Categorie archief: type

The letter O

patroniolettero2

O is the fifteenth letter of the modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /oʊ/) is spelled o; the plural is oes, though this is rare.

The letter was derived from the Semitic `Ayin (eye), which represented a consonant, probably the voiced pharyngeal fricative (IPA: [ʕ]), the sound represented by the Arabic letter ع called `Ayn. This Semitic letter in its original form seems to have been inspired by a similar Egyptian hieroglyph for “eye”.

The Greeks are thought to have come up with the innovation of vowel characters, and lacking a pharyngeal consonant, employed this letter as the Greek O to represent the vowel /o/, a sound it maintained in Etruscan and Latin. In Greek, a variation of the form later came to distinguish this long sound (Omega, meaning “large O”) from the short o (Omicron, meaning “small o”).

Its graphic form has also remained fairly constant from Phoenician times until today. Indeed, even alphabets constructed “from scratch”, i.e. not derived from Semitic, usually have similar forms to represent this sound — for example the creators of theAfaka and Ol Chiki scripts, each invented in different parts of the world in the last century, both attributed their vowels for ‘O’ to the shape of the mouth when making this sound.

O is most commonly associated with the close-mid back rounded vowel [o] in many languages. This form is colloquially termed the “long o” in English, but it is actually a most often adiphthong /oʊ/ (realized dialectically anywhere from [o] to [əʊ]).

In English there is also a “short O”, which also has several pronunciations. In most dialects of English English, it is an open back rounded vowel [ɒ]; in North America, it is most commonly an unrounded back to central vowel [ɑː] to [a].

Common digraphs include OO, which represents either /ʊ/ or /uː/; OI which typically represents the diphthong /ɔɪ/; and OA, OE, and OU represent a variety of pronunciations depending on context and etymology.

Other languages use O for various values, usually back vowels which are at least partly open. Derived letters such as Ö and Ø have been created for the alphabets of some languages to distinguish values that were not present in Latin and Greek, particularly rounded front vowels.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, [o] represents the close-mid back rounded vowel.

Een reactie plaatsen

Opgeslagen onder symbol, type

Braille

braille

The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write. Braille was devised in 1821 by Louis Braille, a Frenchman. Each Braille character or cell is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each. A dot may be raised at any of the six positions to form sixty-four (26) permutations, including the arrangement in which no dots are raised. For reference purposes, a particular permutation may be described by naming the positions where dots are raised, the positions being universally numbered 1 to 3, from top to bottom, on the left, and 4 to 6, from top to bottom, on the right. For example, dots 1-3-4 would describe a cell with three dots raised, at the top and bottom in the left column and on top of the right column, i.e., the letter m. The lines of horizontal Braille text are separated by a space, much like visible printed text, so that the dots of one line can be differentiated from the Braille text above and below. Punctuation is represented by its own unique set of characters. The Braille system was based on a method of communication originally developed by Charles Barbier in response to Napoleon’s demand for a code that soldiers could use to communicate silently and without light at night called night writing. Barbier’s system was too complex for soldiers to learn, and was rejected by the military. In 1821 he visited the National Institute for the Blind in Paris, France, where he met Louis Braille. Braille identified the major failing of the code, which was that the human finger could not encompass the whole symbol without moving, and so could not move rapidly from one symbol to another. His modification was to use a 6 dot cell — the Braille system — which revolutionized written communication for the blind.

Een reactie plaatsen

Opgeslagen onder symbol, type