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A
Basic Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd    
Ee Ff Gg Hh
Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn
Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt
Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

The letter A is the first letter in the Latin alphabet, a vowel. Its name in English (pronounced /ˈeɪ/) is spelled ‹a›; the plural is aes, although this is rare.[1]

Contents

Origins

"A" can be traced to a pictogram of an ox head in Egyptian hieroglyph or the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet.[2]

Egyptian Proto-Semitic
ox's head
Phoenician
aleph
Greek
Alpha
Etruscan
A
Roman
A
Egyptian hieroglyphic ox head Proto-semitic ox head Phoenician aleph Greek alpha Etruscan A Roman A

In 1600 B.C. the Phoenician alphabet's letter had a linear form that served as the base for some later forms. Its name must have corresponded closely to the Hebrew or Arabic aleph.

Blackletter A
Blackletter A
Uncial A
Uncial A
Another Capital A
Another Blackletter A 
Modern Roman A
Modern Roman A
Modern Italic A
Modern Italic A
Modern Script A
Modern Script A

When the Ancient Greeks adopted the alphabet, they had no use for the glottal stop that the letter had denoted in Phoenician and other Semitic languages, so they used the sign to represent the vowel /a/, and kept its name with a minor change (alpha). In the earliest Greek inscriptions after the Greek Dark Ages, dating to the 8th century BC, the letter rests upon its side, but in the Greek alphabet of later times it generally resembles the modern capital letter, although many local varieties can be distinguished by the shortening of one leg, or by the angle at which the cross line is set.

The Etruscans brought the Greek alphabet to their civilization in the Italian Peninsula and left the letter unchanged. The Romans later adopted the Etruscan alphabet to write the Latin language, and the resulting letter was preserved in the modern Latin alphabet used to write many languages, including English.

Typographic variants include a double-story and single-story a.

The letter has two minuscule (lower-case) forms. The form used in most current handwriting consists of a circle and vertical stoke ("ɑ"), called Latin alpha or "script a". Most printed material uses a form consisting of a small loop with an arc over it ("a"). Both derive from the majuscule (capital) form. In Greek handwriting, it was common to join the left leg and horizontal stroke into a single loop, as demonstrated by the Uncial version shown. Many fonts then made the right leg vertical. In some of these, the serif that began the right leg stroke developed into an arc, resulting in the printed form, while in others it was dropped, resulting in the modern handwritten form.

Usage

In English, "a" by itself frequently denotes the near-open front unrounded vowel (/æ/) as in pad, the open back unrounded vowel (/ɑː/) as in father, or, in concert with a later orthographic vowel, the diphthong /eɪ/ as in ace and major, due to effects of the great vowel shift.

In most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, "a" denotes an open central unrounded vowel (/a/). In the International Phonetic Alphabet, variants of "a" denote various vowels. In X-SAMPA, capital "A" denotes the open back unrounded vowel and lowercase "a" denotes the open front unrounded vowel.

"A" is the third common used letter in English, and the second most common in Spanish and French. In one study, on average, about 3.68% of letters used in English tend to be ‹a›s, while the number is 6.22% in Spanish and 3.95% in French.[3]

"A" is often used to denote something or someone of a better or more prestigious quality or status: A-, A or A+, the best grade that can be assigned by teachers for students' schoolwork; A grade for clean restaurants; A-List celebrities, etc. Such associations can have a motivating effect as exposure to the letter A has been found to improve performance, when compared with other letters.[4]

A turned "a" ("ɐ") is used by the International Phonetic Alphabet for the near-open central vowel, while a turned capital "A" ("∀") is used in predicate logic to specify universal quantification.

Alternative representations of A
NATO phonetic Morse code
Alpha ·–
ICS Alpha.svg Semaphore Alpha.svg ⠁
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

Codes for computing

In Unicode the capital "A" is codepoint U+0043 and the lower case "a" is U+0067.[5]

The ASCII code for capital "A" is 65 and for lower case "a" is 97; or in binary 01000001 and 01100001, respectively.

The EBCDIC code for capital "A" is 193 and for lowercase "a" is 129.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "A" and "a" for upper and lower case, respectively.

See also

References

  1. ^ "A" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989). Aes is the plural of the name of the letter. The plural of the letter itself is As, A's, as, a's.
  2. ^ "A". The World Book Encyclopedia. 1. Field Enterprises, Inc. 1956. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "Percentages of Letter frequencies per Thousand words". http://starbase.trincoll.edu/~crypto/resources/LetFreq.html. Retrieved 2006-05-01. 
  4. ^ Letters affect exam results, British Psychological Society, 09 March 2010, http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20100903-20689.html 
  5. ^ "Javascript Unicode Chart" (in en). http://macchiato.com/unicode/chart/. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 

External links

The basic modern Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter A with diacritics

history palaeography derivations diacritics punctuation numerals Unicode list of letters ISO/IEC 646



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Å article)

From Wikitravel

Contents

Å, pronounced "Oh", is the southernmost town on the island of Moskenesøya in the Lofoten archipelago of Norway. The name means simply "river" or "stream", and the town is also known as Å i Lofoten to distinguish it from other places called Å.

Get in

Å can be reached from the Moskenes ferry terminal on foot, by car or by bus, and is around a 20-40 minute walk or 5 minute drive.

Get around

There are bikes for hire at the Youth Hostel and some hiking paths are dotted around the surrounding area.

See

A ferry to the Moskenesoya maelstrom (a swirling circular current off the coast of the island), and the fishing museum are arguably the two main attractions of the village. The village sits between a picturesque lake and the North sea, with many of the wooden buildings being built over water on stilts.

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

A
disambiguation
This is a disambiguation page, which lists works which share the same title. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.
Wikipedia logo Wikipedia has more on:
Alpha.


A may refer to:


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

A This letter of ours corresponds to the first symbol in the Phoenician alphabet and in almost all its descendants. In Phoenician, a, like the symbols for e and for o, did not represent a vowel, but a breathing; the vowels originally were not represented by any symbol. When the alphabet was adopted by the Greeks it was not very well fitted to represent the sounds of their language. The breathings which were not required in Greek were accordingly employed to represent some of the vowel sounds, other vowels, like i and u, being represented by an adaptation of the symbols for the semi-vowels y and w. The Phoenician name, which must have corresponded closely to the Hebrew Aleph, was taken over by the Greeks in the form Alpha (ccX4a). The earliest authority for this, as for the names of the other Greek letters, is the grammatical drama (-ypa��aruci O�wpLa) of Callias, an earlier contemporary of Euripides, from whose works four trimeters, containing the names of all the Greek letters, are preserved in Athenaeus x. d.

The form of the letter has varied considerably. In the earliest of the Phoenician, Aramaic and Greek inscriptions (the oldest Phoenician dating about 1000 B.C., the oldest Aramaic from the 8th, and the oldest Greek from the 8th or 7th century B.e.) A rests upon its side thus - ': In the Greek alphabet of later times it generally resembles the modern capital letter, but many local varieties can be distinguished by the shortening of one leg, or by the angle at which the cross line is &c. From the Greeks of the west the alphabet was borrowed by the Romans and from them has passed to the other nations of western Europe. In the earliest Latin inscriptions, such as the inscription found in the excavation of the Roman Forum in 1899, or that on a golden fibula found at Praeneste in 1886 (see Alphabet), the letters are still identical in form with those of the western Greeks. Latin develops early various forms, which are comparatively rare in Greek, as or unknown, as /(. Except possibly Faliscan, the other dialects of Italy did not borrow their alphabet directly from the western Greeks as the Romans did, but received it at second hand through the Etruscans. In Oscan, where the writing of early inscriptions is no less careful than in Latin, the A takes the form a to which the nearest parallels are found in north Greece (Boeotia, Locris and Thessaly, and there only sporadically) .

In Greek the symbol was used for both the long and the short sound, as in English father (a) and German Ratte (a); English, except in dialects, has no sound corresponding precisely to the Greek short a, which, so far as can be ascertained, was a mid-back-wide sound, according to the terminology of H. Sweet (Primer of Phonetics, p. 107). Throughout the history of Greek the short sound remained practically unchanged. On the other hand, the long sound of a in the Attic and Ionic dialects passed into an open e-sound, which in the Ionic alphabet was represented by the same symbol as the original e-sound (see Alphabet: Greek). The vowel sounds vary from language to language, and the a symbol has, in consequence, to represent in many cases sounds which are not identical with the Greek a whether long or short, and also to represent several different vowel sounds in the same language. Thus the New English Dictionary distinguishes about twelve separate vowel sounds, which are represented by a in English. In general it may be said that the chief changes which affect the a-sound in different languages arise from (I) rounding, (2) fronting, i.e. changing from a sound produced far back in the mouth to a sound produced farther forward. The rounding is often produced by combination with rounded consonants (as in English was, wall, &c.), the rounding of the preceding consonant being continued into the formation of the vowel sound. Rounding has also been produced by a following /-sound, as in the English fall, small, bald, &c. (see Sweet's History of English Sounds, 2nd ed., �� 906, 784). The effect of fronting is seen in the Ionic and Attic dialects of Greek, where the original name of the Medes, Madoi, with a in the first syllable (which survives in Cyprian Greek as Maboc), is changed into Medoi (Mr/Soc), with an open e-sound instead of the earlier a. In the later history of Greek this sound is steadily narrowed till it becomes identical with i (as in English seed). The first part of the process has been almost repeated by literary English, a (ah) passing into e (eh), though in present-day pronunciation the sound has developed further into a diphthongal ei except before r, as in hare (Sweet, op. cit. � 783).

In English a represents unaccented forms of several words, e.g. an (one), of, have, he, and of various prefixes the history of which is given in detail in the New English Dictionary (Oxford, 1888), vol. i. p. 4. (P. GI.) As a symbol the letter is used in various connexions and for various technical purposes, e.g. for a note in music, for the first of the seven dominical letters (this use is derived from its being the first of the litterae nundinales at Rome), and generally as a sign of priority.

In Logic, the letter A is used as a symbol for the universal affirmative proposition in the general form "all x is y." The letters I, E and 0 are used respectively for the particular affirmative "some x is y," the universal negative "no x is y," and the particular negative "some x is not y." The use of these letters is generally derived from the vowels of the two Latin verbs AffIrmo (or AIo), " I assert," and nEgO, " I deny." The use of the symbols dates from the 13th century, though some authorities trace their origin to the Greek logicians. A is also used largely in abbreviations .

In Shipping, Ai is a symbol used to 'denote quality of construction and material. In the various shipping registers ships are classed and given a rating after an official examination, and assigned a classification mark, which appears in addition to other particulars in those registers after the name of the ship. See Shipbuilding. It is popularly used to indicate the highest degree of excellence.


<< [[]]

Aa >>


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

The Universal Character Set
LetterA.svg
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A
Basic Latin U+0041

Contents

Translingual

Etymology 1

From Ancient Greek letter Α (a), alpha), derived from the Phoenician letter 𐤀 (ʼ), aleph).

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ɑː/, /a/ (most languages)

Letter

A upper case (lower case a)

  1. The first letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.
See also

Symbol

A

  1. Marks the first item in a list
    A. Go to the store. B. Get some food. C. Return home. D. Eat.
  2. (computing) The hexadecimal digit for 10
    0x0000000A
    The value is hexadecimal A0, or decimal 160.
See also
  • (previous) 9, (next) B

Related terms

Etymology 2

Abbreviation of various terms.

Symbol

A

  1. (physics, International System of Units) ampere, a unit of electrical current.
  2. (genetics) IUPAC 1-letter abbreviation for adenine in genetic code.
  3. (biochemistry) IUPAC 1-letter abbreviation for alanine in proteins.
  4. (stock symbol) Symbol for the company Agilent Technologies, Inc. on the NYSE.

See also

Other representations of A:


English

Most common English words: little « now « then « #79: A » should » can » made

Etymology 1

Runic letter ᚫ (a), “‘ansuz’”), source for Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letters replaced by A

From Middle English and Old English upper case letter A and split of Middle English and Old English upper case letter Æ.

  • Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter ᚪ (a), “‘āc’”) Old English upper case letter A from 7th century replacement by Latin upper case letter A of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter  (a), āc), derived from Runic letter  (a), Ansuz).
  • Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter ᚫ (æ), “‘æsc’”) Old English upper case letter Æ from 7th century replacement by Latin upper case ligature Æ of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter  (æ), æsc), also derived from Runic letter  (a), Ansuz).

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

  • (letter name)
  • Rhymes: -eɪ
    The current pronunciation is a comparatively modern sound, and has taken the place of what, till about the early part of the 15th century, was similar to that in other languages.

Letter

A (upper case, lower case a)

  1. The first letter of the English alphabet.
    Apple starts with A.
Related terms
See also

Etymology 2

  • (highest rank, grade, music): From the initial position of the letter A in the English alphabet.
  • (blood type): From A antigen
  • (vehicle-distinguishing signs): From Australia

Symbol

A

  1. The highest rank on any of various scales that assign letters.
    We assign each item inspected a rating from A through G, depending on various factors.
  2. (education) The highest letter grade assigned (disregarding plusses and minuses).
    I was so happy to get an A on that test.
  3. (music) A tone three fifths above C in the cycle of fifths; the sixth tone of the C major scale; the reference tone that occurs at exactly 440 Hz.
    Orchestras traditionally tune to a concert A.
  4. (medicine) A blood type that has a specific antigen that aggravates the immune response in people with type B antigen in their blood. They may receive blood from type A or type O, but cannot receive blood from AB or B.
    My blood type is A negative.
  5. (vehicle-distinguishing signs) Austria
Derived terms

Abbreviation

A

  1. (Webster 1913) Adjective.
  2. (often with ‘Q’ for “Question”) Answer
  3. Asian
  4. Admit
  5. Application
  6. asynchron
  7. Augsburg
  8. (physics) angstrom
  9. (weaponry) atom
  10. (sports) An assist.
Synonyms
  • (physics, angstrom): Å
Derived terms

American Sign Language

Alternative forms

  • (with the thumb extended) OpenA

Etymology

French Sign Language letter a

From French Sign Language sign for the letter A.

Production

This one-handed ASL sign is produced as follows:

Letter

A (Stokoe A)

  1. The letter A

See also


Dutch

Pronunciation

Letter

A (capital, lowercase a)

  1. The first letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Next letter: B

Egyptian

Pronunciation

Noun

G1

(G1) or

G1 Z1

(G1-Z1) A

  1. vulture
  2. bird in general

Verb

G1 D56

(G1-D56) A

  1. tread

See also


Esperanto

Pronunciation

  • (letter name): IPA: /a/
  • (phoneme): IPA: /a/

Letter

A (upper case, lower case a)

  1. The first letter of the Esperanto alphabet.

See also

  • Next letter: B

Finnish

Noun

A

  1. approbatur

French

Letter

A (upper case, lower case a)

  1. The first letter of the alphabet.
  2. Capital form of à.
  3. Capital form of â.

Derived terms

  • bombe A
  • prouver par A plus B, prouver par A + B

Italian

Pronunciation

Noun

Wikipedia-logo.png
Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
A

Wikipedia it

A m. and f. inv.

  1. The first letter of the Italian, and of the Latin alphabets

Latin

Pronunciation

Letter

A (upper case, lower case A)

  1. (sometimes with littera) the first letter of the Latin alphabet.
    • C. Ennius Lucilius apud Terent, Scaur. p. 2255 P.:
      A primum est: hinc incipiam, et quae nomina ab hoc sunt
    • M. Tullius Cicero’s De Divinatione ad M. Brutum 1, 13, 23:
      sus rostro si humi A litteram impresserit
    • M. T. Quintilianus 1, 5, 61:
      ne in A quidem atque S litteras exire temere masculina Graeca nomina recto casu patiebantur

Abbreviation

A

  1. (in dates) ante (“before”)
    A. D.ante diem
  2. (in dates) anno, annus (“year”)
    A. U. C.anno urbis conditae
    A. P. R. C.anno post Romam conditam
  3. Aulus (a Roman given name)
    • Inscriptiones Orelli 1530: A. A.Auli duo
  4. aquae (“waters”)
    • Inscriptiones Orelli 1643 sequens; 2620; 3011: A.A.Aquae Aponi (“Abano Terme”)
  5. auro, argento, or aeri (the three directors of the mint)
    • Inscriptiones Orelli 569; 2242; 2379; 3134 alia: III. VIRI A. A. A. F. F.auro, argento, aeri flando, feriundo
  6. agris (“fields”)
    • A. D. A. agris dandis adsignandis
    • A. I. A. agris judicandis adsignandis
  7. (upon the voting tablets in judicial trials) absolvo (“I free”, “I acquit”)
  8. (in the Roman Comitia) antiquo — “I leave in its former state”, “I reject” [e.g. the point in question]
  9. amicō (“friend”)
    A. O.amico optimo — “best friend”
  10. a (“to”)
    A. P.a populo
  11. aediliciae
    A. P.aediliciae potestatis
  12. aerario
    A. P. R.aerario populi Romani
  13. (in Cicero's Tusculanae Disputationes, “Tusculan Disputations”) adulescens or auditor, one of the disputants, as opposed to M. for magister or Marcus

See also

References

  • Lewis and Short’s Latin Dictionary, Oxford, 1879

Romanian

Pronunciation

Letter

A (capital, lowercase a)

  1. The first letter of the Romanian alphabet.

See also

  • Next letter: Ă

Scots

Etymology

Old English .

Pronunciation

  • (stressed) IPA: /ɑ:/
  • (unstressed) IPA: /ə/

Pronoun

A (first person singular, emphatic I)

  1. I

Slovene

Wikipedia-logo.png
Slovene Wikipedia has an article on:
A

Wikipedia sl

Pronunciation

Letter

A (capital, lowercase a)

  1. The first letter of the Slovene alphabet. Next letter: B.

Related terms

  • od A do Ž

Spanish

Letter

A (upper case, lower case a)

  1. First letter of the Spanish alphabet.

Vietnamese

Letter

A

  1. The first letter of the Vietnamese alphabet.

See also

  • Next letter: Ă

Interjection

A!

  1. hah!

Simple English

This page is about the first letter in the alphabet.
For the indefinite article, see Article (grammar).
For other uses of A, see A (disambiguation)
The Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd
Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj
Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv
Ww Xx Yy Zz

A is the first letter of the English alphabet. a is a usual symbol for a low central vowel, as in "father"; the English long a (ā) is pronounced as a diphthong of ĕ and y. The corresponding letter of the Greek alphabet is named alpha. Alpha and omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, symbolize the beginning and the end. In musical notation the letter A is the symbol of a note in the scale, below B and above G.

  • A is the letter that was formerly used to represent a team in an old TV show, The A Team.
Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:








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