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Evolution from Visigoth to modern Ç.

Ç or ç (c-cedilla) is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Manx, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish, Zazaki, and Portuguese alphabets. Romance languages that use this letter include Catalan, French, Friulian, Ligurian, Occitan, and Portuguese as a variant of the letter C. It is also occasionally used in Crimean Tatar and in Tajik (when written in the Latin script) to represent the /d͡ʒ/ sound. It is often retained in the spelling of loanwords from any of these languages in English, Basque, Dutch, Spanish and other Latin script spelled languages.

It was first used for the sound of the voiceless alveolar affricate /t͡s/ in Old Spanish and stems from the Visigothic form of the letter z (). The phoneme originated in Vulgar Latin from the palatalization of the plosives /t/ and /k/ in some conditions. Later, /t͡s/ changed into /s/ in many Romance languages and dialects. Spanish has not used the symbol since an orthographic reform in the 18th century (which replaced ç with the now-devoiced z), but it was adopted for writing other languages.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, /ç/ represents the voiceless palatal fricative.

Contents

Usage as a letter variant in various languagesEdit

Unless otherwise specified, in the following languages, ⟨ç⟩ represents the "soft" sound /s/ where a ⟨c⟩ would normally represent the "hard" sound /k/.

  • Catalan. Known as ce trencada ('broken C') in this language, where it can be used before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or at the end of a word. Some examples of words with ⟨ç⟩ are amenaça ('menace'), torçat ('twisted'), xoriço ('chorizo'), forçut ('strong'), dolç ('sweet') and caça ('hunting'). A well-known word with this character is Barça, a common Catalan clipping of Futbol Club Barcelona.
  • French (cé cédille): français ('French'), garçon ('boy'), façade ('frontage'), grinçant ('squeaking'), leçon ('lesson'), reçu ('received' [past participle]). French does not use the character at the end of a word but it can occur at the beginning of a word (ça 'that').[1]
  • Friulian (c cun cedilie): it represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate /t͡ʃ/ before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or at the end of a word.
  • Occitan (ce cedilha): torçut ('twisted'), çò ('this'), ça que la ('nevertheless'), braç ('arm'), brèç ('cradle'), voraç ('voracious'). It can occur at the beginning of a word.
  • Portuguese (cê-cedilha or cê cedilhado): it is used before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩: taça ('cup'), braço ('arm'), açúcar ('sugar'). Modern Portuguese does not use the character at the beginning or at the end of a word (the nickname for Conceição is São, not Ção). According to a Portuguese grammar written in 1550, the letter ç had the sound of /dz/ around that time. Another grammar written around 1700 would say that the letter ç sounds like /s/, which shows a phonetic evolution that is still valid today.
  • Manx: it is used in the digraph ⟨çh⟩, which represents /t͡ʃ/ (like ⟨ch⟩ in English chalk), to differentiate it from normal ⟨ch⟩, which represents /x/.
  • Turkish: represents /t͡ʃ/. Examles çelik ('steel'), çilek ('strawberry'), and çamur ('mud').

In loanwords onlyEdit

  • In English, ⟨ç⟩ is used in loanwords such as façade and limaçon (although the cedilla mark is often dropped: ⟨facade⟩, ⟨limacon⟩).
  • In Basque, ⟨ç⟩ (known as ze hautsia) is used in the loanword curaçao.
  • In modern Spanish it can appear in loanwords, especially in Catalan proper nouns.
  • In Dutch, it can be found in some words from French and Portuguese, such as façade, reçu, Provençaals and Curaçao.

Usage as a separate letter in various languagesEdit

It represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate /t͡ʃ/ in the following languages:

It previously represented a voiceless palatal click /ǂ/ in Juǀʼhoansi and Naro, though the former has replaced it with ⟨ǂ⟩ and the latter with ⟨tc⟩.

The similarly-shaped letter the (Ҫ ҫ) is used in the Cyrillic alphabets of Bashkir and Chuvash to represent /θ/ and /ɕ/ respectively.

It also represents the retroflex flap /ɽ/ in the Rohingya Latin alphabet.

ComputerEdit

Character Ç ç
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA LATIN SMALL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 199 U+00C7 231 U+00E7
UTF-8 195 135 C3 87 195 167 C3 A7
Numeric character reference Ç Ç ç ç
Named character reference Ç ç

InputEdit

On Albanian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish and Italian keyboards, Ç is directly available as a separate key; however, on most other keyboards, including the US/British keyboard, a combination of keys must be used:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The French Academy online dictionary also gives çà and çûdra.