Dze

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For the Georgian surname suffix -dze, see Georgian surname.
Not to be confused with the Latin letter S.
Cyrillic letter Dze
Cyrillic letter Dze - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Numeric value: 6
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
А Б В Г Ґ Д
Ђ Ѓ Е Ѐ Ё Є
Ж З Ѕ И Ѝ І
Ї Й Ј К Л Љ
М Н Њ О П Р
С Т Ћ Ќ У Ў
Ф Х Ц Ч Џ Ш
Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю
Я
Non-Slavic letters
Ӑ Ӓ Ә Ӛ Ӕ Ғ
Ҕ Ӻ Ӷ Ԁ Ԃ
Ӗ Ӂ Җ Ӝ Ԅ Ҙ
Ӟ Ԑ Ӡ Ԇ Ӣ Ҋ
Ӥ Қ Ӄ Ҡ Ҟ Ҝ
Ԟ Ԛ Ӆ Ԓ Ԡ Ԉ
Ԕ Ӎ Ӊ Ң Ӈ Ҥ
Ԣ Ԋ Ӧ Ө Ӫ Ҩ
Ԥ Ҧ Ҏ Ԗ Ҫ Ԍ
Ҭ Ԏ Ӯ Ӱ Ӳ Ү
Ұ Ҳ Ӽ Ӿ Һ Ԧ
Ҵ Ҷ Ӵ Ӌ Ҹ
Ҽ Ҿ Ӹ Ҍ Ӭ Ԙ
Ԝ Ӏ
Archaic letters
Ҁ Ѻ ОУ Ѡ Ѿ Ѣ
Ѥ Ѧ Ѫ Ѩ
Ѭ Ѯ Ѱ Ѳ Ѵ Ѷ

Dze (Ѕ ѕ) is a letter of the Cyrillic script, used in the Macedonian language to represent the voiced alveolar affricate /dz/, pronounced like (ds) in "pods". It is derived from the letter dzelo or zelo of the Early Cyrillic alphabet, and it was used historically for Old Church Slavonic, Ukrainian, Russian, and Romanian.

Although fully obsolete everywhere in the Cyrillic world by the 19th century, the letter zelo was revived in 1944 by the designers of the alphabet of the then-codified Macedonian language.[1] In the early 21st century, the same letter also appeared in Vojislav Nikčević's proposal for the new alphabet for the modern Montenegrin language.

The most common early letterform (Ѕ ѕ) resembles the Latin letter S (S s), but it is also seen reversed () like the Latin letter Reversed S (Ƨ ƨ), or with a tail and a tick ().

The Abkhaz language includes a letter with an identical function and name, but different shape. See Abkhazian Dze for more information.

Origin[edit]

The letter is descended from dzělo (Dzělo) in the Early Cyrillic alphabet, where it had the numerical value 6. The letter Dzělo was itself based on the letter Dzelo in the Glagolitic alphabet. In the Glagolitic alphabet, it was written , and had the numerical value of 8. In Old Church Slavonic it was called "ѕѣло" (pronounced dzeló), and in Church Slavonic it is called "ѕѣлѡ" (pronounced zeló).

The origin of Glagolitic letter dzelo is unclear, however, the Cyrillic Ѕ may have been influenced by the Greek Ϛ, the medieval form of the archaic letter digamma, which had the same form and numerical value (6). Thus the visual similarity of the Cyrillic Ѕ and Latin S are largely coincidental.

Development[edit]

The initial sound of Ѕ in Old Church Slavonic was a soft /dz/ or /z/, which often corresponds in cognates to a /ɡ/ sound in modern Russian, as in мъноѕи (Russian: много), по ноѕѣ (Russian: нога), and растрьѕати (Russian: расторгать). However, already in the Old Slavic period the difference between Ѕ and З began to be blurred, and in the written Church Slavonic language from the middle of the 17th century Ѕ was used only formally. The letter's distinguishing features from З are[2]

The seven root words commencing with the letter dze (aka, dzelo).
  • Ѕ is used in root derived from these seven words beginning with Ѕ: ѕвѣзда, ѕвѣрь, ѕеліе, ѕлакъ, ѕлый, ѕмій, ѕѣлѡ;
  • З is used in all remaining cases.
  • Ѕ has the numerical value of 6, whereas З has the numerical value of 7;

In Russian it was known as зѣло or zelo [ˈzʲɛlə] and had the phonetic value of /dz/, /z/ or /zʲ/.

In the initial version of Russian civil script of Tsar Peter I (1708), the Ѕ was assigned the sound /z/, and the letter З was abolished. However, in the second version of the civil script (1710), З was restored, and Ѕ was abolished. Both versions of alphabet were used until 1735, which is considered the date of the final elimination of Ѕ in Russian.

See also Reforms of Russian orthography.

Ѕ was used in the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet (where it represented /dz/) until the alphabet was abolished in favor of a Latin-based alphabet in 1860-62. Ѕ was also used—albeit rarely—to the middle of the 19th century in the Serbian civil script, whose orthography was closer to Church Slavonic (compared to Russian). Vuk Karadžić's Serbian Cyrillic alphabet (1868) did not include Ѕ, instead favoring the digraph ДЗ to represent /dz/.

In Ukrainian the sound is written as the digraph ДЗ to represent /dz/.

Usage[edit]

Ѕ is now only used in the Macedonian alphabet. A commission formed to standardize the Macedonian language and orthography decided on December 4, 1944—after a vote of 10-1—to adopt the letter. The letter represents /dz/ (examples including: ѕид/dzid, 'wall' and ѕвезда/dzvezda, 'star'). The corresponding sound is used in all dialects of Macedonian.

Ѕ is also included in Microsoft's Serbian Cyrillic keyboard layout, although it is not used in the Serbian Cyrillic Alphabet. The Serbian keyboard in Ubuntu replaces Ѕ with a second Ж.

Related letters and other similar characters[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

Character Ѕ ѕ
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER DZE CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER DZE
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1029 U+0405 1109 U+0455
UTF-8 208 133 D0 85 209 149 D1 95
Numeric character reference Ѕ Ѕ ѕ ѕ
Code page 855 137 89 136 88
Windows-1251 189 BD 190 BE
ISO-8859-5 165 A5 245 F5
Macintosh Cyrillic 193 C1 207 CF

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dontchev Daskalov, Roumen; Marinov, Tchavdar (2013), Entangled Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies, Balkan Studies Library, BRILL, p. 454, ISBN 900425076X 
  2. ^ Gamanovich, Alypy (1964), Грамматика Церковно-Славянскаго Языка (Grammar of the Church Slavonic Language), Jordanville, New York: Printing shop of St. Job of Pochaev, Holy Trinity Monastery (published 1984), ISBN 978-0-88465-064-5 

External links[edit]