In English and most other European languages, P is a voiceless bilabial plosive. Both initial and final ‹p›s can be combined with many other discrete consonants in English words. A common example of assimilation is the tendency of prefixes ending in ‹n› to assume an ‹m› sound before ‹p›s (such as: in + pulse → impulse — see: List of Latin words with English derivatives).
A common digraph in English is ‹ph›, which represents the voiceless labiodental fricative /f/, and can be used to transliterate Phi (‹φ›) in loanwords from Greek. In German, the digraph ‹pf› is common, representing a labial affricate of /pf/.
Arabic speakers are usually unaccustomed to pronouncing /p/; they pronounce it as /b/. In words that Arabic inherited from the Proto-Semitic language, /p/ is usually pronounced /f/.
Most English words beginning with P are of foreign origin, primarily French, Latin, Greek, and Slavic; these languages preserve Proto-Indo-European initial /*p/. Native English cognates of such words often start with F, since English is a Germanic language and thus has undergone Grimm's law; a native English word with initial /p/ would reflect Proto-Indo-European initial /*b/, which is so rare that its existence as a phoneme is disputed.
However, native English words with non-initial P are quite common; such words can come from either Kluge's law or the sp combination; PIE /*p/ is preserved after s.
Related letters and other similar characters
- Π π : Greek letter Pi
- П п : Cyrillic letter Pe
- Ρ ρ/ϱ : Greek letter Rho
- Р р : Cyrillic letter Er
- פ ף : Hebrew letter Pe
- ℘ : script letter P, see Weierstrass p
- Ⓟ ⓟ : circled Latin letter P
- ℗ : sound recording copyright symbol
- Þ þ : Latin letter Thorn
- Ƿ ƿ : Latin letter Wynn
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER P||LATIN SMALL LETTER P|
|Numeric character reference||P||P||p||p|
- 1 Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.
- "P", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "pee," op. cit.
- Media related to P at Wikimedia Commons
- The dictionary definition of P at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of p at Wiktionary
Letter P with diacritics