Eth

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Ð
Ð ð
(See below)
Writing cursive forms of Ð
Usage
Writing systemLatin script
TypeAlphabetic and Logographic
Language of originOld English language
Old Norse language
Phonetic usage[ð]
[θ]
[ð̠]
/ˈɛð/
Unicode codepointU+00D0, U+00F0
History
Development
Time period~800 to present
DescendantsĐđ
SistersNone
Transliteration equivalentsd
Variations(See below)
Other
Other letters commonly used withth, dh
This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

Eth (/ɛð/, uppercase: Ð, lowercase: ð; also spelled edh or ), known as ðæt in Old English,[1] 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.

The lowercase version has been adopted to represent a voiced dental fricative in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Old English[edit]

In Old English, ð (called ðæt) was used interchangeably with þ to represent the Old English dental fricative phoneme /θ/ or its allophone /ð/, which exist in modern English phonology as the voiced and voiceless dental fricatives both now spelled "th".

Unlike the runic letter þ, ð is a modified Roman letter. Neither ð nor þ were found in the earliest records of Old English. A study of Mercian royal diplomas found that ð (along with đ) began to emerge in the early 8th century, with ð becoming strongly preferred by the 780s.[2] Another source indicates that the letter is "derived from Irish writing".[3]

Under King Alfred the Great, þ grew greatly in popularity and started to overtake ð. Þ completely overtook ð by Middle English, and þ died out by Early Modern English, mostly due to the rise of the printing press,[4] and was replaced by the digraph th.

Lower case version[edit]

The lowercase (minuscule) version has retained the curved shape of a medieval scribe's d, which d itself in general has not.

Photo of black handwritten text on a seemingly yellow paper with the top and bottom blurry and vertical middle clear
A sample of Icelandic handwriting with some instances of lowercase ð clearly visible: in the words Borðum, við and niður. Also visible is a thorn in the word því.

Icelandic[edit]

In Icelandic, ð, called "eð", represents a voiced dental fricative [ð], which is the same as the th in English that, but it never appears as the first letter of a word. At the end of words as well as within words when it's followed by a voiceless consonant, ð is devoiced to [θ̠]. The ð in the name of the letter is devoiced in the Nominative and Accusative cases [ɛθ̠]. In the Icelandic alphabet, ð follows d.

Faroese[edit]

In Faroese, ð is not assigned to any particular phoneme and appears mostly for etymological reasons, but it indicates most glides. When ð appears before r, it is in a few words pronounced [ɡ]. In the Faroese alphabet, ð follows d.

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

Welsh[edit]

Ð has also been used by some in written Welsh to represent /ð/, which is normally represented as dd.[5]

Khmer[edit]

Ð used in Khmer romanization, e.g. preðh riðciðnaacak kampucið (Kingdom of Cambodia).

Phonetic transcription[edit]

U+00F0 ð LATIN SMALL LETTER ETH represents a voiced dental fricative in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

U+1D9E MODIFIER LETTER SMALL ETH is used in phonetic transcription.[6]

U+1D06 LATIN LETTER SMALL CAPITAL ETH is used in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet.[7]

Computer input[edit]

The Faroese and Icelandic keyboard layouts have a dedicated button for eth.

On Microsoft Windows, eth can be typed using the alt code Alt+(0240) for lowercase or Alt+(0208) for uppercase, or by typing AltGr+d using the US International keyboard layout. On Windows 10, it can also be inserted into text via the symbol menu, presented by using Windows+;, then selecting Symbols, associated with the Omega (Ω) character, and then selecting Latin Symbols, associated with the C-cedilla (Ç) character.

On macOS, eth can be typed by activating the ABC Extended keyboard layout and typing ⌥ Option+D.

Using the compose key ("multi key") which is popular on Linux, eth can be typed by typing Compose D H for lowercase or Compose ⇧ Shift+D ⇧ Shift+H for capital letters.

On Chrome OS with 'extended keyboard' Chrome extension, AltGr+D will result in ð being displayed; ⇧ Shift+AltGr+D will result in Ð.

Other[edit]

System Uppercase Lowercase
Unicode U+00D0 U+00F0
HTML Ð ð
TeX/LaTeX \DH \dh
GTK Ctrl+⇧ Shift+U D0 ↵ Enter Ctrl+⇧ Shift+U F0 ↵ Enter
Vim[8] Ctrl+K ⇧ Shift+D - Ctrl+K D -

Modern uses[edit]

This operator gives rise to spin-weighted spherical harmonics.

  • A capital eth is used as the currency symbol for Dogecoin.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marsden, Richard (2004). The Cambridge Old English Reader. Cambridge University Press. p. xxix.
  2. ^ Shaw, Philip (2013). "Adapting the Roman alphabet for writing Old English: evidence from coin epigraphy and single-sheet charters". Early Medieval Europe. 21 (2): 115–139. doi:10.1111/emed.12012. S2CID 163075636.
  3. ^ Freeborn, Dennis (1992). From Old English to Standard English. London: Macmillan. p. 24. ISBN 9780776604695.
  4. ^ Hill, Will. "Chapter 25: Typography and the printed English text" (PDF). The Routledge Handbook of the English Writing System. p. 6. ISBN 9780367581565. The types used by Caxton and his contemporaries originated in Holland and Belgium, and did not provide for the continuing use of elements of the Old English alphabet such as thorn <þ>, eth <ð>, and yogh <ʒ>. The substitution of visually similar typographic forms has led to some anomalies which persist to this day in the reprinting of archaic texts and the spelling of regional words. The widely misunderstood ‘ye’ occurs through a habit of printer’s usage that originates in Caxton’s time, when printers would substitute the <y> (often accompanied by a superscript <e>) in place of the thorn <þ> or the eth <ð>, both of which were used to denote both the voiced and non-voiced sounds, /ð/ and /θ/ (Anderson, D. (1969) The Art of Written Forms. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, p 169)
  5. ^ Testament Newydd (1567) [The 1567 New Testament].
  6. ^ Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF).
  7. ^ Everson, Michael; et al. (2002-03-20). "L2/02-141: Uralic Phonetic Alphabet characters for the UCS" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Vim documentation: digraph".
  9. ^ "README.md". Dogecoin Integration/Staging Tree (Source code). February 5, 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]