K


K

K is the eleventh letter of the modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English is spelled "kay" (pronEng|keɪ). ["K" "Oxford English Dictionary," 2nd edition (1989); "Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged" (1993); "kay," op. cit.]

History and usage

The letter K comes from the Greek Κ (kappa), which was taken from the Semitic kap, the symbol for an open hand."K". "The Oxford English Dictionary", 2nd ed., 1989, online [http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50124982?query_type=word&queryword=k&first=1&max_to_show=10&sort_type=alpha&result_place=1&search_id=h5Sx-nTaC9b-24269&hilite=50124982] ] This in turn was likely adapted by Semites who had lived in Egypt from the hieroglyph for "hand" representing D in the Egyptian word for hand, "d-r-t". The Semites evidently assigned it the sound value IPA|/k/ instead, because their word for hand started with that sound. [Cyrus H. Gordon: " [http://www.jstor.org/pss/543451 The Accidental Invention of the Phonemic Alphabet] "]

The Semitic value of IPA|/k/ was maintained in most classical as well as modern languages, although Latin abandoned the use of K almost completely, preferring C. When Greek words were taken into Latin, the Kappa was converted to C, with a few exceptions such as the term "kalendae" (calends) and the praenomen "Kaeso". Some words from other alphabets were also transliterated into C. Therefore, the Romance languages have K only in words from still other language groups. The Celtic languages also chose C over K, and this influence carried over into Old English. Today, English is the only Germanic language to productively use hard C in addition to K (although Dutch uses it in learned words of Latin origin and follows the same "hard / soft" distinction in such words as does French and English -- but not in native words).

Some English linguists prefer to reverse the Latin transliteration process for proper names in Greek, spelling "Hecate" as "Hekate", for example. And the writing down of languages that don't have their own alphabet with the Latin one has resulted in a standardization of the letter for this sound, as in "Kwakiutl."

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, [k] is the symbol for the voiceless velar plosive.

Several other alphabets also use characters with sharp angles to indicate the sound IPA|/k/ or syllables that start with a IPA|/k/, for example: Arabic ك, Hebrew כ (in some fonts), Korean ㄱ. This kind of phonetic-visual association was studied by Wolfgang Köhler. However, there are also many examples of rounded letters for IPA|/k/, like ค in Thai and Ք in Armenian.

Codes for computing

Letter
NATO=Kilo
Morse=–·–
Character=K
Braille=⠅
In Unicode the capital K is codepoint U+004B and the lower case k is U+006B.

The ASCII code for capital K is 75 and for lowercase k is 107; or in binary 01001011 and 01101011, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital K is 210, and for lowercase k, 146.

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

Notes

See also

*Ƙ (hooked K)
*К, к - Ka (Cyrillic)
*Κ, κ or ϰ - Kappa (Greek)

af:K
als:K
ar:K
arc:K
ast:K
az:K
bs:K
ca:K
cs:K
co:K
cy:K
da:K
de:K
el:K
es:K
eo:K
eu:K
fa:K
fur:K
gan:K
gd:K
gl:K
ko:K
hr:K
ilo:K
is:K
it:K
he:K
ka:K
kw:K
sw:K
ht:K
la:K
lv:K
lt:K
hu:K
mzn:K
ms:K
nah:K
ja:K
no:K
nrm:K
pl:K
pt:K
ro:K
qu:K
se:K
simple:K
sk:K
sl:K
fi:K
sv:K
tl:K
th:K
vi:K
vo:K
yo:K
zh-yue:K
bat-smg:K
zh:K


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