Ge (Cyrillic)

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For the letter also named Ghe or Ge, but used in Ukrainian and sometimes in Belarusian, see Ghe with upturn.
Cyrillic letter Ghe
Cyrillic letter Ge - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Numeric value: 3
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
А Б В Г Ґ Д Ђ
Ѓ Е Ѐ Ё Є Ж З
З́ Ѕ И Ѝ І Ї Й
Ј К Л Љ М Н Њ
О П Р С С́ Т Ћ
Ќ У Ў Ф Х Ц Ч
Џ Ш Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э
Ю Я
Non-Slavic letters
Ă Ā Å Ã Ä Ǟ Ә
Ә́ Ә̃ Ӛ Ӕ Ғ Г̧ Г̑
Г̄ Ҕ Ӻ Ӷ Ԁ Ԃ
Ԫ Ԭ Ӗ Е̄ Е̃
Ё̄ Є̈ Ӂ Җ Ӝ Ԅ
Ҙ Ӟ Ԑ Ԑ̈ Ӡ Ԇ Ӣ
И̃ Ҋ Ӥ Қ Ӄ Ҡ Ҟ
Ҝ Ԟ Ԛ Ӆ Ԯ Ԓ Ԡ
Ԉ Ԕ Ӎ Ӊ Ң Ԩ Ӈ
Ҥ Ԣ Ԋ О̆ О̃ О̄ Ӧ
Ө Ө̄ Ӫ Ҩ Ԥ Ҧ Р̌
Ҏ Ԗ Ҫ Ԍ Ҭ
Ԏ У̃ Ӯ Ӱ Ӱ́ Ӳ
Ү Ү́ Ұ Х̑ Ҳ Ӽ Ӿ
Һ Һ̈ Ԧ Ҵ Ҷ
Ӵ Ӌ Ҹ Ҽ
Ҿ Ы̆ Ы̄ Ӹ Ҍ Э̆ Э̄
Э̇ Ӭ Ӭ́ Ӭ̄ Ю̆ Ю̈ Ю̈́
Ю̄ Я̆ Я̄ Я̈ Ԙ Ԝ Ӏ
Archaic letters
Ҁ Ѻ
ОУ Ѡ Ѽ Ѿ
Ѣ Ѥ Ѧ
Ѫ Ѩ Ѭ Ѯ
Ѱ Ѳ Ѵ Ѷ

Ghe or Ge (Г г; italics: Г г) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. It is also known in some languages as He. It commonly represents the voiced velar plosive /ɡ/, like 〈g〉 in "go".

It is generally romanized using the Latin letter G, but to romanize Belarusian, Ukrainian and Rusyn, the Latin letter H is used.

History[edit]

The Cyrillic letter Ghe was derived directly from the Greek letter Gamma (Γ γ), but the lowercase form is a small version of the capital letter.

In the Early Cyrillic alphabet, its name was глаголи (ɡlaɡoli), meaning "speak".

In the Cyrillic numeral system, it had a numerical value of 3.

Usage in Slavic languages[edit]

South Slavic[edit]

In standard Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian the letter Ghe represents a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ but is devoiced to [k] word-finally or before a voiceless consonant.

Russian[edit]

In standard Russian, Ghe represents the voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ but is devoiced to [k] word-finally or before a voiceless consonant. It represents /ɡʲ/ before a palatalizing vowel. In the Southern Russian dialect, the sound becomes the velar fricative /ɣ/. Sometimes, the sound is the glottal fricative /ɦ/ in the regions bordering Belarus and Ukraine.

It is acceptable, for some people, to pronounce certain Russian words with [ɣ] (sometimes referred to as Ukrainian Ge): Бог, богатый, благо, Господь (Bog, bogatyj, blago, Gospod’). The sound is normally considered nonstandard or dialectal in Russian and is avoided by educated Russian speakers. Бог (Bog, "God") is always pronounced [box] in the nominative case.[1]

In the Russian nominal genitive ending -ого, -его, Ghe represents [v], including in the word сегодня ("today", from сего дня).

It represents a voiceless [x] (not [k]) in front of Ka in two Russian words, namely, мягкий and лёгкий, and their derivatives.

The Latin letter H of words of Latin, Greek, English or German origin is usually transliterated into Russian with Ghe rather than Kha: heroгерой, hamburgerгамбургер, HaydnГайдн. That can occasionally cause ambiguity, as for example English Harry and Gary/Garry would be spelled the same in Russian:/Гарри Поттер). The reasons for using Ghe to write h are fairly complex/but include the fact that Ghe is used for h in Ukrainian, Belarusian and some Russian dialects, along with the perception that Kha sounds too harsh. Nevertheless, in newer loanwords (especially from English), Kha is often used.

Belarusian and Ukrainian[edit]

In Ukrainian represents a voiced glottal fricative [ɦ], a breathy voiced counterpart of the English [h].

In Belarusian (like in Southern Russian), the letter corresponds to velar fricative /ɣ/ and it soft counterpart /ɣʲ/.

In Ukrainian and Belarusian, a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ is present only in loanwords and is written with the Cyrillic letter Ghe with upturn (Ґ ґ) in Ukrainian and with the digraph кг in Belarusian. In both languages, the letter is called He and transliterated with H rather than with G.

Usage in non-Slavic languages[edit]

In many non-Slavic languages it can represent both /g/ and /ʁ~ɣ/ (the latter mostly in Turkic and some Finno-Ugric languages).

Related letters and other similar characters[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

Character Г г
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER GHE CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER GHE
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1043 U+0413 1075 U+0433
UTF-8 208 147 D0 93 208 179 D0 B3
Numeric character reference Г Г г г
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 231 E7 199 C7
CP 855 173 AD 172 AC
Windows-1251 195 C3 227 E3
ISO-8859-5 179 B3 211 D3
Mac Cyrillic 131 83 227 E3

References[edit]

  1. ^ Звуки на месте буквы г [Sounds in place of the letter г]. Scholarly Dialectical Atlas (in Russian). map 14. 

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of Г at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of г at Wiktionary