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Heth               Teth               Yodh
Phoenician Hebrew Aramaic Syriac Arabic
Teth ט Teth ܛ
Alphabetic
derivatives
Greek Latin Cyrillic
Θ - Ѳ
Phonemic representation:
Position in alphabet: 9
Numerical (Gematria/Abjad) value: 9

Ṭēth (also Teth, Tet) is the ninth letter of many Semitic abjads (alphabets), including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew Tet ט, Syriac ܛ and Arabic Ṭāʾ ط; it is 9th in abjadi order and 16th in modern Arabic order.

Its sound value is IPA: [tˤ], one of the Semitic emphatic consonants.

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Theta (Θ).

Contents

Origins

Phoenician alphabet
(ca. 1050–200 BCE)
𐤀    𐤁    𐤂    𐤃    𐤄    𐤅
𐤆    𐤇    𐤈    𐤉    𐤊    𐤋
𐤌    𐤍    𐤎    𐤏    𐤐
𐤑    𐤒    𐤓    𐤔    𐤕
Semitic abjads · Genealogy
Hebrew alphabet
(400 BCE–present)
א    ב    ג    ד    ה    ו
ז    ח    ט    י    כך
ל    מם    נן    ס    ע    פף
צץ    ק    ר    ש    ת
History · Transliteration
Niqqud · Dagesh · Gematria
Cantillation · Numeration
Syriac alphabet
(200 BCE–present)
ܐ    ܒ    ܓ    ܕ    ܗ    ܘ
ܙ    ܚ    ܛ    ܝ    ܟܟ    ܠ
ܡܡ    ܢܢ    ܣ    ܥ    ܦ
ܨ    ܩ    ܪ    ܫ    ܬ
Arabic alphabet
(400 CE–present)
ا    ب    ت    ث    ج    ح
خ    د    ذ    ر    ز    س
ش    ص    ض    ط    ظ    ع
غ    ف    ق    ك    ل
م    ن    ه    و    ي
History · Transliteration
Diacritics · Hamza ء
Numerals · Numeration

The Phoenician letter name ṭēth means "wheel", but the letter possibly (according to Brian Colless) continues a Middle Bronze Age glyph named ṭab "good", ṭayyib طيب in modern Arabic, based on the nfr "good" hieroglyph,

F35

Hebrew Tet

Orthographic variants
Sans-serif Serif Monospaced Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
Script
ט ט ט Hebrew letter Tet handwriting.svg Hebrew letter Tet Rashi.png
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Hebrew pronunciation

In Modern Hebrew, Tet represents a voiceless alveolar plosive /t/, although this can be pharyngealized to produce [tˤ] in traditional Temani and Sephardi pronunciation.

Significance

In gematria, Tet represents the number nine. When followed by an apostrophe, it means 9,000. The most common example of this usage is in the numbers of the Hebrew years (i.e., ט'תשנד in numbers would be the date 9754).

As well, in gematria, the number 15 is written with Tet and Vav, (9+6) to avoid the normal construction Yud and Hei (10+5) which spells a name of God. Similarly, 16 is written with Tet and Zayin (9+7) instead of Yud and Vav (10+6) to avoid spelling part of the Tetragrammaton.

Tet is also one of the seven letters which receive a special crown (called a tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah. See Shin, Ayin, Gimmel, Nun, Zayin, and Tzadi.

Arabic Ṭāʼ

The letter is named ṭāʼ; standard pronunciation: [tˤ]. It is written in several ways depending in its position in the word:

Position in word: Isolated Initial Medial Final
Form of letter: ط طـ ـطـ ـط

Similar symbols

A symbol similar to the Phoenician teth is used for the tensor product, as \otimes, but this is presumably an independent development, by modification of the multiplication sign ×.


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