Skip to main content

Why do we have the letter "C" in English?

Why do we have the letter "C" in English?

Have you ever wondered why we have the letter “C”, which doesn’t have a sound of its own but borrows from “K” and “S”? Curious about that I got this great book on the history of our alphabet called Language Visible: Unraveling the Mystery of the Alphabet From A to Z, by David Sacks. I refer to information from that book and my own knowledge of language. (It’s a hobby of mine to study it.)

“C” is more common than “K” by the way. I know that from my job at a reading school and my own research. “C” is most often pronounced like “K” but borrows from “S” when it’s followed by “I, e,” or “y” (an exception being the word soccer). Really the only unique contribution “C” makes to our language is when it’s paired with “H” as in “ch” (but can sound like “K” in words of Greek origin: anchor, or “sh” in words of French origin: chef). Occasionally it breaks the rules when paired with “E” or “I” as in “ocean” or “glacier”.

Sometimes it’s silent: muscle.

“C” and “G” are very closely related. Not just in shape, of course, but in sound as well. Physically, the tongue moves the same way to produce both sounds. The difference is that “G” is voiced, and “C” is not (the vocal chords vibrate to produce the noisy “G” sound). “G” also can turn soft (make the “J” sound) when “I,e” and “Y” come after it (but it doesn’t have to).

Alphabets came from previous alphabets, borrowing letters. The first was Egyptian, and going down the branch that led to English, next came the Phoenician alphabet, then the Greek, then the Etruscan, and then the Roman, whose letters we use.

3,000 years ago, Phoenician’s alphabet had “G” as the third letter. “C” wasn’t around yet. The Greeks copied their alphabet and brought it to Italy. The Etruscans there had no “G” sound, apparently. Their nearest sound to it was “K”. (So they didn’t need Greek’s third letter “G” [gamma]). They had “K” and “Q”. Sources show that the Etruscans kept gamma in third place in the alphabet but used it to represent the sound “k”.  The shape of the letter went through changes, and the Etruscans stopped using the Greek name gamma and went to something similar to “kay”. They might have said the spelling was “C-E” (long e sound).

Romans, Latin speakers, probably didn’t like the Etruscan alphabet with three letters making a “K” sound and none for “G”. They made their own letter for “G” and used “C” more often than “K”. Still “C” only represented the “K” sound. (It’s interesting to note, according the book mentioned above, that Caesar was pronounced like “Kye-sar”.)

When did “C” start borrowing from “S”? In later Roman times. Everyday Latin speakers began to slur the Latin “C” before “I,e” and “Y” (vowels where the tongue is pushed forward) and making it sound like “ch”. This sound became part of languages such as French and Spanish etc. (languages arising from the dying Latin).

“C” in the Middle Ages sounded like “K” and “ch”.  Italian’s soft “C” is “ch”. As for the other Romance languages, the sound disintegrated to “s”.

Remember reading about the Norman invasion of England in 1066? Those Normans brought their Medieval French there, and it mixed with Old English eventually melding into an interesting Middle English. So, most of our words with the soft “C” sound came from that Norman French. Our newer words like “cybernetics” follow those old rules.



from:http://traveltheages.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-do-we-have-letter-c-in-english.html

Popular posts from this blog

camtasia

1.abul hossain Key : BBCUV-UVDRC-M8C5S-CHMX7-2M3A5 2.YR-Invasion Key=BBCUVUVDRCM8C5SCHMX72M3A5

Hidden Wiki

Welcome to The Hidden WikiNew hidden wiki url 2015 http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion Add it to bookmarks and spread it!!!
Editor's picks Bored? Pick a random page from the article index and replace one of these slots with it.
The Matrix - Very nice to read. How to Exit the Matrix - Learn how to Protect yourself and your rights, online and off. Verifying PGP signatures - A short and simple how-to guide. In Praise Of Hawala - Anonymous informal value transfer system. Volunteer Here are five different things that you can help us out with.
Plunder other hidden service lists for links and place them here! File the SnapBBSIndex links wherever they go. Set external links to HTTPS where available, good certificate, and same content. Care to start recording onionland's history? Check out Onionland's Museum Perform Dead Services Duties. Introduction PointsAhmia.fi - Clearnet search engine for Tor Hidden Services (allows you to add new sites to its database). DuckDuckGo - A Hidden S…

[SOLVED] IDM WAS REGISTERED WITH A FAKE SERIAL NUMBER

[SOLVED] IDM WAS REGISTERED WITH A FAKE SERIAL NUMBER
Good News [May 08, 2015]: IDM developers got smarter, but the crackers are always a step ahead. Follow this article and send an email to [email protected] if you are desperate. I can NOT post any crack here for legal reasons. Happy Downloading with IDM. ;) *********** first tip is to use latest crack for idm from  onhax.net idm universal web crack and make sure u are using all latest vers I am sure many of us are too much dependent on Internet Download Manager a.k.a. IDM. The main reason didn’t permanently switch to linux was IDM. I mainly use it for batch downloading and download streaming videos. Till yesterday, IDM was working fine with me (of course with fake serial numbers, keygen, crack, patch etc. which could be found with little effort). But few days ago, with the latest update version 6.18 build 7 (released on Nov 09, 2013) Internet Download Manager was literally had a breakthrough and crushed all the serial numbers, …