S

Last updated

S
S s
(See below)
S cursiva.gif
Usage
Writing system Latin script
Type Alphabetic and Logographic
Language of origin Latin language
Phonetic usage[ s ]
[ ʃ ]
[ θ ]
[ ts ]
[ ʒ ]
/ɛs/
Unicode valueU+0053, U+0073
Alphabetical position19
History
Development
Time period~-700 to present
Descendants  ſ
  ß
  Ƨ
 
  $
 
  §
 
 
 
Sisters С
Ш
Щ
Ҫ
Ԍ
ש
ش
ܫ

س

𐎘
𐡔

(disputed)
(disputed)
Ս ս



Variations(See below)
Other
Other letters commonly used with s(x), sh, sz

S (named ess /ɛs/ , [1] plural esses [2] ) is the 19th 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 segmental symbol of a phonemic writing system. The inventory of all letters forms the alphabet. 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. It originated around the 7th century from the Latin script. Since then, 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

Origin

Northwest Semitic šîn represented a voiceless postalveolar fricative /ʃ/ (as in 'ship'). It originated most likely as a pictogram of a tooth ( שנא ) and represented the phoneme /ʃ/ via the acrophonic principle. [3]

Shin is the twenty-first letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Shin , Hebrew Shin ש, Aramaic Shin , Syriac Shin ܫ, and Arabic Shin ش‎ . Its sound value is a voiceless sibilant, or.

Voiceless fricatives produced in the postalveolar region include the voiceless palato-alveolar fricative, the voiceless postalveolar non-sibilant fricative, the voiceless retroflex fricative, and the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative. This article discusses the first two.

Greek did not have a /ʃ/ phoneme, so the derived Greek letter sigma (Σ) came to represent the voiceless alveolar sibilant /s/. While the letter shape Σ continues Phoenician šîn, its name sigma is taken from the letter samekh , while the shape and position of samekh but name of šîn is continued in the xi . [ citation needed ] Within Greek, the name of sigma was influenced by its association with the Greek word σίζω (earlier *sigj-) "to hiss". The original name of the letter "sigma" may have been san, but due to the complicated early history of the Greek epichoric alphabets, "san" came to be identified as a separate letter, Ϻ. [4] Herodotus reports that "San" was the name given by the Dorians to the same letter called "Sigma" by the Ionians. [5]

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.

Samekh fifteenth letter of many Semitic abjads

Samekh is the fifteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It also appears in many Semitic abjads. The numerical value of samekh is 60.

The Western Greek alphabet used in Cumae was adopted by the Etruscans and Latins in the 7th century BC, over the following centuries developing into a range of Old Italic alphabets including the Etruscan alphabet and the early Latin alphabet. In Etruscan, the value /s/ of Greek sigma (𐌔) was maintained, while san (𐌑) represented a separate phoneme, most likely /ʃ/ (transliterated as ś). The early Latin alphabet adopted sigma, but not san, as Old Latin did not have a /ʃ/ phoneme.

Cumae city

Cumae was the first ancient Greek colony on the mainland of Italy, founded by settlers from Euboea in the 8th century BC and soon becoming one of the strongest colonies. It later became a rich Roman city, the remains of which lie near the modern village of Cuma, a frazione of the comune Bacoli in the Metropolitan City of Naples, Campania, Italy.

Latins (Italic tribe) people

The Latins, sometimes known as the Latians, were an Italic tribe which included the early inhabitants of the city of Rome. From about 1000 BC, the Latins inhabited the small region known to the Romans as Old Latium, that is, the area between the river Tiber and the promontory of Mount Circeo 100 kilometres (62 mi) SE of Rome.

Etruscan alphabet The alphabet used by the Etruscans of central Italy

The Etruscan alphabet was the alphabet used by the Etruscans, an ancient civilization of central Italy, to write their language, from about 650 BCE to sometime around 100 BCE.

The shape of Latin S arises from Greek Σ by dropping one out of the four strokes of that letter. The (angular) S-shape composed of three strokes existed as a variant of the four-stroke letter Σ already in the epigraphy in Western Greek alphabets, and the three and four strokes variants existed alongside one another in the classical Etruscan alphabet. In other Italic alphabets (Venetic, Lepontic), the letter could be represented as a zig-zagging line of any number between three and six strokes.

Archaic Greek alphabets

Many local variants of the Greek alphabet were employed in ancient Greece during the archaic and early classical periods, until they were replaced by the classical 24-letter alphabet that is the standard today, around 400 BC. All forms of the Greek alphabet were originally based on the shared inventory of the 22 symbols of the Phoenician alphabet, with the exception of the letter Samekh, whose Greek counterpart Xi (Ξ) was used only in a sub-group of Greek alphabets, and with the common addition of Upsilon (Υ) for the vowel. The local, so-called epichoric, alphabets differed in many ways: in the use of the consonant symbols Χ, Φ and Ψ; in the use of the innovative long vowel letters, in the absence or presence of Η in its original consonant function ; in the use or non-use of certain archaic letters ; and in many details of the individual shapes of each letter. The system now familiar as the standard 24-letter Greek alphabet was originally the regional variant of the Ionian cities in Asia Minor. It was officially adopted in Athens in 403 BC and in most of the rest of the Greek world by the middle of the 4th century BC.

The Italic letter was also adopted into Elder Futhark, as Sowilō (), and appears with four to eight strokes in the earliest runic inscriptions, but is occasionally reduced to three strokes () from the later 5th century, and appears regularly with three strokes in Younger Futhark.

Elder Futhark system of runes for Proto-Germanic

The Elder Futhark, Elder Fuþark, Older Futhark, Old Futhark or Germanic Futhark is the oldest form of the runic alphabets. It was a writing system used by Germanic tribes for Northwest Germanic dialects in the Migration Period, the dates of which are debated among scholars. Runic inscriptions are found on artifacts, including jewelry, amulets, tools, weapons, and, famously, runestones, from the 2nd to the 8th centuries.

*Sowilō or *sæwelō is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic language name of the s-rune, meaning "sun". The name is attested for the same rune in all three Rune Poems. It appears as Old Norse sól, Old English sigel, and Gothic sugil.

The Younger Futhark, also called Scandinavian runes, is a runic alphabet and a reduced form of the Elder Futhark, with only 16 characters, in use from about the 9th century, after a "transitional period" during the 7th and 8th centuries. The reduction, somewhat paradoxically, happened at the same time as phonetic changes that led to a greater number of different phonemes in the spoken language, when Proto-Norse evolved into Old Norse. Thus, the language included distinct sounds and minimal pairs that were written the same.

Long s

Late medieval German script (Swabian bastarda, dated 1496) illustrating the use of long and round s: priesters tochter ("priest's daughter"). Schwabische Bastarda 1496 Schriftprobe Priesters Tochter.png
Late medieval German script (Swabian bastarda, dated 1496) illustrating the use of long and round s: prieſters tochter ("priest's daughter").

The minuscule form ſ, called the long s, developed in the early medieval period, within the Visigothic and Carolingian hands, with predecessors in the half-uncial and cursive scripts of Late Antiquity. It remained standard in western writing throughout the medieval period and was adopted in early printing with movable types. It existed alongside minuscule "round" or "short" s, which was at the time only used at the end of words.

In most western orthographies, the ſ gradually fell out of use during the second half of the 18th century, although it remained in occasional use into the 19th century. In Spain, the change was mainly accomplished between the years 1760 and 1766. In France, the change occurred between 1782 and 1793. Printers in the United States stopped using the long s between 1795 and 1810. In English orthography, the London printer John Bell (1745–1831) pioneered the change. His edition of Shakespeare, in 1785, was advertised with the claim that he "ventured to depart from the common mode by rejecting the long 'ſ' in favor of the round one, as being less liable to error....." [6] The Times of London made the switch from the long to the short s with its issue of 10 September 1803. Encyclopædia Britannica's 5th edition, completed in 1817, was the last edition to use the long s.

In German orthography, long s was retained in Fraktur (Schwabacher) type as well as in standard cursive (Sütterlin) well into the 20th century, and was officially abolished in 1941. [7] The ligature of ſs (or ſz) was retained, however, giving rise to the Eszett , ß in contemporary German orthography.

Use in writing systems

The letter s is the seventh most common letter in English and the third-most common consonant after t and n. [8] It is the most common letter in starting and ending position.[ citation needed ]

In English and several other languages, primarily Western Romance ones like Spanish and French, final s is the usual mark of plural nouns. It is the regular ending of English third person present tense verbs.

s represents the voiceless alveolar or voiceless dental sibilant /s/ in most languages as well as in the International Phonetic Alphabet. It also commonly represents the voiced alveolar or voiced dental sibilant /z/, as in Portuguese mesa (table) or English 'rose' and 'bands', or it may represent the voiceless palato-alveolar fricative [ʃ], as in most Portuguese dialects when syllable-finally, in Hungarian, in German (before p, t) and some English words as 'sugar', since yod-coalescence became a dominant feature, and [ʒ], as in English 'measure' (also because of yod-coalescence), European Portuguese Islão (Islam) or, in many sociolects of Brazilian Portuguese, esdrúxulo (proparoxytone) in some Andalusian dialects, it merged with Peninsular Spanish c and z and is now pronounced [θ]. In some English words of French origin, the letter s is silent, as in 'isle' or 'debris'.

The sh digraph for English /ʃ/ arises in Middle English (alongside sch), replacing the Old English sc digraph. Similarly, Old High German sc was replaced by sch in Early Modern High German orthography.

Derived signs, symbols, and abbreviations

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

Computing codes

CharacterSs
Unicode nameLATIN CAPITAL LETTER S   LATIN SMALL LETTER S
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode 83U+0053115U+0073
UTF-8 835311573
Numeric character reference SSss
ASCII 1835311573
1Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

NATO phonetic Morse code
Sierra ···
ICS Sierra.svg Semaphore Sierra.svg Sign language S.svg Braille S.svg
Signal flag Flag semaphore American manual alphabet (ASL fingerspelling) Braille
dots-234

See also

Related Research Articles

D letter in the Latin alphabet

D is the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

F letter in the Latin alphabet

F is the sixth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

G letter in the Latin alphabet

G is the seventh letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

H letter in the Latin alphabet

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

K letter of the Latin Alphabet

K 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.

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.

P letter of the Latin Alphabet

P is the 16th letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

R letter in the Latin alphabet

R is the 18th letter of 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 in the Latin alphabet

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

Z Last letter of the Latin alphabet

Z is the 26th and final letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Ezh, also called the "tailed z", is a letter whose lower case form is used in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), representing the voiced postalveolar fricative consonant. For example, the pronunciation of "si" in vision and precision, or the "s" in treasure. See also Ž, the Persian alphabet letter ژ and the Cyrillic ж.

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.

References

  1. Spelled 'es'- in compound words
  2. "S", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "ess," op. cit.
  3. "corresponds etymologically (in part, at least) to original Semitic (th), which was pronounced s in South Canaanite" Albright, W. F., "The Early Alphabetic Inscriptions from Sinai and their Decipherment," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 110 (1948), p. 15. The interpretation as "tooth" is now prevalent, but not entirely certain. The Encyclopaedia Judaica of 1972 reported that the letter represented a "composite bow".
  4. Woodard, Roger D. (2006). "Alphabet". In Wilson, Nigel Guy. Encyclopedia of ancient Greece. London: Routldedge. p. 38.
  5. "…τὠυτὸ γράμμα, τὸ Δωριέες μὲν σὰν καλέουσι ,Ἴωνες δὲ σίγμα" ('…the same letter, which the Dorians call "San", but the Ionians "Sigma"…'; Herodotus, Histories 1.139); cf. Nick Nicholas, Non-Attic letters Archived 2012-06-28 at Archive.today .
  6. Stanley Morison, A Memoir of John Bell, 1745–1831 (1930, Cambridge Univ. Press) page 105; Daniel Berkeley Updike, Printing Types, Their History, Forms, and Use – a study in survivals (2nd. ed, 1951, Harvard University Press) page 293.
  7. Order of 3 January 1941 to all public offices, signed by Martin Bormann. Kapr, Albert (1993). Fraktur: Form und Geschichte der gebrochenen Schriften. Mainz: H. Schmidt. p. 81. ISBN   3-87439-260-0.
  8. "English Letter Frequency". Archived from the original on 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2014-05-21.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. 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). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-09-19. Retrieved 2018-03-24.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. Constable, Peter (2003-09-30). "L2/03-174R2: Proposal to Encode Phonetic Symbols with Middle Tilde in the UCS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2018-03-24.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2018-03-24.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. Ruppel, Klaas; Aalto, Tero; Everson, Michael (2009-01-27). "L2/09-028: Proposal to encode additional characters for the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2018-03-24.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. 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). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-09-19. Retrieved 2018-03-24.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. West, Andrew; Chan, Eiso; Everson, Michael (2017-01-16). "L2/17-013: Proposal to encode three uppercase Latin letters used in early Pinyin" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2019-03-08.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)