectively.

Other alphabets have letters homoglyphic to 'c' but not analogous in use
and derivation, like the Cyrillic letter Es (, ) which derives from the
lunate sigma, named due to its resemblance to the crescent moon.

Later use

When the Roman alphabet was introduced into Britain, c represented only
/k/, and this value of the letter has been retained in loanwords to all the
insular Celtic languages: in Welsh, Irish, Gaelic, c represents only /k/.
The Old English Latin-based writing system was learned from the Celts,
apparently of Ireland; hence c in Old English also originally represented
/k/; the Modern English words kin, break, broken, thick, and seek, all come
from Old English words written with c: cyn, brecan, brocen, icc, and
soc. But during the course of the Old English period, /k/ before front
vowels (/e/ and /i/) were palatalized, having changed by the tenth century
to [t], though c was still used, as in cir(i)ce, wrecc(e)a. On the
continent, meanwhile, a similar phonetic change had also been going on (for
example, in Italian).

In Vulgar Latin, /k/ became palatalized to [t] in Italy and Dalmatia; in


France and the Iberian peninsula, it became [ts]. Yet for these new sounds
c was still used before the letters e and i. The letter thus
represented two distinct values. Subsequently, the Latin phoneme /k/
(spelled qv) de-labialized to /k/ meaning that the various Romance
languages had /k/ before front vowels. In addition, Norman used the letter
k so that the sound /k/ could be represented by either k or c, the
latter of which could represent either /k/ or /ts/ depending on whether it
preceded a front vowel letter or not. The convention of using both c and
k was applied to the writing of English after the Norman Conquest,
causing a considerable re-spelling of the Old English words. Thus while Old
English candel, clif, corn, crop, c, remained unchanged, Cent, c
(c), cyng, brece, soce, were now (without any change of sound) spelled
'Kent', 'ke', 'kyng', 'breke', and 'seoke'; even cniht ('knight') was
subsequently changed to 'kniht' and ic ('thick') changed to 'thik' or
'thikk'. The Old English 'cw' was also at length displaced by the French
'qu' so that the Old English cwn ('queen') and cwic ('quick') became
Middle English 'quen' 'quik', respectively. The sound [t], to which Old
English palatalized /k/ had advanced, also occurred in French, chiefly from
Latin /k/ before 'a'. In French it was represented by the digraph ch, as
in champ (from Latin camp-um) and this spelling was introduced into
English: the Hatton Gospels, written about 1160, have in Matt. i-iii,
child, chyld, riche, mychel, for the cild, rice, mycel, of the Old English
version whence they were copied. In these cases, the Old English c gave
place to k qu ch but, on the other hand, c in its new value of /ts/
came in largely in French words like processiun, emperice, grace, and was
also substituted for 'ts' in a few Old English words, as miltse, bletsien,
in early Middle English milce, blecien. By the end of the thirteenth
century both in France and England, this sound /ts/ de-affricated to /s/;
and from that time c has represented /s/ before front vowels either for
etymological reasons, as in lance, cent, or to avoid the ambiguity due to
the "etymological" use of s for /z/, as in ace, mice, once, pence,
defence.

Thus, to show etymology, English spelling has advise, devise (instead of


advize, devize), while advice, device, dice, ice, mice, twice, etc., do not
reflect etymology; example has extended this to hence, pence, defence,
etc., where there is no etymological reason for using c. Former
generations also wrote sence for sense. Hence, today the Romance languages
and English have a common feature inherited from Vulgar Latin spelling
conventions where c takes on either a "hard" or "soft" value depending on
the following letter.

Use in writing systems

English

In English orthography, c generally represents the "soft" value of /s/


before the letters e (including the Latin-derived digraphs ae and oe,
or the corresponding ligatures and ), i, and y, and a "hard"
value of /k/ before any other letters or at the end of a word. However,
there are a number of exceptions in English: "soccer" and "Celt" are words
that have /k/ where /s/ would be expected.

The "soft" c may represent the // sound in the digraph ci when this
precedes a vowel, as in the words 'delicious' and 'appreciate'.

The digraph ch most commonly represents /t/, but can also represent /k/
(mainly in words of Greek origin) or // (mainly in words of French
origin). For some dialects of English, it may also represent /x/ in words
like loch, while other speakers pronounce the final sound as /k/. The
trigraph tch always represents /t/.

The digraph ck is often used to represent the sound /k/ after short
vowels.

Other languages

In the Romance languages French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese,


c generally has a "hard" value of /k/ and a "soft" value whose
pronunciation varies by language. In French, Portuguese, and Spanish from
Latin America and southern Spain, the soft c value is /s/ as it is in
English. In the Spanish spoken in northern and central Spain, the soft c
is a voiceless dental fricative //. In Italian and Romanian, the soft c
is [tt
].

All Balto-Slavic languages that use the Latin alphabet, as well as


Albanian, Hungarian, Pashto, several Sami languages, Esperanto, Ido,
Interlingua, and Americanist phonetic notation (and those aboriginal
languages of North America whose practical orthography derives from it) use
c to represent /tt
s/, the voiceless alveolar or voiceless dental sibilant
affricate. In romanized Mandarin Chinese, the letter represents an
aspirated version of this sound, /tt
s /.

Among non-European languages that have adopted the Latin alphabet, c


represents a variety of sounds. Yup'ik, Indonesian, Malay, and a number of
African languages such as Hausa, Fula, and Manding share the soft Italian
value of /tt
/. In Azeri, Crimean Tatar, Kurmanji Kurdish, and Turkish c
stands for the voiced counterpart of this sound, the voiced postalveolar
affricate /dt
/. In Yabem and similar languages, such as Bukawa, c stands
for a glottal stop //. Xhosa and Zulu use this letter to represent the
click //. in some other African languages, such as Beninese Yoruba, c is
used for //. In Fijian, c stands for a voiced dental fricative //,
while in Somali it has the value of //.

The letter c is also used as a transliteration of the Cyrillic in the


Latinic forms of Serbian, Macedonian, and sometimes Ukrainian (along with
the digraph ts).

Other systems

As a phonetic symbol, lowercase c is the International Phonetic Alphabet


(IPA) and X-SAMPA symbol for the voiceless palatal plosive, and capital C
is the X-SAMPA symbol for the voiceless palatal fricative.

Digraphs

There are several common digraphs with c, the most common being ch,
which in some languages (such as German) is far more common than c alone.
ch takes various values in other languages.

As in English, ck, with the value /k/, is often used after short vowels
in other Germanic languages such as German and Swedish (but some other
Germanic languages use kk instead, such as Dutch and Norwegian). The
digraph cz is found in Polish and cs in Hungarian, both representing
/tt
/. The digraph sc represents // in Old English, Italian, and a few
languages related to Italian (where this only happens before front vowels,
while otherwise it represents /sk/). The trigraph sch represents // in
German.

Related characters

Ancestors, descendants and siblings

- : Semitic letter Gimel, from which the following symbols originally


derive
+ : Greek letter Gamma, from which C derives
* G g : Latin letter G, which is derived from Latin C
- Phonetic alphabet symbols related to C:
+
+ : stretched C
- C with diacritics:


C

c

Derived ligatures, abbreviations, signs and symbols

- : copyright symbol
- : degree Celsius
- : cent
- : coln (currency)
- : Brazilian cruzeiro (currency)
- : Ghana cedi (currency)
- : European Currency Unit CE
- : double struck C
- : blackletter C

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

See also

- Hard and soft C


References

[1] "C" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's


Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged
(1993); "cee", op. cit.
[2] Powell, Barry B. (27 Mar 2009). Writing: Theory and History of the
Technology of Civilization. Wiley Blackwell. p. 182. ISBN 978-1405162562.
[3] Sihler, Andrew L. (1995). New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin
(illustrated ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN
0-19-508345-8.

External links

- Media related to C at Wikimedia Commons


- The dictionary definition of C at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of c at Wiktionary

This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For other uses, see D
(disambiguation).

For technical reasons, "D#" redirects here. For D-sharp, see D


(disambiguation).

D (named dee /di/ ) is the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet
and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History

The Semitic letter Dleth may have developed from the logogram for a fish
or a door. There are many different Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have
inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek and Latin, the letter represented
/d/; in the Etruscan alphabet the letter was superfluous but still retained
(see letter B). The equivalent Greek letter is Delta, .

The minuscule (lower-case) form of 'd' consists of a loop and a tall


vertical stroke. It developed by gradual variations on the majuscule
(capital) form. In handwriting, it was common to start the arc to the left
of the vertical stroke, resulting in a serif at the top of the arc. This
serif was extended while the rest of the letter was reduced, resulting in
an angled stroke and loop. The angled stroke slowly developed into a
vertical stroke.

Use in writing systems

In most languages that use the Latin alphabet, and in the International
Phonetic Alphabet, d generally represents the voiced alveolar or voiced
dental plosive /d/. However, in the Vietnamese alphabet, it represents the
sound /z/ in northern dialects or /j/ in southern dialects. (See D with
stroke and Dz (digraph).) In Fijian it represents a prenasalized stop
/nd/. In some languages where voiceless unaspirated stops contrast with
voiceless aspirated stops, d represents an unaspirated /t/, while t
represents an aspirated /t/. Examples of such languages include Icelandic,
Scottish Gaelic, Navajo and the Pinyin transliteration of Mandarin.

Other uses
- The Roman numeral represents the number 500.
- D is the grade below C but above E in the school grading system.

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

- : Latin letter Eth


- D with diacritics:
- IPA-specific symbols related to D:

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

- : Semitic letter Dalet, from which the following symbols originally


derive
+ : Greek letter Delta, from which the following symbols originally
derive
* : Coptic letter Delta
* : Cyrillic letter De
* : Old Italic D, the ancestor of modern Latin D
- : Runic letter dagaz, which is possibly a descendent of Old
Italic D
- Runic letter thurisaz, another possible descendent of Old Italic
D
* : Gothic letter daaz, which derives from Greek Delta

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

- : ng sign
- : the partial derivative symbol, \part

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

In British Sign Language (BSL), the letter 'd' is indicated by signing with
the right hand held with the index and thumb extended and slightly curved,
and the tip of the thumb and finger held against the extended index of the
left hand.

References

[1] "D" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's


Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged
(1993); "dee", op. cit.
[2] Lynch, John (1998). Pacific languages: an introduction. University of
Hawaii Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-8248-1898-9.
[3] Gordon, Arthur E. (1983). Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy.
University of California Press. p. 44. ISBN 9780520038981. Retrieved 3
October 2015.

External links

- The dictionary definition of D at Wiktionary


- The dictionary definition of d at Wiktionary
E

For the mathematical constant, see e (mathematical constant). For other


uses, see E (disambiguation).

For technical reasons, "E#" redirects here. For E sharp, see E.

E (named e /i/, plural ees) is the fifth letter and the second vowel in
the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is the
most commonly used letter in many languages, including Czech, Danish,
Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Latin, Latvian, Norwegian,
Spanish, and Swedish.

History

The Latin letter 'E' differs little from its source, the Greek letter
epsilon, ''. This in turn comes from the Semitic letter h, which has been
suggested to have started as a praying or calling human figure (hillul
'jubilation'), and was probably based on a similar Egyptian hieroglyph that
indicated a different pronunciation. In Semitic, the letter represented /h/
(and /e/ in foreign words); in Greek, h became the letter epsilon, used to
represent /e/. The various forms of the Old Italic script and the Latin
alphabet followed this usage.

Use in writing systems

English

Although Middle English spelling used e to represent long and short /e/,
the Great Vowel Shift changed long /e/ (as in 'me' or 'bee') to /i/ while
short // (as in 'met' or 'bed') remained a mid vowel. In other cases, the
letter is silent, generally at the end of words.

Other languages

In the orthography of many languages it represents either [e], [ee ], [],


or some variation (such as a nasalized version) of these sounds, often with
diacritics (as: e ) to indicate contrasts. Less
commonly, as in French, German, or Saanich, e represents a mid-central
vowel //. Digraphs with e are common to indicate either diphthongs or
monophthongs, such as ea or ee for /i/ or /e/ in English, ei for
/a/ in German, and eu for // in French or // in German.

Other systems

The International Phonetic Alphabet uses e for the close-mid front


unrounded vowel or the mid front unrounded vowel.

Most common letter

'E' is the most common (or highest-frequency) letter in the English


alphabet (starting off the typographer's phrase ETAOIN SHRDLU) and several
other European languages, which has implications in both cryptography and
data compression. In the story The Gold Bug by Edgar Allan Poe, a character
figures out a random character code by remembering that the most used
letter in English is E. This makes it a hard and popular letter to use when
writing lipograms. Ernest Vincent Wright's Gadsby (1939) is considered a
"dreadful" novel, and supposedly "at least part of Wright's narrative
issues were caused by language limitations imposed by the lack of E." Both
Georges Perec's novel A Void (La Disparition) (1969) and its English
translation by Gilbert Adair omit 'e' and are considered better works.

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

- E with diacritics:

EE eE
- : Latin AE ligature
- : Latin OE ligature
- The umlaut diacritic used above a vowel letter in German and other
languages to indicate a fronted or front vowel (this sign originated as a
superscript e)
- Phonetic alphabet symbols related to E (the International Phonetic
Alphabet only uses lowercase, but uppercase forms are used in some other
writing systems):
+ : Latin letter epsilon, which represents an open-mid front
unrounded vowel in the IPA
+ : Latin letter reversed epsilon, which represents an open-mid central
unrounded vowel in the IPA
+ : Latin letter schwa, which represents a mid central vowel in the
IPA
+ : Latin letter turned e, which is used in the writing systems of
some African languages
+ : Latin letter reversed e, which represents a close-mid central
unrounded vowel in the IPA

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

- : Semitic letter He (letter), from which the following symbols


originally derive
+ : Greek letter Epsilon, from which the following symbols originally
derive
* : Cyrillic letter Ye
* : Ukrainian Ye
* : Cyrillic letter E
* : Coptic letter Ei
* : Old Italic E, which is the ancestor of modern Latin E
- : Runic letter Ehwaz, which is possibly a descendent of Old
Italic E
* : Gothic letter eyz

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

- : Euro sign.
- : Estimated sign (used on prepackaged goods for sale within the
European Union).
- : existential quantifier in predicate logic.
- : the symbol for set membership in set theory.
- : the base of the natural logarithm.
- : the EulerMascheroni constant.

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.
Other representations

In British Sign Language (BSL), the letter 'e' is signed by extending the
index finger of the right hand touching the tip of index on the left hand,
with all fingers of left hand open.

References

[1] "E" a letter Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of


the English Language Unabridged (1993). Ees is the plural of the name of
the letter; the plural of the letter itself is rendered E's, Es, e's, or
es.
[2] Kelk, Brian. "Letter frequencies". UK Free Software Network. Retrieved
2008-06-25.
[3] Lewand, Robert. "Relative Frequencies of Letters in General English
Plain text". Cryptographical Mathematics. Central College. Archived from
the original on 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
[4] "Frequency of Occurrence of Letters in Spanish". Santa Cruz Public
Libraries. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
[5] "Frequency of Occurrence of Letters in French". Santa Cruz Public
Libraries. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
[6] "Frequency of Occurrence of Letters in German". Santa Cruz Public
Libraries. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
[7] Ross Eckler, Making the Alphabet Dance: Recreational Word Play. New
York: St. Martin's Press (1996): 3
[8] Eckler (1996): 3. Perec's novel "was so well written that at least some
reviewers never realized the existence of a letter constraint."

External links

- Media related to E at Wikimedia Commons


- The dictionary definition of E at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of e at Wiktionary

This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For other uses, see F
(disambiguation).
Not to be confused with the letter "" (Long s ()).

For technical reasons, "F#" redirects here. For other uses, see F-sharp.

F (named ef /f/) is the sixth letter in the modern English alphabet and
the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History

The origin of 'F' is the Semitic letter vv (or waw) that represented a
sound like /v/ or /w/. Graphically it originally probably depicted either a
hook or a club. It may have been based on a comparable Egyptian hieroglyph
such as that which represented the word mace (transliterated as (dj)):

The Phoenician form of the letter was adopted into Greek as a vowel,
upsilon (which resembled its descendant 'Y' but was also the ancestor of
the Roman letters 'U', 'V', and 'W'); and, with another form, as a
consonant, digamma, which indicated the pronunciation /w/, as in
Phoenician. Latin 'F,' despite being pronounced differently, is ultimately
descended from digamma and closely resembles it in form.
After sound changes eliminated /w/ from spoken Greek, digamma was used only
as a numeral. However, the Greek alphabet also gave rise to other
alphabets, and some of these retained letters descended from digamma. In
the Etruscan alphabet, 'F' probably represented /w/, as in Greek, and the
Etruscans formed the digraph 'FH' to represent /f/. (At the time these
letters were borrowed, there was no Greek letter that represented /f/: the
Greek letter phi '' then represented an aspirated voiceless bilabial
plosive /p/, although in Modern Greek it has come to represent /f/.) When
the Romans adopted the alphabet, they used 'V' (from Greek upsilon) not
only for the vowel /u/, but also for the corresponding semivowel /w/,
leaving 'F' available for /f/. And so out of the various vav variants in
the Mediterranean world, the letter F entered the Roman alphabet attached
to a sound which its antecedents in Greek and Etruscan did not have. The
Roman alphabet forms the basis of the alphabet used today for English and
many other languages.

The lowercase ' f ' is not related to the visually similar long s, ' '
(or medial s). The use of the long s largely died out by the beginning of
the 19th century, mostly to prevent confusion with ' f ' when using a short
mid-bar (see more at: S).

Use in writing systems

English

In the English writing system f is used to represent the sound /f/, the
voiceless labiodental fricative. It is commonly doubled at the end of
words. Exceptionally, it represents the voiced labiodental fricative /v/ in
the common word "of".

Other languages

In the writing systems of other languages, f commonly represents /f/, []


or /v/.

- In French orthography, f is used to represent /f/. It may also be


silent at the end of words.
- In Spanish orthography, f is used to represent /f/.
- In the Hepburn romanization of Japanese, f is used to represent [].
This sound is usually considered to be an allophone of /h/, which is
pronounced in different ways depending upon its context; Japanese /h/ is
pronounced as [] before /u/.
- In Welsh orthography, f represents /v/ while ff represents /f/.
- In Slavic languages, f is used primarily in words of foreign (Greek,
Latin, or Germanic) origin.

Other systems

The International Phonetic Alphabet uses f to represent the voiceless


labiodental fricative.

Related characters

Ancestors, descendants and siblings

- F with diacritics:
- : Semitic letter Waw, from which the following symbols originally
derive
+ : Greek letter Digamma, from which F derives
* : Old Italic V/F (originally used for V, in languages such as
Etruscan and Oscan), which derives from Greek Digamma, and is the
ancestor of modern Latin F
* Y y : Latin letter Y, sharing its roots with F
* V v : Latin letter V, also sharing its roots with F
* U u : Latin letter U, which is descended from V
* W w : Latin letter W, also descended from V

Ligatures and abbreviations

- : French franc, Latin capital letter F with stroke


- : degree Fahrenheit

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

Footnotes

Notes

References

[1] Spelled eff as a verb


[2] "F", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); "ef", "eff", "bee"
(under "bee eff"), op. cit.

External links

- Media related to F at Wikimedia Commons


- The dictionary definition of F at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of f at Wiktionary

This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For other uses, see G
(disambiguation).

For technical reasons, "G#" redirects here. For G-sharp, see G


(disambiguation).

G (named gee /di/) is the 7th letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History

For earlier history, see the history section on C.

The letter 'G' was introduced in the Old Latin period as a variant of 'C'
to distinguish voiced // from voiceless /k/. The recorded originator of
'G' is freedman Spurius Carvilius Ruga, the first Roman to open a
fee-paying school, who taught around 230 BC. At this time, 'K' had fallen
out of favor, and 'C', which had formerly represented both // and /k/
before open vowels, had come to express /k/ in all environments.

Ruga's positioning of 'G' shows that alphabetic order related to the


letters' values as Greek numerals was a concern even in the 3rd century BC.
According to some records, the original seventh letter, 'Z', had been
purged from the Latin alphabet somewhat earlier in the 3rd century BC by
the Roman censor Appius Claudius, who found it distasteful and foreign.
Sampson (1985) suggests that: "Evidently the order of the alphabet was felt
to be such a concrete thing that a new letter could be added in the middle
only if a 'space' was created by the dropping of an old letter."

George Hempl (1899) proposes that there never was such a "space" in the
alphabet and that in fact 'G' was a direct descendant of zeta. Zeta took
shapes like in some of the Old Italic scripts; the development of the
monumental form 'G' from this shape would be exactly parallel to the
development of 'C' from gamma. He suggests that the pronunciation /k/ > //
was due to contamination from the also similar-looking 'K'.

Eventually, both velar consonants /k/ and // developed palatalized


allophones before front vowels; consequently in today's Romance languages,
c and g have different sound values depending on context (known as hard
and soft C and hard and soft G). Because of French influence, English
orthography shares this feature.

Typographic variants

The modern lowercase 'g' has two typographic variants: the single-story
(sometimes opentail) '' and the double-story (sometimes looptail) ''. The
single-story form derives from the majuscule (uppercase) form by raising
the serif that distinguishes it from 'c' to the top of the loop, thus
closing the loop, and extending the vertical stroke downward and to the
left. The double-story form (g) had developed similarly, except that some
ornate forms then extended the tail back to the right, and to the left
again, forming a closed bowl or loop. The initial extension to the left was
absorbed into the upper closed bowl. The double-story version became
popular when printing switched to "Roman type" because the tail was
effectively shorter, making it possible to put more lines on a page. In the
double-story version, a small top stroke in the upper-right, often
terminating in an orb shape, is called an "ear".

Generally, the two forms are complementary, but occasionally the difference
has been exploited to provide contrast. The 1949 Principles of the
International Phonetic Association recommends using for advanced voiced
velar plosives (denoted by Latin small letter script G) and for regular
ones where the two are contrasted, but this suggestion was never accepted
by phoneticians in general, and today '' is the symbol used in the
International Phonetic Alphabet, with '' acknowledged as an acceptable
variant and more often used in printed materials.

Use in writing systems

See also: Hard and soft G

English

In English, the letter appears either alone or in some digraphs. Alone, it


represents

- a voiced velar plosive (// or "hard" g), as in goose, gargoyle and


game;
- a voiced palato-alveolar affricate (/dt
/ or "soft" g), generally
before i or e, as in giant, ginger and geology; or
- a voiced palato-alveolar sibilant (//) in some words of French origin,
such as rouge, beige and genre.

In words of Romance origin, g is mainly soft before e (including the


digraphs ae and oe), i, or y, and hard otherwise. There are many
English words of non-Romance origin where g is hard though followed by
e or i (e.g. get, gift), and a few in which g is soft though followed
by a such as gaol or margarine.

The double consonant gg has the value // (hard g) as in nugget, with


very few exceptions: /dt
/ in suggest and /dt
/ in exaggerate and veggies.

The digraph dg has the value /dt


/ (soft g), as in badger. Non-digraph
dg can also occur, in compounds like floodgate and headgear.

The digraph ng may represent

- a velar nasal (//) as in length, singer


- the latter followed by hard g (//) as in jungle, finger, longest

Non-digraph ng also occurs, with possible values

- /n/ as in engulf, ungainly


- /ndt
/ as in sponge, angel
- /n/ as in melange

The digraph gh (in many cases a replacement for the obsolete letter yogh,
which took various values including //, //, /x/ and /j/) may represent

- // as in ghost, aghast, burgher, spaghetti


- /f/ as in cough, laugh, roughage
- (no sound) as in through, neighbor, night
- /p/ in hiccough
- /x/ in ugh

Non-digraph gh also occurs, in compounds like foghorn, pigheaded

The digraph gn may represent

- /n/ as in gnostic, deign, foreigner, signage


- /nj/ in loanwords like champignon, lasagna

Non-digraph gn also occurs, as in signature, agnostic

The trigraph ngh has the value // as in gingham or dinghy. Non-trigraph


ngh also occurs, in compounds like stronghold and dunghill.

Other languages

Most Romance languages and some Nordic languages also have two main
pronunciations for g, hard and soft. While the soft value of g varies
in different Romance languages (// in French and Portuguese, [(d)] in
Catalan, /dt
/ in Italian and Romanian, and /x/ in most dialects of
Spanish), in all except Romanian and Italian, soft g has the same
pronunciation as the j.

In Italian and Romanian, gh is used to represent // before front vowels


where g would otherwise represent a soft value. In Italian and French,
gn is used to represent the palatal nasal //, a sound somewhat similar
to the ny in English canyon. In Italian, the trigraph gli, when
appearing before a vowel or as the article and pronoun gli, represents the
palatal lateral approximant //.

Other languages typically use g to represent // regardless of position.

Amongst European languages Czech, Dutch and Finnish are an exception as


they do not have // in their native words. In Dutch g represents a
voiced velar fricative // instead, a sound that does not occur in modern
English, but there is a dialectal variation: many Netherlandic dialects use
a voiceless fricative ([x] or []) instead, and in southern dialects it may
be palatal []. Nevertheless, word-finally it is always voiceless in all
dialects, including the standard Dutch of Belgium and the Netherlands. On
the other hand, some dialects (like Amelands), may have a phonemic //.

Faroese uses g to represent /d/, in addition to //, and also uses it to


indicate a glide.

In Maori (Te Reo Mori), g is used in the digraph ng which represents


the velar nasal // and is pronounced like the ng in singer.

In older Czech and Slovak orthographies, g was used to represent /j/,


while // was written as (g with caron).

Related characters

Ancestors, descendants and siblings

- : Semitic letter Gimel, from which the following symbols originally


derive
- C c : Latin letter C, from which G derives
- : Greek letter Gamma, from which C derives in turn
- : Latin letter script small G
- : Cyrillic letter Ge
- : Latin letter Yogh
- : Latin letter Gamma
- : Latin letter small capital G, used in the International Phonetic
Alphabet to represent a voiced uvular stop
- G with diacritics:

Ligatures and abbreviations

- : Paraguayan guaran

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

See also

- Carolingian G
- Hard and soft G
- Insular G
- Latin letters used in mathematics#Gg
- Letter G in freemasonry

References
[1] The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 1976.
[2] Encyclopaedia Romana
[3] Evertype.com
[4] Hempl, George (1899). "The Origin of the Latin Letters G and Z".
Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association.
The Johns Hopkins University Press. 30: 2441. JSTOR 282560.
doi:10.2307/282560.
[5] Pullum, Geoffrey K.; Ladusaw, William A. (1986). Phonetic Symbol Guide.
Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press. p. 58.

External links

- Media related to G at Wikimedia Commons


- The dictionary definition of G at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of g at Wiktionary
- Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary: G

This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For other uses, see H
(disambiguation).
"Aitch" redirects here. For the surname, see Aitch (surname). For the
community in the United States, see Aitch, Pennsylvania.

H (named aitch or "haitch"/et/, plural aitches) is the eighth letter in


the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History

The original Semitic letter Heth most likely represented the voiceless
pharyngeal fricative (). The form of the letter probably stood for a fence
or posts.

The Greek eta '' in Archaic Greek alphabets still represented /h/ (later
on it came to represent a long vowel, //). In this context, the letter
eta is also known as heta to underline this fact. Thus, in the Old Italic
alphabets, the letter heta of the Euboean alphabet was adopted with its
original sound value /h/.

While Etruscan and Latin had /h/ as a phoneme, almost all Romance languages
lost the soundRomanian later re-borrowed the /h/ phoneme from its
neighbouring Slavic languages, and Spanish developed a secondary /h/ from
/f/, before losing it again; various Spanish dialects have developed [h] as
an allophone of /s/ or /x/ in most Spanish-speaking countries, and various
dialects of Portuguese use it as an allophone of //. 'H' is also used in
many spelling systems in digraphs and trigraphs, such as 'ch', which
represents /t/ in Spanish, Galician, Old Portuguese and English, // in
French and modern Portuguese, /k/ in Italian, French and English, /x/ in
German, Czech language, Polish, Slovak, one native word of English and a
few loanwords into English, and // in German.

Name in English

For most English speakers, the name for the letter is pronounced as /et/
and spelled 'aitch' or occasionally 'eitch'. The pronunciation /het/
and the associated spelling 'haitch' is often considered to be h-adding and
is considered nonstandard in England. It is, however, a feature of
Hiberno-English and other varieties of English, such as those of Malaysia,
India, Newfoundland, and Singapore. In Northern Ireland, it is a shibboleth
as Protestant schools teach aitch and Catholics haitch. In the Republic of
Ireland, the letter h is generally pronounced as "haitch".

The perceived name of the letter affects the choice of indefinite article
before initialisms beginning with H: for example "an H-bomb" or "a H-bomb".
The pronunciation /het/ may be a hypercorrection formed by analogy with
the names of the other letters of the alphabet, most of which include the
sound they represent.

The haitch pronunciation of h has spread in England, being used by


approximately 24% of English people born since 1982 and polls continue to
show this pronunciation becoming more common among younger native speakers.
Despite this increasing number, pronunciation without the /h/ sound is
still considered to be standard in England, although the pronunciation with
/h/ is also attested as a legitimate variant.

Authorities disagree about the history of the letter's name. The Oxford
English Dictionary says the original name of the letter was [aha] in
Latin; this became [aka] in Vulgar Latin, passed into English via Old
French [at], and by Middle English was pronounced [at]. The American
Heritage Dictionary of the English Language derives it from French hache
from Latin haca or hic. Anatoly Liberman suggests a conflation of two
obsolete orderings of the alphabet, one with H immediately followed by K
and the other without any K: reciting the former's ..., H, K, L,... as
[...(h)a ka el ...] when reinterpreted for the latter ..., H, L,... would
imply a pronunciation [(h)a ka] for H.

Use in writing systems

English

In English, h occurs as a single-letter grapheme (being either silent or


representing /h/) and in various digraphs, such as ch /t/, //, /k/, or
/x/), gh (silent, //, /k/, /p/, or /f/), ph (/f/), rh (/r/), sh
(//), th (// or //), wh (/hw/ ). The letter is silent in a syllable
rime, as in ah, ohm, dahlia, cheetah, pooh-poohed, as well as in certain
other words (mostly of French origin) such as hour, honest, herb (in
American but not British English) and vehicle. Initial /h/ is often not
pronounced in the weak form of some function words including had, has,
have, he, her, him, his, and in some varieties of English (including most
regional dialects of England and Wales) it is often omitted in all words
(see 'h'-dropping). It was formerly common for an rather than a to be
used as the indefinite article before a word beginning with /h/ in an
unstressed syllable, as in "an historian", but use of a is now more usual
(see English articles Indefinite article).

Other languages

In the German language, the name of the letter is pronounced /ha/.


Following a vowel, it often silently indicates that the vowel is long: In
the word erhhen ('heighten'), only the first h represents /h/. In 1901,
a spelling reform eliminated the silent h in nearly all instances of th
in native German words such as thun ('to do') or Thr ('door'). It has been
left unchanged in words derived from Greek, such as Theater ('theater') and
Thron ('throne'), which continue to be spelled with th even after the
last German spelling reform.

In Spanish and Portuguese, h ("hache" in Spanish, ag in Portuguese,


pronounced [aa] or [a]) is a silent letter with no pronunciation, as
in hijo [ixo] ('son') and hngaro [au] ('Hungarian'). The spelling
reflects an earlier pronunciation of the sound /h/. It is sometimes
pronounced with the value [h], in some regions of Andalusia, Extremadura,
Canarias, Cantabria and the Americas in the beginning of some words. h
also appears in the digraph ch, which represents /t/ in Spanish and
northern Portugal, and // in oral traditions that merged both sounds (the
latter originarily represented by x instead) e.g. in most of the
Portuguese language and some Spanish-speaking places, prominently Chile, as
well as nh // and lh // in Portuguese, whose spelling is inherited
from Occitan.

In French, the name of the letter is pronounced /a/. The French


orthography classifies words that begin with this letter in two ways, one
of which can affect the pronunciation, even though it is a silent letter
either way. The H muet, or "mute" h, is considered as though the letter
were not there at all, so for example the singular definite article le or
la, which is elided to l' before a vowel, elides before an H muet followed
by a vowel. For example, le + hbergement becomes l'hbergement ('the
accommodation'). The other kind of h is called h aspir ("aspirated
'h'", though it is not normally aspirated phonetically), and does not
allow elision or liaison. For example in le homard ('the lobster') the
article le remains unelided, and may be separated from the noun with a bit
of a glottal stop. Most words that begin with an H muet come from Latin
(honneur, homme) or from Greek through Latin (hcatombe), whereas most
words beginning with an H aspir come from Germanic (harpe, hareng) or
non-Indo-European languages (harem, hamac, haricot); in some cases, an
orthographic h was added to disambiguate the [v] and semivowel []
pronunciations before the introduction of the distinction between the
letters v and u: huit (from uit, ultimately from Latin octo), hutre
(from uistre, ultimately from Greek through Latin ostrea).

In Italian, h has no phonological value. Its most important uses are in


the digraphs 'ch' /k/ and 'gh' //, as well as to differentiate the
spellings of certain short words that are homophones, for example some
present tense forms of the verb avere ('to have') (such as hanno, 'they
have', vs. anno, 'year'), and in short interjections (oh, ehi).

Some languages, including Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Finnish, use h as


a breathy voiced glottal fricative [], often as an allophone of otherwise
voiceless /h/ in a voiced environment.

In Ukrainian and Belarusian, when written in the Latin alphabet, h is


also commonly used for //, which is otherwise written with the Cyrillic
letter .

In Irish, h is not considered an independent letter, except for a very


few non-native words, however h placed after a consonant is known as a
"simhi" and indicates lenition of that consonant; h began to replace
the original form of a simhi, a dot placed above the consonant, after the
introduction of typewriters.

In most dialects of Polish, both h and the digraph ch always represent


/x/.

Other systems

As a phonetic symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), it is


used mainly for the so-called aspirations (fricative or thrills), and
variations of the plain letter are used to represent two sounds: the
lowercase form h represents the voiceless glottal fricative, and the
small capital form represents the voiceless epiglottal fricative (or
thrill). With a bar, minuscule is used for a voiceless pharyngeal
fricative. Specific to the IPA, a hooked is used for a voiced glottal
fricative, and a superscript is used to represent aspiration.

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet



- H with diacritics:












- IPA-specific symbols related to H:
- : Latin letter hwair, derived from a ligature of the digraph hv, and
used to transliterate the Gothic letter (which represented the sound
[h])

Ancestors, siblings and descendants in other alphabets

- : Semitic letter Heth, from which the following symbols derive


+ : Greek letter Eta, from which the following symbols derive
* : Old Italic H, the ancestor of modern Latin H
- , : Runic letter haglaz, which is probably a descendant of Old
Italic H
* : Cyrillic letter Shha, which derives from Latin H
* : Gothic letter haal

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

- h : Planck constant
- : reduced Planck constant
- : Double-struck capital H

Computing codes

and all encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

See also

- American Sign Language grammar


- List of hieroglyphs/H

References

[1] "H" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's


Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged
(1993); "aitch" or "haitch", op. cit.
[2] "'Haitch' or 'aitch'? How do you pronounce 'H'?". BBC News. Retrieved 3
September 2016.
[3] Dolan, T. P. (1 January 2004). "A Dictionary of Hiberno-English: The
Irish Use of English". Gill & Macmillan Ltd. Retrieved 3 September 2016
via Google Books.
[4] Todd, L. & Hancock I.: "International English Ipod", page 254.
Routledge, 1990.
[5] John C Wells, Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, page 360, Pearson,
Harlow, 2008
[6] Liberman, Anatoly (7 August 2013). "Alphabet soup, part 2: H and Y".
Oxford Etymologist. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
[7] In many dialects, /hw/ and /w/ have merged

External links

- Media related to H at Wikimedia Commons


- The dictionary definition of H at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of h at Wiktionary
- Lubliner, Coby. 2008. "The Story of H." (essay on origins and uses of the
letter "h")

This article is about the letter of the Latin alphabet. For the pronoun,
see I (pronoun). For the mathematical concept, see Imaginary unit. For the
similar letter in the Cyrillic alphabet, see palochka. For other uses, see
I (disambiguation).

I (named i /a/, plural ies) is the ninth letter and the third vowel in
the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History

In the Phoenician alphabet, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph


for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative (//) in
Egyptian, but was reassigned to /j/ (as in English "yes") by Semites,
because their word for "arm" began with that sound. This letter could also
be used to represent /i/, the close front unrounded vowel, mainly in
foreign words.

The Greeks adopted a form of this Phoenician yodh as their letter iota (,
) to represent /i/, the same as in the Old Italic alphabet. In Latin (as
in Modern Greek), it was also used to represent /j/ and this use persists
in the languages that descended from Latin. The modern letter 'j'
originated as a variation of 'i', and both were used interchangeably for
both the vowel and the consonant, coming to be differentiated only in the
16th century. The dot over the lowercase 'i' is sometimes called a tittle.
In the Turkish alphabet, dotted and dotless I are considered separate
letters, representing a front and back vowel, respectively, and both have
uppercase ('I', '') and lowercase ('', 'i') forms.

Use in writing systems

English

In Modern English spelling, i represents several different sounds, either


the diphthong /a/ ("long" i) as in kite, the short // as in bill, or
the ee sound /i/ in the last syllable of machine. The diphthong /a/
developed from Middle English /i/ through a series of vowel shifts. In the
Great Vowel Shift, Middle English /i/ changed to Early Modern English
/ei/, which later changed to /i/ and finally to the Modern English
diphthong /a/ in General American and Received Pronunciation. Because the
diphthong /a/ developed from a Middle English long vowel, it is called
"long" i in traditional English grammar.

The letter, i, is the fifth most common letter in the English language.

The English first-person singular nominative pronoun is "I", pronounced


/a/ and always written with a capital letter. This pattern arose for
basically the same reason that lowercase i acquired a dot: so it wouldn't
get lost in manuscripts before the age of printing:

The capitalized "I" first showed up about 1250 in the northern and
midland dialects of England, according to the Chambers Dictionary of
Etymology.

Chambers notes, however, that the capitalized form didn't become


established in the south of England "until the 1700s (although it appears
sporadically before that time).

Capitalizing the pronoun, Chambers explains, made it more distinct, thus


"avoiding misreading handwritten manuscripts."

Other languages

In many languages' orthographies, i is used to represent the sound /i/


or, more rarely, //.

Other uses

The Roman numeral represents the number 1. In mathematics, the


lowercase "i" represents the unit imaginary number.

Forms and variants

See also: History of the Latin alphabet and Dotted and dotless I

In some sans serif typefaces, the uppercase letter I, 'I' may be difficult
to distinguish from the lowercase letter L, 'l', the vertical bar character
'|', or the digit one '1'. In serifed typefaces, the capital form of the
letter has both a baseline and a cap-height serif, while the lowercase L
generally has a hooked ascender and a baseline serif.

The uppercase I does not have a dot (tittle) while the lowercase i has one
in most Latin-derived alphabets. However, some schemes, such as the Turkish
alphabet, have two kinds of I: dotted (i) and dotless (I).

The uppercase I has two kinds of shapes, with serifs () and without serifs
(). Usually these are considered equivalent, but they are distinguished in
some extended Latin alphabet systems, such as the 1978 version of the
African reference alphabet. In that system, the former is the uppercase
counterpart of and the latter is the counterpart of 'i'.

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings

Other representations

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

- I with diacritics:

- i and I : Latin dotted and dotless letter i iii iii iii ii ii
- IPA-specific symbols related to I:

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

- : Semitic letter Yodh, from which the following symbols originally


derive
+ : Greek letter Iota, from which the following letters derive
* : Coptic letter Yota
* : Cyrillic letter soft-dotted I
* : Old Italic I, which is the ancestor of modern Latin I
- : Runic letter isaz, which probably derives from old Italic I
* : Gothic letter iiz

See also

- I (disambiguation)
- Tittle

References

[1] Brown & Kiddle (1870) The institutes of English grammar, p. 19.
Ies is the plural of the English name of the letter; the plural of the
letter itself is rendered I's, Is, i's, or is.
[2] "The Latin Alphabet". du.edu.
[3] "Frequency Table". cornell.edu. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
[4] O'Conner, Patricia T.; Kellerman, Stewart (2011-08-10). "Is
capitalizing "I" an ego thing?". Grammarphobia. Retrieved 23 December
2014.
[5] Gordon, Arthur E. (1983). Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy.
University of California Press. p. 44. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
[6] King, David A. (2001). The Ciphers of the Monks. p. 282. In the course
of time, I, V and X became identical with three letters of the alphabet;
originally, however, they bore no relation to these letters.

External links

- Media related to I at Wikimedia Commons


- The dictionary definition of I at Wiktionary

This article is about the letter J of the alphabet. For other uses, see J
(disambiguation).

For technical reasons, "J#" redirects here. For the programming language,
see J Sharp.

J is the tenth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic
Latin alphabet. Its normal name in English is jay /de/ or, now
uncommonly, jy /da/. When used for the palatal approximant, it may be
called yod (/jd/ or /jod/) or yot (/jt/ or /jot/).

History

The letter J originated as a swash letter I, used for the letter I at the
end of Roman numerals when following another I, as in XXIIJ or xxiij
instead of XXIII or xxiii for the Roman numeral representing 23. A
distinctive usage emerged in Middle High German. Gian Giorgio Trissino
(14781550) was the first to explicitly distinguish I and J as representing
separate sounds, in his pistola del Trissino de le lettere nuvamente
aggiunte ne la lingua italiana ("Trissino's epistle about the letters
recently added in the Italian language") of 1524. Originally, 'I' and 'J'
were different shapes for the same letter, both equally representing /i/,
/i/, and /j/; but, Romance languages developed new sounds (from former /j/
and //) that came to be represented as 'I' and 'J'; therefore, English J,
acquired from the French J, has a sound value quite different from /j/
(which represents the initial sound in the English word "yet").

Use in writing systems

English

In English, j most commonly represents the affricate /d/. In Old


English, the phoneme /d/ was represented orthographically with cg and
c. Under the influence of Old French, which had a similar phoneme
deriving from Latin /j/, English scribes began to use i (later j) to
represent word-initial /d/ in Old English (for example, iest and, later
jest), while using dg elsewhere (for example, hedge). Later, many other
uses of i (later j) were added in loanwords from French and other
languages (e.g. adjoin, junta). The first English language book to make a
clear distinction between i and j was published in 1633. In loan words
such as raj, j may represent //. In some of these, including raj,
Azerbaijan, Taj Mahal, and Beijing, the regular pronunciation /d/ is
actually closer to the native pronunciation, making the use of // an
instance of a hyperforeignism. Occasionally, j represents the original
/j/ sound, as in Hallelujah and fjord (see Yodh for details). In words of
Spanish origin, where j represents the voiceless velar fricative [x]
(such as jalapeo), English speakers usually approximate with the voiceless
glottal fricative /h/.

In English, j is the fourth least frequently used letter in words, being


more frequent only than z, q, and x. It is, however, quite common in
proper nouns, especially personal names.

Other languages

Germanic and Eastern-European languages

The great majority of Germanic languages, such as German, Dutch, Icelandic,


Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, use j for the palatal approximant /j/,
which is usually represented by the letter y in English. Notable
exceptions are English, Scots and (to a lesser degree) Luxembourgish. j
also represents /j/ in Albanian, and those Uralic, Slavic and Baltic
languages that use the Latin alphabet, such as Hungarian, Finnish,
Estonian, Polish, Czech, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Latvian and Lithuanian.
Some related languages, such as Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian, also adopted
j into the Cyrillic alphabet for the same purpose. Because of this
standard, the lower case letter was chosen to be used in the IPA as the
phonetic symbol for the sound.

Romance languages

In the Romance languages, j has generally developed from its original


palatal approximant value in Latin to some kind of fricative. In French,
Portuguese, Catalan, and Romanian it has been fronted to the postalveolar
fricative // (like s in English measure). In Spanish, by contrast, it
has been both devoiced and backed from an earlier // to a present-day /x ~
h/, with the actual phonetic realization depending on the speaker's
dialect/s.

In modern standard Italian spelling, only Latin words, proper nouns (such
as Jesi, Letojanni, Juventus etc.) or those borrowed from foreign languages
have j. Until the 19th century, j was used instead of i in
diphthongs, as a replacement for final -ii, and in vowel groups (as in
Savoja); this rule was quite strict for official writing. j is also used
to render /j/ in dialect, e.g. Romanesque ajo for standard aglio (//)
(garlic). The Italian novelist Luigi Pirandello used j in vowel groups in
his works written in Italian; he also wrote in his native Sicilian
language, which still uses the letter j to represent /j/ (and sometimes
also [d] or [gj], depending on its environment).

Basque

In Basque, the diaphoneme represented by j has a variety of realizations


according to the regional dialect: [g, k, j, , , , , x] (the last one
is typical of Gipuzkoa).

Non-European languages

Among non-European languages that have adopted the Latin script, j stands
for // in Turkish and Azerbaijani, for // in Tatar. j stands for /d/
in Indonesian, Somali, Malay, Igbo, Shona, Oromo, Turkmen, and Zulu. It
represents a voiced palatal plosive // in Konkani, Yoruba, and Swahili. In
Kiowa, j stands for a voiceless alveolar plosive, /t/.

In Chinese Pinyin, j stands for /t/, the unaspirated equivalent of q.

The Royal Thai General System of Transcription does not use the letter j,
although it is used in some proper names and non-standard transcriptions to
represent either [t] or [t] (the latter following Pali/Sanskrit root
equivalents).

In romanized Pashto, j represents , pronounced [dz].

Related characters

- : Semitic letter Yodh, from which the following symbols originally


derive
- I i : Latin letter I, from which J derives
- : Dotless j
- IPA-specific symbols related to J:
- J with diacritics:

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and Macintosh families of encodings.

Unicode also has a dotless variant, (U+0237). It is primarily used in


Landsmlsalfabet and in mathematics. It is not intended to be used with
diacritics since the normal j is softdotted in Unicode (that is, the dot is
removed if a diacritic is to be placed above; Unicode further states that,
for example i+ + and the same holds true for j and ).

In Unicode, a duplicate of 'J' for use as a special phonetic character in


historical Greek linguistics is encoded in the Greek script block as
(Unicode U+03F3). It is used to denote the palatal glide /j/ in the context
of Greek script. It is called "Yot" in the Unicode standard, after the
German name of the letter J. An uppercase version of this letter was
added to the Unicode Standard at U+037F with the release of version 7.0 in
June 2014.

Wingdings smiley issue

In the Wingdings font by Microsoft, the letter "J" is rendered as a smiley


face (note this is distinct from the Unicode code point U+263A, which
renders as ). In Microsoft applications, ":)" is automatically replaced by
a smiley rendered in a specific font face when composing rich text
documents (and/or HTML email). This autocorrection feature can be switched
off or changed to a Unicode smiley.

Other representations

References

[1] "J", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989)


[2] "J" and "jay", Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of
the English Language, Unabridged (1993)
[3] "Wrterbuchnetz". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
[4] De le lettere nuvamente aggiunte ne la lingua Italiana in Italian
Wikisource.
[5] Hogg, Richard M.; Norman Francis Blake; Roger Lass; Suzanne Romaine; R.
W. Burchfield; John Algeo (1992). The Cambridge History of the English
Language. Cambridge University Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-521-26476-6.
[6] English Grammar, Charles Butler, 1633
[7] Wells, John (1982). Accents of English 1: An Introduction. Cambridge,
UN: Cambridge University Press. p. 108. ISBN 0-521-29719-2.
[8] Penny, Ralph John (2002). A History of the Spanish Language. Cambridge,
UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-01184-1.
[9] Cipolla, Gaetano (2007). The Sounds of Sicilian: A Pronunciation Guide.
Mineola, NY: Legas. pp. 1112. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
[10] The Unicode Standard, Version 8.0, p. 293 (at the very bottom)
[11] Nick Nicholas, "Yot" Archived 2012-08-05 at Archive.is
[12] "Unicode Character 'GREEK LETTER YOT' (U+03F3)". Retrieved 22 December
2016.
[13] "Unicode: Greek and Coptic" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-26.
[14] "Unicode 7.0.0". Unicode Consortium. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
[15] Pirillo, Chris (26 June 2010). "J Smiley Outlook Email: Problem and
Fix!". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
[16] Chen, Raymond (23 May 2006). "That mysterious J". The Old New Thing.
MSDN Blogs. Retrieved 2011-04-01.

External links

- The dictionary definition of J at Wiktionary


- The dictionary definition of j at Wiktionary
- "J". Encyclopdia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). 1911.

This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For other uses, see K
(disambiguation).

K (named kay /ke/) is the eleventh letter of the modern English alphabet
and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. In English, the letter K usually
represents the voiceless velar plosive. Often used in English language to
indicate the value of 1000 (i.e. 1K dollars = 1000 dollars).

History

The letter K comes from the Greek letter (kappa), which was taken from
the Semitic kap, the symbol for an open hand. This, in turn, was likely
adapted by Semites who had lived in Egypt from the hieroglyph for "hand"
representing D in the Egyptian word for hand, d-r-t. The Semites evidently
assigned it the sound value /k/ instead, because their word for hand
started with that sound.

In the earliest Latin inscriptions, the letters C, K and Q were all used to
represent the sounds /k/ and /g/ (which were not differentiated in
writing). Of these, Q was used to represent /k/ or /g/ before a rounded
vowel, K before /a/, and C elsewhere. Later, the use of C and its variant G
replaced most usages of K and Q. K survived only in a few fossilized forms
such as Kalendae, "the calends".

After Greek words were taken into Latin, the Kappa was transliterated as a
C. Loanwords from other alphabets with the sound /k/ were also
transliterated with C. Hence, the Romance languages generally use C and
have K only in later loanwords from other language groups. The Celtic
languages also tended to use C instead of K, and this influence carried
over into Old English.

Use in writing systems

English

Today, English is the only Germanic language to productively use "hard" c


(outside of the digraph ck) rather than k (although Dutch uses it in
loaned words of Latin origin, and the pronunciation of these words follows
the same hard/soft distinction as in English). The letter k is usually
silent at the start of an English word when it comes before the letter n,
as in the words "knight," "knife," "knot," "know," and "knee". Like J, X,
Q, and Z, K is not used very frequently in English. It is the fifth least
frequently used letter in the English language, with a frequency of about
0.8% in words.

Number

The SI prefix for a thousand is kilo-, officially abbreviated as kfor


instance, prefixed to "metre" or its abbreviation m, kilometre or km
signifies a thousand metres. As such, people occasionally represent the
number in a non-standard notation by replacing the last three zeros of the
general numeral with "K": for instance, 30K for 30,000.

Other languages

In most languages where it is employed, this letter represents the sound


/k/ (with or without aspiration) or some similar sound.

Other systems

The International Phonetic Alphabet uses k for the voiceless velar


plosive.

Related characters
Ancestors, descendants and siblings

- : Semitic letter Kaph, from which the following symbols originally


derive
- / : Greek letter Kappa, from which K derives
- : Cyrillic letter Ka, also derived from Kappa
- K with diacritics:

Ligatures and abbreviations

- : Lao kip

Computing codes

Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859
and nMacintosh families of encodings.

Other representation

Other usage

- "K" replacing "C" in Satiric misspelling


- K is the unit symbol for the Kelvin temperature scale.
- K is the chemical symbol for the element potassium (K is an abbreviation
of kalium, the Latin name for potassium).
- Triangle K
- Unit prefix
- K is the name of the principal character in Franz Kafka's novel The
Trial.
- In chess notation, the letter K represents the King (WK for White King,
BK for Black King).
- In baseball scoring, the letter K is used to represent a strikeout. A
forwards oriented K represents a "strikeout swinging"; a backwards
oriented K () represents a "strikeout looking".
- As abbreviation for OK, often used in emails and short text messages.
- K is used as a slang term for Ketamine among recreational drug users.
- In the CMYK color model, K represents black ink.
- In International Morse code it is used to mean "over".
- In fracture mechanics, K is used to represent the stress intensity
factor.
- K (logic)

References

[1] "K" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's


Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged
(1993); "kay," op. cit.
[2] "K". The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1977, online(registration
required)
[3] Gordon, Cyrus H. (1970). "The Accidental Invention of the Phonemic
Alphabet". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 29 (3): 193. JSTOR 543451.
doi:10.1086/372069.
[4] Sihler, Andrew L. (1995). New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin
(illustrated ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN
0-19-508345-8.
[5] Stephen Phillips (2009-06-04). "International Morse Code".

External links
- Media related to K at Wikimedia Commons
- The dictionary definition of K at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of k at Wiktionary