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D, or d, is the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is ''dee'' (pronounced ), plural ''dees''.

History

The Semitic letter Dāleth may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are many different Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek and Latin, the letter represented ; in the Etruscan alphabet the letter was superfluous but still retained (see letter B). The equivalent Greek letter is Delta, Δ. The minuscule (lower-case) form of 'd' consists of a loop and a tall vertical stroke. It developed by gradual variations on the majuscule (capital) form. In handwriting, it was common to start the arc to the left of the vertical stroke, resulting in a serif at the top of the arc. This serif was extended while the rest of the letter was reduced, resulting in an angled stroke and loop. The angled stroke slowly developed into a vertical stroke.

Use in writing systems

In most languages that use the Latin alphabet, and in the International Phonetic Alphabet, generally represents the voiced alveolar or voiced dental plosive . However, in the Vietnamese alphabet, it represents the sound in northern dialects or in southern dialects. (See D with stroke and Dz (digraph).) In Fijian it represents a prenasalized stop . In some languages where voiceless unaspirated stops contrast with voiceless aspirated stops, represents an unaspirated , while represents an aspirated . Examples of such languages include Icelandic, Scottish Gaelic, Navajo and the Pinyin transliteration of Mandarin.

Other uses

* The Roman numeral D represents the number 500. * D is the grade below C but above E in the school grading system. * D is the International vehicle registration code for Germany (see also .de). * In Cantonese: Because the lack of Unicode CJK support in the early computer system, many Hong Kongers used the capitalized D to represent (lit. a little). * d. is the standard abbreviation for the Penny (British pre-decimal coin) (from la|denarius)

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

*Ɖ ɖ : African D *Ð ð : Latin letter Eth *D with diacritics: Đ đ Ꟈ ꟈ Ɗ ɗ Ḋ ḋ Ḍ ḍ Ḑ ḑ Ḓ ḓ Ď ď Ḏ ḏ *IPA-specific symbols related to D: *Ꝺ ꝺ : Insular D is used in various phonetic contexts *ᴅ D d : Small capital D and various modifier letters are used in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet. *ȡ : D with curl is used in Sino-Tibetanist linguistics *Ƌ ƌ : D with topbar

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

*𐤃 : Semitic letter Dalet, from which the following symbols originally derive **Δ δ : Greek letter Delta, from which the following symbols originally derive *** : Coptic letter Delta ***Д д : Cyrillic letter De ***𐌃 : Old Italic D, the ancestor of modern Latin D **** : Runic letter dagaz, which is possibly a descendant of Old Italic D **** Runic letter thurisaz, another possible descendant of Old Italic D *** : Gothic letter daaz, which derives from Greek Delta

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

*₫ : Đồng sign *∂ : the partial derivative symbol, $\partial$

Computing codes

: 1

Other representations

In British Sign Language (BSL), the letter 'd' is indicated by signing with the right hand held with the index and thumb extended and slightly curved, and the tip of the thumb and finger held against the extended index of the left hand.

References