HOME

TheInfoList




R, or r, is the eighteenth
letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy ...
of the
modern English alphabet Modern may refer to: History *Modern history ** Early Modern period ** Modern age, Late Modern period *** 18th century *** 19th century *** 20th century ** Contemporary history * Moderns, a faction of Freemasonry that existed in the 18th century ...
and the
ISO basic Latin alphabet The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a and consists of two sets of 26 letters, codified in various national and international standards and used widely in international communication. They are the same letters that comprise the . The two sets con ...
. Its name in English is ''ar'' (pronounced ), plural ''ars'', or in Ireland ''or'' . The letter is the eighth most common letter in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and the fourth-most common consonant (after , , and ). The letter is used to form the ending "-re", which is used in certain words such as ''centre'' in some varieties of English spelling, such as
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a populatio ...
.
Canadian English Canadian English (CanE, CE, en-CA) is the set of varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of alg ...
also uses the "-re" ending, unlike
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the m ...
, where the ending is usually replaced by "-er" (''center''). This does not affect pronunciation.


Name

The name of the letter in Latin was (), following the pattern of other letters representing
continuant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical p ...
s, such as F, L, M, N and S. This name is preserved in
French
French
and many other languages. In
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured sys ...
, the name of the letter changed from to , following a pattern exhibited in many other words such as ''farm'' (compare French ''ferme'') and ''star'' (compare German ''Stern''). In
Hiberno-English Hiberno-English (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" ...
the letter is called or , somewhat similar to ''oar'', ''ore'', ''orr''. The letter R is sometimes referred to as the (literally 'canine letter', often rendered in English as the dog's letter). This Latin term referred to the Latin R that was trilled to sound like a growling dog, a spoken style referred to as ('dog voice'). A good example of a trilled R is in the Spanish word for dog, ''perro''. In
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

William Shakespeare
's ''
Romeo and Juliet ''Romeo and Juliet'' is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performanc ...

Romeo and Juliet
'', such a reference is made by Juliet's nurse in Act 2, scene 4, when she calls the letter R "the dog's name". The reference is also found in
Ben Jonson Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet. Jonson's artistry exerted a lasting influence upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours The comedy of humours is a ge ...
's ''English Grammar''.


History


Antiquity

The original
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...
letter may have been inspired by an
Egyptian hieroglyph Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent ...
for ''tp'', "head". It was used for by Semites because in their language, the word for "head" was '' rêš'' (also the name of the letter). It developed into Greek ' Ρ' (''rhô'') and Latin R. The descending diagonal stroke develops as a graphic variant in some Western Greek alphabets (writing ''rho'' as ), but it was not adopted in most
Old Italic alphabet The Old Italic scripts are a family of similar ancient writing systems used in the Italy, Italian Peninsula between around 700 and 100 BC, for various languages spoken in that time and place. The most notable member is the Etruscan alphabet ...
s; most Old Italic alphabets show variants of their ''rho'' between a "P" and a "D" shape, but without the Western Greek descending stroke. Indeed, the oldest known forms of the Latin alphabet itself of the 7th to 6th centuries BC, in the
Duenos
Duenos
and the
Forum inscription The Lapis Niger (Latin, "Black Stone") is an ancient shrine in the Roman Forum. Together with the associated Vulcanal (a sanctuary to Vulcan (mythology), Vulcan) it constitutes the only surviving remnants of the old Comitium, an early assembly ar ...

Forum inscription
, still write ''r'' using the "P" shape of the letter. The
Lapis Satricanus The Lapis Satricanus ("Stone of Satricum"), is a yellow stone found in the ruins of the ancient town of Satricum, near Borgo Montello (), a village of southern Lazio, dated late 6th to early 5th centuries BC. It was found in 1977 during excavation ...
inscription shows the form of the Latin alphabet around 500 BC. Here, the rounded, closing Π shape of the ''p'' and the Ρ shape of the ''r'' have become difficult to distinguish. The descending stroke of the Latin letter R has fully developed by the 3rd century BC, as seen in the Tomb of the Scipios sarcophagus inscriptions of that era. From around 50 AD, the letter ''P'' would be written with its loop fully closed, assuming the shape formerly taken by ''R''.


Cursive

The minuscule (lowercase) form (''r'') developed through several variations on the capital form. Along with Latin minuscule writing in general, it developed ultimately from
Roman cursive Roman cursive (or Latin cursive) is a form of handwriting (or a script (styles of handwriting), script) used in ancient Rome and to some extent into the Middle Ages. It is customarily divided into old (or ancient) cursive and new cursive. Old Rom ...

Roman cursive
via the
uncial Uncial is a . (1996) ''Encyclopedia of the Book''. 2nd edn. New Castle, DE, and London: Oak Knoll Press & , p. 494. (written entirely in capital letters) commonly used from the 4th to 8th centuries AD by and s. Uncial letters were used to wr ...

uncial
script of Late Antiquity into the
Carolingian minuscule Carolingian minuscule or Caroline minuscule is a script which developed as a calligraphic standard in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), conventio ...
of the 9th century. In handwriting, it was common not to close the bottom of the loop but continue into the leg, saving an extra pen stroke. The loop-leg stroke shortened into the simple arc used in the Carolingian minuscule and until today. A calligraphic minuscule ''r'', known as
r rotunda The r rotunda (ꝛ), "rounded r", is a historical calligraphic variant of the minuscule (lowercase) letter Latin ''r'' used in full script-like typefaces, especially blackletters. Unlike other letter variants such as "long s" which originally wer ...

r rotunda
(ꝛ), was used in the sequence ''or'', bending the shape of the ''r'' to accommodate the bulge of the ''o'' (as in ''oꝛ'' as opposed to ''or''). Later, the same variant was also used where ''r'' followed other lower case letters with a rounded loop towards the right (such as ''b, h, p'') and to write the geminate ''rr'' (as ''ꝛꝛ''). Use of ''r rotunda'' was mostly tied to
blackletter Blackletter (sometimes black letter), also known as Gothic script, Gothic minuscule, or Textura, was a script used throughout Western Europe from approximately 1150 until the 17th century. It continued to be commonly used for the Danish languag ...

blackletter
typefaces, and the glyph fell out of use along with blackletter fonts in English language contexts mostly by the 18th century.
Insular script Insular script was a medieval script system invented in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the ...
used a minuscule which retained two downward strokes, but which did not close the loop ("Insular ''r''", ꞃ); this variant survives in the
Gaelic type Gaelic type (sometimes called Irish character, Irish type, or Gaelic script) is a family of Insular script Insular script was a medieval script system invented in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ...
popular in Ireland until the mid-20th century (but now mostly limited to decorative purposes).


Pronunciation and use


Non-English languages

represents a
rhotic consonant In phonetics, rhotic consonants, or "R-like" sounds, are liquid consonants that are traditionally represented orthography, orthographically by symbols derived from the Greek alphabet, Greek letter Rho (letter), rho, including R, , in the Latin s ...
in many languages, as shown in the table below. Other languages may use the letter in their alphabets (or Latin transliterations schemes) to represent rhotic consonants different from the alveolar trill. In
Haitian Creole Haitian Creole (; ht, kreyòl ayisyen, links=no; french: créole haïtien), commonly referred to as simply ''Creole'', or ''Kreyòl'' in the Creole language, is a French-based creole language A French creole, or French-based creole language, ...
, it represents a sound so weak that it is often written interchangeably with , e.g. 'Kweyol' for 'Kreyol'. Brazilian
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
has a great number of allophones of such as , , , , , and , the latter three ones can be used only in certain contexts ( and as ; in the syllable coda, as an allophone of according to the European Portuguese norm and according to the Brazilian Portuguese norm). Usually at least two of them are present in a single dialect, such as
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro (; ), or simply Rio, is the List of largest cities in Brazil, second-most populous city in Brazil and the Largest cities in the Americas, sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the Rio de Janeiro (s ...

Rio de Janeiro
's , , and, for a few speakers, .


Other systems

The
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
uses several variations of the letter to represent the different rhotic consonants; represents the
alveolar trill The voiced alveolar trill is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how ...
.


Related characters


Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

*R with
diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembled on a composing stick using pieces that ...
s: Ŕ ŕ Ɍ ɍ Ř ř
Ŗ ŗ
Ŗ ŗ
Ṙ ṙ
Ȑ ȑ
Ȑ ȑ
Ȓ ȓ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ṟ ṟ Ꞧ ꞧ Ɽ ɽ R̃ r̃ *
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
-specific symbols related to R: ʶ ˞ ʴ *
Obsolete and nonstandard symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) possesses a variety of obsolete and nonstandard symbols. Throughout the history of the IPA, characters representing phonetic values have been modified or completely replaced. An example is for standard . ...
: ɼ ɿ *
Uralic Phonetic Alphabet The Uralic Phonetic Alphabet (UPA) or Finno-Ugric transcription system is a phonetic transcription Phonetic transcription (also known as phonetic script or phonetic notation) is the visual representation of speech sounds (or phones) by means o ...
-specific symbols related to R: ** ** ** ** *
Teuthonista Teuthonista is a phonetic transcription Phonetic transcription (also known as phonetic script or phonetic notation) is the visual representation of speech sounds (or phones) by means of symbols. The most common type of phonetic transcription use ...
phonetic transcription-specific symbols related to R: ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** *ⱹ : Turned r with tail is used in the Swedish Dialect Alphabet *Other variations of R used for phonetic transcription: ʳ ʵ


Calligraphic variants in the Latin alphabet

*Ꝛ ꝛ :
R rotunda The r rotunda (ꝛ), "rounded r", is a historical calligraphic variant of the minuscule (lowercase) letter Latin ''r'' used in full script-like typefaces, especially blackletters. Unlike other letter variants such as "long s" which originally wer ...

R rotunda
*Ꞃ ꞃ : "Insular" R (
Gaelic type Gaelic type (sometimes called Irish character, Irish type, or Gaelic script) is a family of Insular script Insular script was a medieval script system invented in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ...
)


Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

*𐤓 :
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...

Semitic
letter
Resh Resh is the twentieth letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as represen ...

Resh
, from which the following letters derive **Ρ ρ :
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
letter
Rho Rho (uppercase Ρ, lowercase ρ or ; el, ῥῶ) is the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician ...
, from which the following letters derive ***𐌓 :
Old ItalicOld Italic may refer to: * Old Italic alphabet * Old Italic (Unicode block) * Ancient Italic peoples * Early (pre-Roman) Italic languages * ''Vetus Latina'', the "Old Latin" translation of the Christian Bible, occasionally referred to as "Old Italic" ...
letter R, the ancestor of modern Latin R ****ᚱ :
Runic Runes are the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing ...

Runic
letter
Raido *Raidō "ride, journey" is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germanic name of the ''r''- rune of the Elder Futhark . The name is attested for the same rune in all three rune poems, Old Norwegian Ræið Icelandic language, Iceland ...

Raido
***Р р :
Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is ...
letter Er ***𐍂 :
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...

Gothic
letter Reda


Abbreviations, signs and symbols

*℟: symbol for " response" in liturgy *℞ :
Medical prescription A prescription, often abbreviated ℞ or Rx, is a formal communication from a physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply ...
Rx *₽ : *® :
Registered trademark symbol The registered trademark symbol, , is a typographic symbol This is a list of the most common typographical symbols and punctuation marks used in western European languages. For a far more comprehensive list of symbols and signs, see List of ...

Registered trademark symbol


Encoding

: 1


See also

*
Guttural R Guttural R is the phenomenon whereby a rhotic consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise st ...


References


External links

* * * {{Latin alphabet, R} ISO basic Latin letters