F

Last updated

F
F f
(See below)
F cursiva.gif
Usage
Writing system Latin script
Type Alphabetic
Language of origin Latin language
Phonetic usage[ f ]
[ ɸ ~h]
[ ʍ ~ ]
[ v ]
/ɛf/
Unicode valueU+0046, U+0066
Alphabetical position6
Numerical value: 6
History
Development
Time period~-700 to present
Descendants 
 
 
 
 
 
  𝆑
Sisters U
V
W
Y
Ʊ
У
Ў
Ұ
Υ υ
ו
וּ
וֹ
و
ۋ
ܘ


𐎆
𐌖
Վ վ
Ո ո
Ւ ւ
և
Transliteration equivalents U
V
W
Y
Variations(See below)
Other
Other letters commonly used with f(x)
Associated numbers6

F (named ef [1] /ɛf/ ) [2] is the sixth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Letter (alphabet) grapheme in an alphabetic system of writing

A letter is a grapheme in an alphabetic system of writing. It is a visual representation of the smallest unit of spoken sound. Letters broadly correspond to phonemes in the spoken form of the language, although there is rarely a consistent, exact correspondence between letters and phonemes.

English alphabet Latin alphabet consisting of 26 letters, each having an uppercase and a lowercase form

The modern English alphabet is a Latin alphabet consisting of 26 letters, each having an upper- and lower-case form. The same letters constitute the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The alphabet's current form originated in about the 7th century from the Latin script. Since then, various letters have been added, or removed, to give the current Modern English alphabet of 26 letters:

The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet and consists of two sets of 26 letters, codified in various national and international standards and used widely in international communication. They are the same letters that comprise the English alphabet.

Contents

History

Proto-Semitic
W
Phoenician 
waw
Greek
Digamma
Etruscan
V or W
Roman F
Proto-semiticW-01.png PhoenicianW-01.png Digamma uc lc.svg EtruscanF-01.svg RomanF-01.png

The origin of 'F' is the Semitic letter vâv (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 ḥ(dj)):

Semitic languages Language group containing Arabic and Hebrew

The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East that are spoken by more than 330 million people across much of Western Asia, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, as well as in often large immigrant and expatriate communities in North America, Europe and Australia. The terminology was first used in the 1780s by members of the Göttingen School of History, who derived the name from Shem, one of the three sons of Noah in the Book of Genesis.

Waw/Vav is the sixth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician wāw, Aramaic waw, Hebrew vavו, Syriac waw ܘ and Arabic wāw و.

F

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.

Upsilon Letter in the Greek alphabet

Upsilon or ypsilon is the 20th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals, Υʹ has a value of 400. It is derived from the Phoenician waw .

Y letter of the Latin alphabet

Y is the 25th and penultimate letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. In the English writing system, it sometimes represents a vowel and sometimes a consonant.

V letter of Latin-based alphabets

V is the 22nd letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

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 'Φ' then represented an aspirated voiceless bilabial plosive /pʰ/, 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.

Digraph (orthography) pair of characters used to write one phoneme

A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used in the orthography of a language to write either a single phoneme, or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined.

Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

The lowercase 'f' is not related to the visually similar long s, '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).

Long s alternative form of letter s, occurring at beginning or middle of word

The long, medial, or descendings (ſ) is an archaic form of the lower case letter s. It replaced a single s, or the first in a double s, at the beginning or in the middle of a word, and in ligature form. The modern letterform is known as the short, terminal, or round 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 often doubled at the end of words. Exceptionally, it represents the voiced labiodental fricative /v/ in the common word "of".

English orthography is the system of writing conventions used to represent spoken English in written form that allows readers to connect spelling to sound to meaning.

The voiceless labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in a number of spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨f⟩.

The voiced labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨v⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is v.

Other languages

In the writing systems of other languages, f commonly represents /f/, [ɸ] or /v/.

International Phonetic Alphabet

The International Phonetic Alphabet uses f to represent the voiceless labiodental fricative.

In mathematics

An italic letter f is conventionally used to denote an arbitrary function. See also f with hook (ƒ).

Ancestors, descendants and siblings

Ligatures and abbreviations

Computing codes

CharacterFf
Unicode nameLATIN CAPITAL LETTER F   LATIN SMALL LETTER F
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode 70U+0046102U+0066
UTF-8 704610266
Numeric character reference FFff
EBCDIC family198C613486
ASCII 1704610266
1Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

NATO phonetic Morse code
Foxtrot ··–·
ICS Foxtrot.svg Semaphore Foxtrot.svg Sign language F.svg Braille F6.svg
Signal flag Flag semaphore American manual alphabet (ASL fingerspelling) Braille
dots-124

Footnotes

Notes

    Related Research Articles

    A First letter of the Latin alphabet

    A is the first letter and the first vowel of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Ancient Greek letter alpha, from which it derives. The uppercase version consists of the two slanting sides of a triangle, crossed in the middle by a horizontal bar. The lowercase version can be written in two forms: the double-storey a and single-storey ɑ. 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.

    G letter in the Latin alphabet

    G is the 7th letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

    H letter of the Latin alphabet

    H is the eighth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

    M letter in Latin alphabet

    M is the thirteenth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

    N Letter of the Latin Alphabet

    N is the fourteenth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

    O letter of the Latin Alphabet

    O is the 15th letter and the fourth vowel in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

    T letter of the Latin alphabet


    T is the 20th letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is derived from the Semitic letter taw via the Greek letter tau. In English, it is most commonly used to represent the voiceless alveolar plosive, a sound it also denotes in the International Phonetic Alphabet. It is the most commonly used consonant and the second most common letter in English-language texts.

    X letter of the Latin alphabet

    X is the 24th and antepenultimate letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

    Eng (letter) letter

    Eng or engma is a letter of the Latin alphabet, used to represent a velar nasal in the written form of some languages and in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

    Esh is a character used in conjunction with the Latin script. Its lowercase form ʃ is similar to a long s ſ or an integral sign ∫; in 1928 the Africa Alphabet borrowed the Greek letter Sigma for the uppercase form Ʃ, but more recently the African reference alphabet discontinued it, using the lowercase esh only. The lowercase form was introduced by Isaac Pitman in his 1847 Phonotypic Alphabet to represent the voiceless postalveolar fricative. It is today used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, as well as in the alphabets of some African languages.

    Latin alpha letter of the Latin script

    Latin alpha or script a is a letter of the Latin alphabet, based on one lowercase form of a, or on the Greek lowercase alpha (α).

    Heng is a letter of the Latin alphabet, derived from h combined with something similar to eng.

    C letter of the Latin alphabet

    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 in English.

    References

    1. Spelled eff as a verb
    2. "F", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); "ef", "eff", "bee" (under "bee eff"), op. cit.
    3. 1 2 Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF).
    4. Constable, Peter (2003-09-30). "L2/03-174R2: Proposal to Encode Phonetic Symbols with Middle Tilde in the UCS" (PDF).
    5. 1 2 Everson, Michael; Dicklberger, Alois; Pentzlin, Karl; Wandl-Vogt, Eveline (2011-06-02). "L2/11-202: Revised proposal to encode "Teuthonista" phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF).
    6. Latin Extended-D
    7. Everson, Michael; Baker, Peter; Emiliano, António; Grammel, Florian; Haugen, Odd Einar; Luft, Diana; Pedro, Susana; Schumacher, Gerd; Stötzner, Andreas (2006-01-30). "L2/06-027: Proposal to add Medievalist characters to the UCS" (PDF).
    8. Everson, Michael (2006-08-06). "L2/06-266: Proposal to add Latin letters and a Greek symbol to the UCS" (PDF).
    9. Perry, David J. (2006-08-01). "L2/06-269: Proposal to Add Additional Ancient Roman Characters to UCS" (PDF).
    10. Everson, Michael (2005-08-12). "L2/05-193R2: Proposal to add Claudian Latin letters to the UCS" (PDF).