Eth

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For a list of letters that look similar to Ð in uppercase, see D with stroke (disambiguation). For other uses, see Eth (disambiguation).
Latin letter Ð.svg

Eth (/ɛð/, uppercase: Ð, lowercase: ð; also spelled edh or ) is a letter used in Old English, Middle English, Icelandic, Faroese (in which it is called edd), and Elfdalian. It was also used in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages but was subsequently replaced with dh and later d. It is often transliterated as d (and d- is rarely used as a mnemonic[1]). The lowercase version has been adopted to represent a voiced dental fricative in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

The letter originated in Irish writing[2] as a d with a cross-stroke added. The lowercase version has retained the curved shape of a medieval scribe's d, which d itself in general has not.

In Old English, ð (referred to as ðæt by the Anglo-Saxons[3]) was used interchangeably with þ (thorn) to represent the Old English dental fricative /θ/, which could manifest as either voiceless (and thus like the th in Modern English think) or voiced (and thus like the th of Modern English that) depending on where it appeared in a word or utterance. The letter ð was used throughout the Anglo-Saxon era but gradually fell out of use in Middle English, practically disappearing altogether by 1300;[4] þ survived longer, ultimately being replaced by the digraph th.[citation needed]

In Icelandic, ð represents a (usually apical) voiced alveolar non-sibilant fricative [ð̠],[5][6] similar to the th in English that, but it never appears as the first letter of a word, where þ is used in its stead. The name of the letter is pronounced in isolation (and before words beginning with a voiceless consonant) as [ɛθ̠] and therefore with a voiceless rather than voiced fricative.

In Faroese, ð is not assigned to any particular phoneme and appears mostly for etymological reasons; however, it does show where most of the Faroese glides are; when ð appears before r, it is, in a few words, pronounced [ɡ]. In the Icelandic and Faroese alphabets, ð follows d.

In Olav Jakobsen Høyem's version of Nynorsk based on Trøndersk, ð was always silent and was introduced for etymological reasons.

Ð is also used by some in written Welsh to represent /ð/, which is normally represented as dd.[7][better source needed]

A sample of Icelandic handwriting with some instances of lowercase ð clearly visible: in the words borðum, við and niður

Computer input[edit]

System Uppercase Lowercase Notes
Compose key ("Multi Key") Compose ⇧ Shift+D ⇧ Shift+H Compose D H Compose is a dead key meaning it is pressed & released rather than held down
Unicode U+00D0 U+00F0 Inherited from the older ISO 8859-1 standard
HTML Ð ð
Unix-like Compose key plus D and H Compose key plus d and h For ISO-8859-1- and UTF-8-based locales
Faroese keyboard ⇧ Shift+Ð ð Separate key for Ð
Icelandic keyboard layout ⇧ Shift+Ð ð Separate key for Ð (and Þ, Æ and Ö)
OS X ⇧ Shift+⌥ Option+D ⌥ Option+D Typed by activating the US Extended or ABC Extended keyboard layout
Microsoft Windows Alt+(0208) Alt+(0240) usually requires a separate number keypad, see Alt_code

also, AltGr+d with the US International keyboard layout

Miscellaneous[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1345.txt Character Mnemonics & Character Sets
  2. ^ Freeborn, Dennis (1992), From Old English to Standard English, London: Macmillan, p. 24 .
  3. ^ Richard Marsden, The Cambridge Old English Reader, CUP 2004, p. xxix.
  4. ^ David Wilton (September 30, 2007). "Old English Alphabet". Word origins. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Pétursson (1971:?), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:145)
  6. ^ Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), pp. 144-145.
  7. ^ Testament Newydd (1567), UK: CAM .
  8. ^ "README.md". Dogecoin Integration/Staging Tree (Source code). February 5, 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]