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|Writing system||Latin script|
|Type||Alphabetic and Logographic|
|Language of origin||Old Spanish language|
|Time period||~900 to present|
|Transliteration equivalents||ch, c, s, ts|
|Other letters commonly used with||c, ch, s, ts|
Ç or ç (C-cedilla) is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Manx, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish, Zazaki, and Romance alphabets. Romance languages that use this letter include Catalan, French, Friulian, Ligurian, Occitan, and Portuguese as a variant of the letter C. It is also occasionally used in Crimean Tatar and in Tajik (when written in the Latin script) to represent the /d͡ʒ/ sound. It is often retained in the spelling of loanwords from any of these languages in English, Basque, Dutch, Spanish and other Latin script spelled languages.
It was first used for the sound of the voiceless alveolar affricate /t͡s/ in Old Spanish and stems from the Visigothic form of the letter z (Ꝣ). The phoneme originated in Vulgar Latin from the palatalization of the plosives /t/ and /k/ in some conditions. Later, /t͡s/ changed into /s/ in many Romance languages and dialects. Spanish has not used the symbol since an orthographic reform in the 18th century (which replaced ç with the now-devoiced z), but it was adopted for writing other languages.
Usage as a letter variant in various languages
- Catalan. Known as ce trencada ('broken C') in this language, where it can be used before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or at the end of a word. Some examples of words with ⟨ç⟩ are amenaça ('menace'), torçat ('twisted'), xoriço ('chorizo'), forçut ('strong'), dolç ('sweet') and caça ('hunting'). A well-known word with this character is Barça, a common Catalan clipping of Futbol Club Barcelona.
- French (cé cédille): français ('French'), garçon ('boy'), façade ('frontage'), grinçant ('squeaking'), leçon ('lesson'), reçu ('received' [past participle]). French does not use the character at the end of a word but it can occur at the beginning of a word (e.g., ça, 'that').
- Occitan (ce cedilha): torçut ('twisted'), çò ('this'), ça que la ('nevertheless'), braç ('arm'), brèç ('cradle'), voraç ('voracious'). It can occur at the beginning of a word.
- Portuguese (cê-cedilha, cê de cedilha or cê cedilhado): it is used before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩: taça ('cup'), braço ('arm'), açúcar ('sugar'). Modern Portuguese does not use the character at the beginning or at the end of a word (the nickname for Conceição is São, not Ção). According to a Portuguese grammar written in 1550, the letter ç had the sound of /dz/ around that time. Another grammar written around 1700 would say that the letter ç sounds like /s/, which shows a phonetic evolution that is still valid today.
- Old Spanish used ç to represent /t͡s/ before /a/, /o/, /u/. It also represented /d͡z/ allophonically when it occurred before a voiced consonant.
- Early Modern Spanish used the letter ç to represent either /θ/ or /s/ before /a/, /o/, and /u/ in much the same way as Modern Spanish uses the letter z. Middle Castilian Spanish pronounced ç as /θ/, or as /ð/ before a voiced consonant. Andalusian, Canarian, and Latin American Spanish pronounced ç as /s/, or as /z/ before a voiced consonant. A spelling reform in the 18th century eliminated ç from Spanish orthography.
In other languages, it represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate /t͡ʃ/ (like ⟨ch⟩ in English chalk):
- Friulian (c cun cedilie) before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or at the end of a word.
- Turkish and Azerbaijani alphabets: çelik ('steel'), çilek ('strawberry'), and çamur ('mud').
In loanwords only
- In Basque, ⟨ç⟩ (known as ze hautsia) is used in the loanword curaçao.
- In Dutch, it can be found in some words from French and Portuguese, such as façade, reçu, Provençaals and Curaçao.
- In English, ⟨ç⟩ is used in loanwords such as façade and limaçon (although the cedilla mark is often dropped: ⟨facade⟩, ⟨limacon⟩).
- In modern Spanish it can appear in loanwords, especially in Catalan proper nouns.
Usage as a separate letter in various languages
- the 4th letter of the Albanian alphabet.
- the 4th letter of the Azerbaijani alphabet.
- the 5th letter of the Tatar alphabet (based on Zamanälif).
- the 4th letter of the Turkish alphabet.
- the 3rd letter of the Turkmen alphabet.
- the 4th letter of the Kurmanji alphabet (also known as Northern Kurdish).
- the 4th letter of the Zazaki alphabet.
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA||LATIN SMALL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER VISIGOTHIC Z||LATIN SMALL LETTER VISIGOTHIC Z|
|UTF-8||195 135||C3 87||195 167||C3 A7||234 157 162||EA 9D A2||234 157 163||EA 9D A3|
|Numeric character reference||Ç
|Named character reference||Ç||ç|
On Albanian, Belgian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish and Italian keyboards, Ç is directly available as a separate key; however, on most other keyboards, including the US and British keyboard, a combination of keys must be used:
- In the US-International keyboard layout, these are ' followed by either C or ⇧ Shift+C. Alternatively one may press AltGr+, or AltGr+⇧ Shift+,.
- In classic Mac OS and macOS, these are ⌥ Opt+C and ⌥ Opt+⇧ Shift+C for lower- and uppercase, respectively.
- In the X Window System and many Unix consoles, one presses sequentially Compose, , and either C or ⇧ Shift+C. Alternatively, one may press AltGr+= and then either C or ⇧ Shift+C.
- In Microsoft Windows, these are Alt+0231 or Alt+135 for lowercase and Alt+0199 or Alt+128 for uppercase.
- In Microsoft Word, these are Ctrl+, and then either C or ⇧ Shift+C.
- The HTML character entity references are
Çfor lower- and uppercase, respectively.
- In TeX and LaTeX,
\cis used for adding the cedilla accent to a letter, so
|Look up Ç or ç in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|