V

Basic Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd    
Ee Ff Gg Hh
Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn
Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt
Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

V (; named vee)[1] is the twenty-second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.

Contents


Letter

The letter V comes from the Semitic letter Waw, as do the modern letters F, U, W, and Y. See F for details.

In Greek, the letter upsilon ‹Υ› was adapted from waw to represent, at first, the vowel as in "moon". This was later fronted to , the front rounded vowel spelled ‹ü› in German.

In Latin, a stemless variant shape of the upsilon was borrowed in early times as V—either directly from the Western Greek alphabet or from the Etruscan alphabet as an intermediary—to represent the same /u/ sound, as well as the consonantal /w/. Thus, num — originally spelled ‹NVM› — was pronounced /num/ and via was pronounced /ˈwia/. From the 1st century A.D. on, depending on Vulgar Latin dialect, consonantal /w/ developed into /β/ (only kept in Spanish and Catalan), then later to /v/.

In Roman numerals, the letter V is used to represent the number 5. It was used because it resembled the convention of counting by notches carved in wood, with every fifth notch double-cut to form a "V".

During the Late Middle Ages, two forms of ‹v› developed, which were both used for its ancestor ‹u› and modern ‹v›. The pointed form ‹v› was written at the beginning of a word, while a rounded form ‹u› was used in the middle or end, regardless of sound. So whereas valor and excuse appeared as in modern printing, have and upon were printed ‹haue› and ‹vpon›. The first distinction between the letters ‹u› and ‹v› is recorded in a Gothic alphabet from 1386, where ‹v› preceded ‹u›. By the mid-16th century, the ‹v› form was used to represent the consonant and ‹u› the vowel sound, giving us the modern letter ‹u›. Capital ‹U› was not accepted as a distinct letter until many years later.[2]

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, /v/ represents the voiced labiodental fricative. See Help:IPA.

Like J, K, Q, W, and Y, V is not used very frequently in English. However, it appears frequently in the Spanish (where its pronunciation is the same as B) and French languages.

This letter, like Q and X, is not used in the Polish alphabet. /v/ is spelled with the letter ‹w› instead, following the convention of German.

Other names

  • Catalan: ve, pronounced , but in dialects that lack the /v/ sound is named ve baixa [ˈbe ˈbajɕə] "low vee".
  • French:
  • German: fau
  • Italian: vi or vu [ˈvu]
  • Portuguese:
  • Spanish: uve is recommended, but ve [ˈbe] is traditional. As both are pronounced /b/ in Spanish[3], further terms are needed to distinguish ve from be, the letter ‹b›. In some countries it is called ve corta, ve baja, ve pequeña, ve chica or ve labiodental.

In Japanese, V is often called "bui" (ブイ). This name is an approximation of the English name which substitutes the voiced bilabial plosive for the voiced labiodental fricative (which does not exist in native Japanese phonology) and differentiates it from "bī" (ビー), the Japanese name of the letter B. The sound can be written with the relatively recently developed katakana character 「ヴ」 (vu)[4] ヴァ, ヴィ, ヴ, ヴェ, ヴォ (va, vi, vu, ve, vo?), though in practice the pronunciation is usually not the strictly labiodental fricative found in English. Moreover, some words are more often spelled with the b equivalent character instead of vu due to the long-time use of the word without it (e.g. "violin" is more often found as baiorin (バイオリン?) than as vaiorin (ヴァイオリン?) due partly to inertia, and to some extent due to the more native Japanese sound).

In Chinese pinyin, letter ‹v› is missing, as there is no sound [v] in Standard Mandarin but the letter ‹v› is used by most input methods to enter letter ‹ü›, since it is missing on most keyboards. Romanised Chinese is a popular method to enter Chinese text phonetically.

In Irish, the letter ‹v› is mostly used in loanwords, such as veidhlín from English violin. However the sound [v] appears naturally in Irish when /b/ is lenited or "softened", represented in the orthography by ‹bh›, so that bhí is pronounced , an bhean (the woman) is pronounced , etc.

Codes for computing

Alternative representations of V

In Unicode the capital V is codepoint U+0056 and the lowercase v is U+0076.

The ASCII code for capital V is 86 and for lowercase v is 118 (which is the same as Unicode, only in a different numeral system); or in binary 01010110 and 01110110, respectively.

The EBCDIC code for capital V is 229 and for lowercase v is 165.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "V" and "v" for upper and lower case respectively.

See also

References

  1. "V" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "vee," op. cit.
  2. Pflughaupt, Laurent (2008). . trans. Gregory Bruhn. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 123–124. . http://books.google.com/books?id=63Qnbt2CMiMC&pg=PA124. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  3. Díez Losada, Fernando (2004) (in Spanish). . Editorial Tecnologica de CR. p. 176. . 
  4. Not an entirely new character, 「ヴ」 is simply the character for u (ウ) with the addition of a dakuten, the same mark used to change the sound of other kana. The dakuten is, for example, used to transform ka (カ) to ga (ガ), hi (ヒ) to bi (ビ) and ta (タ) to da (ダ).
The ISO basic Latin alphabetThis box: [[|view]]·[[|talk]]·edit
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter V with diacritics
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Two-letter combinations
Va Vb Vc Vd Ve Vf Vg Vh Vi Vj Vk Vl Vm Vn Vo Vp Vq Vr Vs Vt Vu Vv Vw Vx Vy Vz
VA VB VC VD VE VF VG VH VI VJ VK VL VM VN VO VP VQ VR VS VT VU VV VW VX VY VZ
AV BV CV DV EV FV GV HV IV JV KV LV MV NV OV PV QV RV SV TV UV VV WV XV YV ZV
Av Bv Cv Dv Ev Fv Gv Hv Iv Jv Kv Lv Mv Nv Ov Pv Qv Rv Sv Tv Uv Vv Wv Xv Yv Zv
Letter-digit and digit-letter combinations
    V0 V1 V2 V3 V4 V5 V6 V7 V8 V9     0V 1V 2V 3V 4V 5V 6V 7V 8V 9V    

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