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Sha (Ш ш; italics: Ш ш) is a letter of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts. It commonly represents the voiceless postalveolar fricative /ʃ/. More precisely, the sound in Russian denoted by ш is commonly transcribed as a palatoalveolar fricative but is actually a voiceless retroflex fricative. It is used in every variation of the Cyrillic alphabet for Slavic and non-Slavic languages.
Sha has its earliest origins in Phoenician Shin and is linked closely to Shin's Greek equivalent: Sigma (Σ, σ, ς). (The similar form of the modern Hebrew Shin (ש), which is probably where the Cyrillic letter was actually derived from,[contradictory] derives from the same Proto-Canaanite source). Sha already possessed its current form in Saints Cyril and Methodius's Glagolitic alphabet. Most Cyrillic letter-forms were derived from the Greek, but as there was no Greek sign for the Sha sound (modern Greek uses simply "Σ/σ/ς" to spell the sh-sound in foreign words and names), Glagolitic Sha was adopted unchanged. There is also a possibility that Sha was taken from the Coptic alphabet, which is the same as the Greek alphabet but with a few letters added at the end, including one called "shai" (Ϣϣ) which somewhat resembles both sha and shcha (Щ, щ) in appearance.
Use in mathematics
The Cyrillic letter Ш is internationally used in mathematics for several concepts:
In algebraic geometry, the Tate–Shafarevich group of an Abelian variety A over a field K is denoted Ш(A/K), a notation first suggested by J. W. S. Cassels. (Previously it had been denoted TS.) Presumably the choice comes from the first letter of Шафаре́вич = Shafarevich.
In a different mathematical context, some authors allude to the shape of the letter Sha when they use the term Shah function for what is otherwise called a Dirac comb.
- Ⱎ : Glagolitic letter Sha/ša
- Ⱋ : Glagolitic letter Shta/šta or Shcha/šča
- ש : Hebrew letter Shin/Sin
- Щ щ : Cyrillic letter Shcha
- ⧢ : Shuffle product
- Ʃ ʃ : Latin letter Esh
- Š š : Latin letter S with caron
- Ŝ ŝ : Latin letter S with circumflex
- Ş ş : Latin letter S with cedilla
- Ș ș : Latin letter S with comma below
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER SHA||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER SHA|
|UTF-8||208 168||D0 A8||209 136||D1 88|
|Numeric character reference||Ш
|Named character reference||Ш||ш|
|KOI8-R and KOI8-U||251||FB||219||DB|
|Code page 855||246||F6||245||F5|
|Code page 866||152||98||232||E8|