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|Writing system||Latin script|
|Type||Alphabetic and Logographic|
|Language of origin||Latin language|
|Phonetic usage||[ r ]|
[ ɾ ]
[ ɹ ]
[ ʀ ]
[ ʁ ]
|Time period||~50 to present|
|Descendants|| • ℟ |
|Sisters|| Р |
|Other letters commonly used with||r(x), rh|
R or r is the 18th letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is ar (pronounced // ), plural ars, or in Ireland or // .
|Egyptian hieroglyph |
| Archaic Greek/Old Italic |
| Roman square capital |
|15th century Florentine|
|blackletter (Fraktur)||German kurrent||modern cursive|
The original Semitic letter may have been inspired by an Egyptian hieroglyph for tp, "head".[ citation needed ] It was used for /r/ by Semites because in their language, the word for "head" was rêš (also the name of the letter). It developed into Greek 'Ρ' ῥῶ (rhô) and Latin R.
The descending diagonal stroke develops as a graphic variant in some Western Greek alphabets (writing rho as
The minuscule (lowercase) form (r) developed through several variations on the capital form. Along with Latin minuscule writing in general, it developed ultimately from Roman cursive via the uncial script of Late Antiquity into the Carolingian minuscule of the 9th century.
In handwriting, it was common not to close the bottom of the loop but continue into the leg, saving an extra pen stroke. The loop-leg stroke shortened into the simple arc used in the Carolingian minuscule and until today.
A calligraphic minuscule r, known as r rotunda (ꝛ), was used in the sequence or, bending the shape of the r to accommodate the bulge of the o (as in oꝛ as opposed to or). Later, the same variant was also used where r followed other lower case letters with a rounded loop towards the right (such as b, h, p) and to write the geminate rr (as ꝛꝛ). Use of r rotunda was mostly tied to blackletter typefaces, and the glyph fell out of use along with blackletter fonts in English language contexts mostly by the 18th century.
Insular script used a minuscule which retained two downward strokes, but which did not close the loop ("Insular r", ꞃ); this variant survives in the Gaelic type popular in Ireland until the mid-20th century (but now mostly limited to decorative purposes).
The name of the letter in Latin was er (/ɛr/), following the pattern of other letters representing continuants, such as F, L, M, N and S. This name is preserved in French and many other languages. In Middle English, the name of the letter changed from /ɛr/ to /ar/, following a pattern exhibited in many other words such as farm (compare French ferme) and star (compare German Stern).
In Hiberno-English the letter is called /ɒr/ or /ɔːr/, somewhat similar to oar, ore, orr.
The letter R is sometimes referred to as the littera canīna (literally 'canine letter', often rendered in english as the dog's letter). This Latin term referred to the Latin R was trilled to sound like a growling dog, a spoken style referred to as vōx canīna ('dog voice'). A good example of a trilled R is in the Spanish word for dog, perro.
In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet , such a reference is made by Juliet's nurse in Act 2, scene 4, when she calls the letter R "the dog's name". The reference is also found in Ben Jonson's English Grammar.
The letter ⟨r⟩ is the eighth most common letter in English and the fourth-most common consonant (after ⟨t⟩, ⟨n⟩, and ⟨s⟩).
The letter ⟨r⟩ is used to form the ending "-re", which is used in certain words such as centre in some varieties of English spelling, such as British English. Canadian English also uses the "-re" ending, unlike American English, where the ending is usually replaced by "-er" (center). This does not affect pronunciation.
⟨r⟩ represents a rhotic consonant in many languages, as shown in the table below.
|Alveolar trill [r]||Listen||some dialects of British English or in emphatic speech, standard Dutch, Finnish, Galician, German in some dialects, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Czech, Javanese, Lithuanian, Latvian, Latin, Norwegian mostly in the northwest, Polish, Portuguese (traditional form), Romanian, Russian, Scots, Slovak, Swedish, Sundanese, Welsh; also Catalan, Spanish and Albanian ⟨rr⟩|
|Alveolar approximant [ɹ]||Listen||English (most varieties), Dutch in some Dutch dialects (in specific positions of words), Faroese, Sicilian|
|Alveolar flap / Alveolar tap [ɾ]||Listen||Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish and Albanian ⟨r⟩, Turkish, Dutch, Italian, Venetian, Galician, Leonese, Norwegian, Irish, Māori|
|Voiced retroflex fricative [ʐ]||Listen||Norwegian around Tromsø; Spanish used as an allophone of /r/ in some South American accents; Hopi used before vowels, as in raana, "toad", from Spanish rana; Hanyu Pinyin transliteration of Standard Chinese.|
|Retroflex approximant [ɻ]||Listen||some English dialects (in the United States, South West England, and Dublin), Gutnish|
|Retroflex flap [ɽ]||Listen||Norwegian when followed by <d>, sometimes in Scottish English|
|Uvular trill [ʀ]||Listen||German stage standard; some Dutch dialects (in Brabant and Limburg, and some city dialects in The Netherlands), Swedish in Southern Sweden, Norwegian in western and southern parts, Venetian only in Venice area.|
|Voiced uvular fricative [ʁ]||Listen||North Mesopotamian Arabic, Judeo-Iraqi Arabic, German, Danish, French, standard European Portuguese ⟨rr⟩, standard Brazilian Portuguese ⟨rr⟩, Puerto Rican Spanish ⟨rr⟩ and 'r-' in western parts, Norwegian in western and southern parts.|
Other languages may use the letter ⟨r⟩ in their alphabets (or Latin transliterations schemes) to represent rhotic consonants different from the alveolar trill. In Haitian Creole, it represents a sound so weak that it is often written interchangeably with ⟨w⟩, e.g. 'Kweyol' for 'Kreyol'.
Brazilian Portuguese has a great number of allophones of /ʁ/ such as [ χ ], [ h ], [ ɦ ], [ x ], [ ɣ ], [ ɹ ] and [ r ], the latter three ones can be used only in certain contexts ([ ɣ ] and [ r ] as ⟨rr⟩; [ ɹ ] in the syllable coda, as an allophone of /ɾ/ according to the European Portuguese norm and /ʁ/ according to the Brazilian Portuguese norm). Usually at least two of them are present in a single dialect, such as Rio de Janeiro's [ ʁ ], [ χ ], [ ɦ ] and, for a few speakers, [ ɣ ].
The International Phonetic Alphabet uses several variations of the letter to represent the different rhotic consonants; ⟨r⟩ represents the alveolar trill.
|R||electrical resistance||ohm (Ω)|
|gas constant||joule per mole-kelvin (J/(mol·K))|
|r||radius vector (position)||meter (m)|
|r||radius of rotation or distance between two things such as the masses in Newton's law of universal gravitation||meter (m)|
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER R||LATIN SMALL LETTER R|
|Numeric character reference||R||R||r||r|
A or a is the first letter and the first vowel letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is a, plural aes. It is similar in shape 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.
D or d is the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is dee, plural dees.
H or h is the eighth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is aitch, or regionally haitch.
N or n is the fourteenth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is en, plural ens.
O or o is the 15th letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet and the fourth vowel letter in the modern English alphabet. Its name in English is o, plural oes.
P or p is the 16th letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is pee, plural pees.
In phonetics, rhotic consonants, or "R-like" sounds, are liquid consonants that are traditionally represented orthographically by symbols derived from the Greek letter rho, including ⟨R⟩, ⟨r⟩ in the Latin script and ⟨Р⟩, ⟨p⟩ in the Cyrillic script. They are transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet by upper- or lower-case variants of Roman ⟨R⟩, ⟨r⟩:, ,, ,, ,, and.
S or s is the 19th letter in the Modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is ess, plural esses.
T or t is the 20th letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is tee, plural tees. 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.
U or u is the 21st and sixth-to-last letter of the ISO basic Latin alphabet and the fifth vowel letter of the modern English alphabet. Its name in English is u, plural ues.
Rho is the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 100. It is derived from Phoenician letter res
The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was the first alphabetic script in history to have distinct letters for vowels as well as consonants. In Archaic and early Classical times, the Greek alphabet existed in many different local variants, but, by the end of the fourth century BC, the Euclidean alphabet, with twenty-four letters, ordered from alpha to omega, had become standard and it is this version that is still used to write Greek today. These twenty-four letters are: Α α, Β β, Γ γ, Δ δ, Ε ε, Ζ ζ, Η η, Θ θ, Ι ι, Κ κ, Λ λ, Μ μ, Ν ν, Ξ ξ, Ο ο, Π π, Ρ ρ, Σ σ/ς, Τ τ, Υ υ, Φ φ, Χ χ, Ψ ψ, and Ω ω.
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.
Resh is the twentieth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Rūsh
Ə ə, also called schwa, is an additional letter of the Latin alphabet, used in the Azerbaijani language, in Gottscheerish, and in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect of Halkomelem. Both the majuscule and minuscule forms of this letter are based on the form of an upside down e, while the Pan-Nigerian alphabet pairs the same lowercase letter with Ǝ.
The letter Ʊ, called Latin upsilon, is a letter of the Latin alphabet. While its form superficially resembles an upside-down capital Greek letter omega (Ω), it is derived from the Greek lowercase upsilon (υ).
L is the twelfth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is el, plural els.
Unicode supports several phonetic scripts and notations through the existing writing systems and the addition of extra blocks with phonetic characters. These phonetic extras are derived of an existing script, usually Latin, Greek or Cyrillic. In Unicode there is no "IPA script". Apart from IPA, extensions to the IPA and obsolete and nonstandard IPA symbols, these blocks also contain characters from the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet and the Americanist Phonetic Alphabet.