V

Writing cursive forms of V
V (named vee /v/) is the 22nd letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

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 . From the 1st century AD on, depending on Vulgar Latin dialect, consonantal /w/ developed into /β/ (kept in Spanish), then later to /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 'valour' and 'excuse' appeared as in modern printing, 'have' and 'upon' were printed as 'haue' and 'vpon'. The first distinction between the letters 'u' and 'v' is recorded in a Gothic script 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.

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

This page was last edited on 24 May 2018, at 17:54.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V under CC BY-SA license.

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