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If you were looking for the C, C++, or C# programming languages then see C programming language, C++ programming language, C# programming language or Cω programming language.
If you were looking for the defunct computer magazine, see C (magazine).
If you were looking for the symbol representing Einstein's Constant, see the speed of light.

C is the third letter of the Roman alphabet.

In the Etruscan language, plosive consonants had no distinctive voicing, so they took over Greek Γ (Gamma) to write their /k/. In the beginning, the Romans used C for both /k/ and /g/, only later adding a horizontal bar at right-center to produce G. It is possible but uncertain that C represented only /g/ at an even earlier time, while K might have been used for /k/.

Some scholars claim that the Semitic ג (gmel) pictured a camel.


Phonetic use

/k/ developed palatal and velar allophones in Latin, probably due to Etruscan influence. The Romance languages and English have a common feature inherited from Vulgar Latin where C takes on either a "hard" or "soft" value depending on the following vowel. In English and French, C takes the "hard" value [[voiceless velar plosive|]] finally and before A, O, and U, and the "soft" value /s/ before E, I, or Y. Romance languages obey similar rules, but the soft value is different in several languages, taking on /θ/ in European Castilian and /ʧ/ (like English CH) in Italian and Romanian.

Other languages use C with different values, such as /k/ regardless of position in Welsh, /θ/ in Fijian, /ʤ/ in Turkish, Tatar, Azeri, /ʦ/ in Czech, Croatian, Esperanto, Hungarian, Romanized Chinese.

There are several common digraphs with C, the most common being CH, which in some languages such as German is far more common than C alone. In English, CH most commonly takes the value /ʧ/, but can take the value /k/ or /x/, usually when transliterating Greek Χ or Hebrew. CH takes various values in other languages, such as //, /k/, or /x/ in German, /ʃ/ in French, /k/ in Italian, /ʈʂʰ/ in Mandarin Chinese, and so forth. CK, with the value /k/, is often used after short vowels in Germanic languages such as English, German and Swedish. The digraph CZ is found in Polish and CS in Hungarian, both representing /ʧ/.

As a phonetic symbol, lowercase c is the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA symbol for the voiceless palatal plosive, and capital C is the X-SAMPA symbol for the voiceless palatal fricative.

Alternate representations

Charlie represents the letter C in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

In international Morse code the letter C is DahDitDahDit: -  - 

In Braille the letter C is represented as (in Unicode), the dot pattern,



In Unicode the capital C is codepoint U+0043 and the lowercase c is U+0063.

The ASCII code for capital C is 67 and for lowercase c is 99; or in binary 01000011 and 01100011, respectively.

The EBCDIC code for capital C is 195 and for lowercase c is 131.

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

Meanings for C

See also

Last updated: 10-19-2005 21:32:05
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