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Q
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

Q is the seventeenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /ˈkjuː/) is spelled cue.[1]

Contents

History

Egyptian hieroglyph
wj
Phoenician
qoph
Etruscan Q Greek
Qoppa
V24
PhoenicianQ-01.png EtruscanQ-01.svg GreekQ-01.png

The Semitic sound value of Qôp (perhaps originally qaw, "cord of wool", and possibly based on an Egyptian hieroglyph) was /q/ (voiceless uvular plosive), a sound common to Semitic languages, but not found in English or most Indo-European ones. In Greek, this sign as Qoppa Ϙ probably came to represent several labialized velar plosives, among them /kʷ/ and /kʷʰ/. As a result of later sound shifts, these sounds in Greek changed to /p/ and /pʰ/ respectively. Therefore, Qoppa was transformed into two letters: Qoppa, which stood for a number only, and Phi Φ which stood for the aspirated sound /pʰ/ that came to be pronounced /f/ in Modern Greek.

In the earliest Latin inscriptions, the letters C, K and Q were all used to represent the sounds /k/ and /g/ (which were not differentiated in writing). Of these, Q was used to represent /k/ or /g/ before a rounded vowel (e.g. "EQO" = ego), K before /a/, and C elsewhere. Later, the use of C (and its variant G) replaced most usages of K and Q: Q survived only to represent /k/ when immediately followed by a /w/ sound.[2]

The Etruscans used Q only in conjunction with V to represent /kʷ/

Usage

In most modern western languages written in Latin script, such as in Romance and Germanic languages, ‹q› appears almost exclusively in the digraph ‹qu› (e.g. quick, quit, quack), though see Q without U.

  • In English this digraph most often denotes the cluster /kw/, except in borrowings from French where it represents /k/ as in plaque. Q is the second most rarely used letter in the English language.
  • In Italian ‹qu› represents /kw/ (where /w/ is the semivowel allophone of /u/)
  • In Spanish, French, Occitan, Catalan and Portuguese, ‹qu› represents /k/ or /kw/; ‹qu› replaces ‹c› for /k/ before front vowels ‹i› and ‹e›, since in those contexts ‹c› is a fricative and letter ‹k› is seldom used outside loan words.
  • In German, ‹qu› represents /kv/
  • Danish abolished the letter in 1872, although it's still part of the alphabet. A consequence of this was the change in spelling of the word kvinde (woman), which prior to 1872 was spelt Quinde. As a result the term kvinde med q (woman spelt with q) is used for an old-fashioned woman, whilst kvinde med k refers to a modern woman.

In the Aymara, Aleut, Yup'ik, Inuit, Greenlandic, Uzbek, Quechua, and Tatar languages, as well as romanised Arabic, ‹q› is a voiceless uvular plosive. [q] is also used in the IPA for the voiceless uvular plosive, as well as in most transliteration schemes of Semitic languages for the "emphatic" qōp sound. The sound is rendered with letter ﻕ in Arabic script.

In Maltese and Võro, ‹q› denotes the glottal stop.

In Albanian, ‹q› represents the voiceless palatal plosive, /c/.

In Chinese Hanyu Pinyin, ‹q› is used to represent the sound [tɕʰ], which is close to English ‹ch› in "cheese".

In Fijian, ‹q› represents the prenasalized voiced velar plosive [ŋɡ].

In Xhosa and Zulu, ‹q› represents the postalveolar click [kǃ].

In Kiowa, ‹q› represents a glottalized velar plosive, /kʼ/.

Q and g comparison.svg

The lowercase Q is usually seen as a lowercase O with a descender (i.e., downward vertical tail) extending from the right side of the bowl, with or without a swash (i.e., flourish). The lowercase Q's descender is usually typed without a swash due to the major style difference typically seen between the descenders of the lowercase G (a loop) and lowercase Q (vertical). The descender of the lowercase Q is sometimes handwritten finishing with a rightward swash to distinguish from the leftward facing curved descender on the lowercase G.

Codes for computing

Alternative representations of Q
NATO phonetic Morse code
Quebec – – · –
ICS Quebec.svg Semaphore Quebec.svg ⠟
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode, the capital Q is codepoint U+0051 and the lower case q is U+0071.

The ASCII hexadecimal codes for capital Q and lowercase q are 51 and 71, respectively. These equal 81 and 113 in decimal, and 01010001 and 01110001 in binary.

The EBCDIC code for capital Q is 216 and for lowercase q is 152.

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

See also

References

  1. ^ "Q" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "que," op. cit.
  2. ^ Sihler, Andrew L. (1995). New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (illustrated ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 21. ISBN 0195083458. http://books.google.com/books?id=IeHmqKY2BqoC. 
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 Q with diacritics

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


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

The Universal Character Set
LetterQ.svg
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Q
Basic Latin U+0051
See also , and Appendix:Variations of "q"

Contents

Translingual

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Letter

Q upper case (lower case q)

  1. The seventeenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.

See also

Symbol

Q

  1. (biochemistry) IUPAC 1-letter abbreviation for glutamine

See also

Other representations of Q:


English

Pronunciation

Homophones

Abbreviation

Q

  1. question or questions
    Q and A
  2. quarter
  3. the supposed common source of the Gospels of Mark and Luke (from German Quelle, source)
  4. the Q factor in electronics
  5. (astronomy) quasar
  6. (sports) qualified

Antonyms

  • (sports): DNQ

Derived terms

Noun

Singular
Q

Plural
Qs

Q (plural Qs)

  1. The seventeenth letter of the English alphabet, preceded by P and followed by R.
  2. American Library Association Abbreviation for quarto, book size (25-30cm).

Proper noun

Q

  1. The pseudonym of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch
  2. Person or being of mysterious or uncertain nature, usually God-like. From Star Trek but may be found elsewhere.
  3. An annual gathering where church leaders and cultural influencers from the fields of business, politics, media, education, entertainment and the arts are exposed to the future of culture and the church’s responsibility to advance the common good in society. Q is an initiative of Fermi Project.

American Sign Language

Letter

Q (Stokoe Q)

  1. The letter Q

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • (letter name): IPA: /ky/

Letter

Q (capital, lowercase q)

  1. The seventeenth letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: P
  • Next letter: R

Italian

Pronunciation

Noun

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

Wikipedia it

Q m. and f. inv.

  1. The fifteenth letter of the Italian alphabet

Latin

Letter

Q

  1. The seventeenth letter of the Latin alphabet

Mandarin

Etymology

Verb

Q

  1. to use QQ, the popular Chinese instant messaging program

Spanish

Letter

Q (upper case, lower case q)

  1. The 20th letter of the Spanish alphabet.

Simple English

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

Q is the seventeenth (number 17) letter in the English alphabet.

Some people say that the letter Q is not needed, because the sound it makes can be made with "K" and "W" instead. The same sort of things are said about the letters "X" and "C".

Below are some ancient ways of writing "Q":

Egyptian hieroglyph wj Phoenician Q Etruscan Q Greek Qoppa
V24 [[File:]] [[File:]] [[File:]]

Meanings for Q









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