Ghe with upturn
Ghe with upturn
|List of Cyrillic letters|
Ghe with upturn (Ґ ґ; italics: Ґ ґ ) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Ukrainian,Rusyn, Urum and Belarussian, this letter is called "Ghe", and the letter ‹Г› is called "He". In Unicode this letter is called "Ghe with upturn".
It represents the voiced velar plosive /ɡ/, like the pronunciation of ‹g› in "go".
Ghe with upturn is romanized using the Latin letter G (but with an additional grave accent in ISO 9).
The common Slavic voiced velar plosive [ɡ] is represented in most Cyrillic orthographies by the letter ‹Г›, called ге ghe in most languages. In Ukrainian, however, sometime around the early thirteenth century, this sound lenited to the voiced velar fricative [ɣ] (except in the cluster *zg), and around the sixteenth century debuccalized to the voiced glottal fricative [ɦ] (like the pronunciation of ‹h› in "behind"). The phoneme continued to be represented by ‹Г›, called ге he in Ukrainian.
Within a century after this sound change began, [ɡ] was reintroduced from Western European loanwords. Since then, it has been represented by several different notations in writing.
In early Belarusian and Ukrainian orthographies, Latin ‹g› or the Cyrillic digraph ‹кг› (kh) were sometimes used to denote the sound of Latin ‹g› in assimilated words. Later the practice of distinguishing this sound and using the digraph disappeared from Belarusian orthography.
The letter ‹ґ› was first introduced into the Slavic alphabet in 1619 by Meletius Smotrytsky in his "Slavic Grammar" (Грамматіки славєнскиѧ правилноє Сѵнтаґма). Later, serving an identical purpose, it was saved in the new orthography of the Ukrainian language.
The letter ‹ґ› was eliminated from the Ukrainian alphabet in the Soviet orthographic reforms of 1933, its function subsumed into that of the letter ‹г›, pronounced [ɦ] in Ukrainian. However, ‹ґ› continued to be used by Ukrainians in Galicia (under Poland until 1939) and in the Ukrainian diaspora worldwide. It was reintroduced to Soviet Ukraine in a 1990 orthographic reform under Glasnost.
During the twentieth century, some Belarusian linguists, notably Yan Stankyevich, promoted both the reintroduction of the practice of pronouncing Latin ‹g› in, at least, newly assimilated words, and the adoption of letter ‹ґ› to represent it. However, consensus on this has never been reached, and this letter has never been part of standard Belarusian alphabet, seeing only sporadic periods of use. For example, a code of alternative Belarusian orthography rules, based on the proposal of Vintsuk Vyachorka and published in 2005, has the optional letter ‹ґ› included in the alphabet, but its use is not obligatory and in any case it can be replaced by ‹г›.
Related letters and other similar characters 
- Г г : Cyrillic letter Ghe (distinguished and named He in Ukrainian)
- Γ γ : Greek letter Gamma
- G g : Latin letter G
Computing codes 
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER
GHE WITH UPTURN
|CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER
GHE WITH UPTURN
|UTF-8||210 144||D2 90||210 145||D2 91|
|Numeric character reference||Ґ||Ґ||ґ||ґ|
- "Cyrillic: Range: 0400–04FF". The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Unicode Inc. 2010. p. 42. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- Shevelov (1977:145)
- Shevelov (1977:148)
- Мелетій Смотрицький. Граматика слов'янська (1619). Підготовка факсимільного видання В. В. Німчука. Київ. «Наукова думка» (Пам'ятки української мови) 1979
- Ukrainian Orthography (2012). — § 15. The letter ‹ґ›.
Further reading 
- George Y. Shevelov (1977). “On the Chronology of H and the New G in Ukrainian”, in Harvard Ukrainian Studies, vol 1, no 2 (June 1977), pp 137–52. Cambridge: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.
- Да рэформы беларускай азбукі. // Пасяджэньні Беларускае Акадэмічнае Конфэрэнцыі па рэформе правапісу і азбукі. - Мн.: [б. м.], [1927?].
- Ян Станкевіч. Гук «ґ» у беларускай мове // Ян Станкевіч. Збор твораў у двух тамах. Т. 2. - Мн.: Энцыклапедыкс, 2002. ISBN 985-6599-46-6