Pe is the seventeenth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Pē , Hebrew Pē , פ Aramaic Pē , Syriac Pē , and ܦ Arabic Fāʼ ف (in abjadi order).
The original sound value is a
voiceless bilabial plosive: /p/; it retains this value in most Semitic languages except for Arabic, which having lost /p/ now uses it to render a voiceless labiodental fricative /f/.
The Phoenician letter gave rise to the
Greek Pi (Π), Latin P, and Cyrillic П.
Origins [ edit ]
Pe is usually assumed to come from a pictogram of a mouth (in
Hebrew pe; in Arabic, فاه fah).
Hebrew Pe [ edit ]
The Hebrew spelling is
. It is also romanized פֵּא pey, especially when used in Yiddish. [1 ] [2 ]
Variations on written form/pronunciation [ edit ]
The letter Pe is one of the six letters which can receive a
Dagesh Kal. The six are Bet, Gimel, Daleth, Kaph, Pe, and Tav.
There are two orthographic variants of this letter which indicate a different pronunciation:
Pe with the dagesh [ edit ]
When the Pe has a "dot" in its center, known as a
dagesh, it represents a voiceless bilabial plosive, /p/. There are various rules in Hebrew grammar that stipulate when and why a dagesh is used.
When Pe appears
without the dagesh dot in its center ( ), then it usually represents a פ voiceless labiodental fricative /f/.
Final form of Pe/Fe [ edit ]
At the end of words, the letter's written form changes to a
Pe/Fe Sophit (Final Pe/Fe):
This does not alter the pronunciation. ף
When a word in modern Hebrew borrowed from another language ends in
/p/, a pe with a dagesh at the end of the word is used instead of the final form, as a word almost never ends with a letter containing a Dagesh, except for very few biblical exceptions. A Pe sofit is virtually non-existent in Hebrew and is not used in standard Yiddish orthography.
Significance [ edit ]
gematria, Pe represents the number 80. Its final form represents 800 but this is rarely used, Tav written twice (400+400) being used instead.
Arabic fāʼ [ edit ]
ﻑ is named ﻓﺎء . It is written is several ways depending in its position in the word: fāʾ
Position in word:
Normally, the letter
ﻑ renders fāʼ /f/ sound, but may also be used some names and loanwords where it can render /v/, might be arabized as /f/ in accordance to its spelling, e.g., يُونِيلِفِر ( Unilever). It may be used interchangeably with the modified letter - ﭪ (with 3 dots above) in this case. ve
In the process of developing from
Proto-Semitic, Proto-Semitic /p/ became Arabic /f/, and this is reflected in the use of the letter representing /p/ in other Semitic languages for /f/ in Arabic.
Examples on usage in
Modern Standard Arabic:
( Fāʾ- fatḥah فَـ /fa/) is a multi-function prefix most commonly equivalent to "so" or "so that." For example: نَكْتُب ("we write") → naktub فَنَكْتُب ("so we write"). fanaktub
Other similar letters [ edit ]
The unrelated letter
pe is used in Persian & Urdu. پ
For more details, see also Pe (Persian letter).
Unicode character name (or descriptive synonyms used in the JoiningType and JoiningGroup datatables)
ARABIC LETTER FEH
ڡـ ARABIC LETTER DOTLESS FEH
ڢـ ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH DOT MOVED BELOW
ڣـ ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH DOT BELOW
ڤـ ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH 3 DOTS ABOVE = VEH
ڥـ ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH 3 DOTS BELOW = MAGHRIBI VEH
ڦـ ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH 4 DOTS ABOVE = PEHEH
ݠـ ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH 2 DOTS BELOW
ݡـ ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH 3 DOTS POINTING UPWARDS BELOW
ࢤـ ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH DOT BELOW AND THREE DOTS ABOVE
Character encodings [ edit ]
HEBREW LETTER PE
HEBREW LETTER FINAL PE
ARABIC LETTER FEH
SYRIAC LETTER PE
SAMARITAN LETTER PI
UTF-8 215 164
224 160 144
E0 A0 90
Numeric character reference פ
UGARITIC LETTER PU
IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER PE
PHOENICIAN LETTER PE
UTF-8 240 144 142 148
F0 90 8E 94
240 144 161 144
F0 90 A1 90
240 144 164 144
F0 90 A4 90
UTF-16 55296 57236
Numeric character reference 𐎔
References [ edit ]