Tsade

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Ṣade
Phonemic representation sˤ, t͡s
Position in alphabet 18
Numerical value 90
Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician

Ṣade (also spelled Ṣādē, Tsade, Ṣaddi, Ṣad, Tzadi, Sadhe, Tzaddik) is the eighteenth letter in many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew Ṣadi צ and Arabic Ṣād ص. Its oldest sound value is probably /t͡sˤ/, although there is a variety of pronunciation in different modern Semitic languages and their dialects. It represents the coalescence of three Proto-Semitic "emphatic consonants" in Canaanite. Arabic, which kept the phonemes separate, introduced variants of ṣād and ṭāʾ to express the three (see ḍād, ẓāʾ). In Aramaic, these emphatic consonants coalesced instead with ʿayin and ṭēt, respectively, thus Hebrew ereẓ ארץ (earth) is araʿ ארע in Aramaic.

The Phoenician letter is continued in the Greek San (Ϻ) and possibly Sampi (Ϡ), and in Etruscan 𐌑 Ś. It may have inspired the form of the letter Tse in the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabet.

The corresponding letter of the Ugaritic alphabet is 𐎕 ṣade.

The letter is known as "tsadik" in Yiddish, and Hebrew speakers often give it that name as well. This name for the letter probably originated from a fast recitation of the alphabet (i.e., "tsadi, qoph" -> "tsadiq, qoph"), influenced by the vocabulary word tzadik, meaning 'righteous person'.[1]

Origins[edit]

The origin of Ṣade is unclear. It may have come from a Middle Bronze Age glyph based on a pictogram of a plant, perhaps a papyrus plant, or a fish hook (in Modern Hebrew, צד tsad means "[he] hunt[ed]", and in Arabic صاد ṣād means "[he] hunted").

Hebrew Tsadi[edit]

Orthographic variants
position
in
word
Various Print Fonts Ashkenazi Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
Script
Serif Sans-serif Monospaced
non final צ צ צ Hebrew letter Tsadik handwriting.svg Hebrew letter Tsadik-nonfinal Rashi.png
final ץ ץ ץ Hebrew letter Tsadik-final handwriting.svg Hebrew letter Tsadik-final Rashi.png

Hebrew spelling: צָדִי

Name[edit]

In modern Hebrew, the letter Tsadi is also named Ṣadi, though this is regarded by many speakers as incorrect. In transliteration, it may also be transliterated as "ts" instead of "ṣ", as Tsadi instead of Ṣadi.

Variations[edit]

Ṣadi, like Kaph, Mem, Pe, and Nun, has a final form, used at the end of words. Its shape changes from this: צ to ץ. The pronunciation does not change.

Pronunciation[edit]

In Modern Israeli Hebrew, Ṣadi represents a voiceless alveolar affricate /t͡s/. This is the same in Yiddish language. Historically, it likely represented a pharyngealized /t͡sˤ/; which became [t͡s] in Ashkenazi pronunciation and is preserved as [sˤ] amongst Yemenite Jews and other Jews from the Middle East.

A geresh can also be placed after it (צ׳  ץ׳), giving it the sound [t͡ʃ], e.g. צ׳יפּס čips, meaning "chips".

Significance[edit]

In gematria, Ṣadi represents the number 90. Its final form represents 900 but this is rarely used, Taw, Tav, and Qof (400+400+100) being used instead.

As an abbreviation, it stands for ṣafon, North.

Ṣadi is also one of the seven letters which receive a special crown (called tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah. See Shin, ‘Ayin, Ṭet, Nun, Zayin, and Gimmel.

Arabic Ṣād[edit]

See also: the derived letter and ض (ḍād).

The letter is named ṣād ; Modern Standard Arabic pronunciation: /sˤ/. In Persian, its pronunciation is not distinguishable from س or ث, all are pronounced [s].

It is written in several ways depending in its position in the word:

The quran, chapter 38 named after this letter, سورة ص.

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ص ـص ـصـ صـ

Character encodings[edit]

Character צ ץ ص ܨ
Unicode name HEBREW LETTER TSADI HEBREW LETTER FINAL TSADI ARABIC LETTER SAD SYRIAC LETTER SADHE SAMARITAN LETTER TSAADIY
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1510 U+05E6 1509 U+05E5 1589 U+0635 1832 U+0728 2065 U+0811
UTF-8 215 166 D7 A6 215 165 D7 A5 216 181 D8 B5 220 168 DC A8 224 160 145 E0 A0 91
Numeric character reference צ צ ץ ץ ص ص ܨ ܨ ࠑ ࠑ
Character 𐎕 𐡑 𐤑
Unicode name UGARITIC LETTER SADE IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER SADHE PHOENICIAN LETTER SADE
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 66453 U+10395 67665 U+10851 67857 U+10911
UTF-8 240 144 142 149 F0 90 8E 95 240 144 161 145 F0 90 A1 91 240 144 164 145 F0 90 A4 91
UTF-16 55296 57237 D800 DF95 55298 56401 D802 DC51 55298 56593 D802 DD11
Numeric character reference 𐎕 𐎕 𐡑 𐡑 𐤑 𐤑

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Letter Tsade: Righteousness and Modesty" (in Hebrew). Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  2. ^ xxx