C

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The third letter in the Roman alphabet. In the Etruscan language there were no voiced plosives, so they took over Greek Γ (Gamma) to write their /k/. In the beginning, the Romans used C for both /k/ and /g/. Perhaps at an even earlier time, it was /g/ only, while using K for /k/?

Some scholars claim that the Semitic ג (gîmel) was the picture of a camel. /k/ developed palatal and velar allophones in Latin, probably due to Etruscan influence. Therefore, C has many different sound values today, among them /k/ and /s/ in French, /k/ and /T/ (like English TH in THIN) in European Castilian, /k/ and /tS/ (like English CH) in Italian and so on.

See G.


The programming language C: see C programming language.