Gamma

Gamma (uppercase Γ, lowercase γ; Greek: γάμμα gámma) is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 3. In Ancient Greek, the letter gamma represented a voiced velar stop /ɡ/. In Modern Greek, this letter represents either a voiced velar fricative or a voiced palatal fricative.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet and other modern Latin-alphabet based phonetic notations, it represents the voiced velar fricative.

History

The Greek letter Gamma Γ was derived from the Phoenician letter for the /g/ phoneme (𐤂 gīml), and as such is cognate with Hebrew gimel ג.

Based on its name, the letter has been interpreted as an abstract representation of a camel's neck,[1] but this has been criticized as contrived,[2] and it is more likely that the letter is derived from an Egyptian hieroglyph representing a club or throwing stick.[3]

In Archaic Greece, the shape of gamma was closer to a classical lambda (Λ), while lambda retained the Phoenician L-shape (𐌋).

Letters that arose from the Greek gamma include Etruscan (Old Italic) 𐌂, Roman C and G, Runic kaunan , Gothic geuua 𐌲, the Coptic Ⲅ, and the Cyrillic letters Г and Ґ.[4]

Greek phoneme

The Ancient Greek /g/ phoneme was the voiced velar stop, continuing the reconstructed proto-Indo-European *g, .

The modern Greek phoneme represented by gamma is realized either as a voiced palatal fricative (/ʝ/) before a front vowel (/e/, /i/), or as a voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ in all other environments. Both in Ancient and in Modern Greek, before other velar consonants (κ, χ, ξ k, kh, ks), gamma represents a velar nasal /ŋ/. A double gamma γγ represents the sequence /ŋɡ/ (phonetically varying [ŋɡ~ɡ]) or /ŋɣ/.

Phonetic transcription

Lowercase Greek gamma is used in the Americanist phonetic notation and Uralic Phonetic Alphabet to indicate voiced consonants.

The gamma was also added to the Latin alphabet, as Latin gamma, in the following forms: majuscule Ɣ, minuscule ɣ, and superscript modifier letter ˠ.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet the minuscule letter is used to represent a voiced velar fricative and the superscript modifier letter is used to represent velarization. It is not to be confused with the character ɤ, which looks like a lowercase Latin gamma that lies above the baseline rather than crossing, and which represents the close-mid back unrounded vowel. In certain nonstandard variations of the IPA, the uppercase form is used.

It is as a full-fledged majuscule and minuscule letter in the alphabets of some of languages of Africa such as Dagbani, Dinka, Kabye, and Ewe,[5] and Berber languages using the Berber Latin alphabet.

It is sometimes also used in the romanization of Pashto.

Mathematics and science

Lowercase

The lowercase letter is used as a symbol for:

The lowercase Latin gamma ɣ can also be used in contexts (such as chemical or molecule nomenclature) where gamma must not be confused with the letter y, which can occur in some computer typefaces.

Uppercase

The uppercase letter is used as a symbol for:

Encoding

HTML

The HTML entities for uppercase and lowercase gamma are Γ and γ.

Unicode

  • Greek Gamma
CharacterΓγ
Unicode nameGREEK CAPITAL LETTER GAMMAGREEK SMALL LETTER GAMMAGREEK LETTER SMALL CAPITAL GAMMAMODIFIER LETTER SMALL GREEK GAMMAGREEK SUBSCRIPT SMALL LETTER GAMMA
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode915U+0393947U+03B37462U+1D267518U+1D5E7527U+1D67
UTF-8206 147CE 93206 179CE B3225 180 166E1 B4 A6225 181 158E1 B5 9E225 181 167E1 B5 A7
Numeric character referenceΓΓγγᴦᴦᵞᵞᵧᵧ
Named character referenceΓγ
  • Coptic Gamma
Character
Unicode nameCOPTIC CAPITAL LETTER GAMMACOPTIC SMALL LETTER GAMMA
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode11396U+2C8411397U+2C85
UTF-8226 178 132E2 B2 84226 178 133E2 B2 85
Numeric character referenceⲄⲄⲅⲅ
CharacterƔɣˠɤ
Unicode nameLATIN CAPITAL LETTER GAMMALATIN SMALL LETTER GAMMAMODIFIER LETTER SMALL GAMMALATIN SMALL LETTER RAMS HORN
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode404U+0194611U+0263736U+02E0612U+0264
UTF-8198 148C6 94201 163C9 A3203 160CB A0201 164C9 A4
Numeric character referenceƔƔɣɣˠˠɤɤ
  • CJK Square Gamma
Character
Unicode nameSQUARE GAMMA
Encodingsdecimalhex
Unicode13071U+330F
UTF-8227 140 143E3 8C 8F
Numeric character reference㌏㌏
  • Technical / Mathematical Gamma
Character𝚪𝛄𝛤𝛾
Unicode nameDOUBLE-STRUCK
CAPITAL GAMMA
DOUBLE-STRUCK
SMALL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL BOLD
CAPITAL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL BOLD
SMALL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL ITALIC
CAPITAL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL ITALIC
SMALL GAMMA
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode8510U+213E8509U+213D120490U+1D6AA120516U+1D6C4120548U+1D6E4120574U+1D6FE
UTF-8226 132 190E2 84 BE226 132 189E2 84 BD240 157 154 170F0 9D 9A AA240 157 155 132F0 9D 9B 84240 157 155 164F0 9D 9B A4240 157 155 190F0 9D 9B BE
UTF-168510213E8509213D55349 57002D835 DEAA55349 57028D835 DEC455349 57060D835 DEE455349 57086D835 DEFE
Numeric character referenceℾℾℽℽ𝚪𝚪𝛄𝛄𝛤𝛤𝛾𝛾
Character𝜞𝜸𝝘𝝲𝞒𝞬
Unicode nameMATHEMATICAL BOLD ITALIC
CAPITAL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL BOLD ITALIC
SMALL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL SANS-SERIF
BOLD CAPITAL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL SANS-SERIF
BOLD SMALL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL SANS-SERIF
BOLD ITALIC CAPITAL GAMMA
MATHEMATICAL SANS-SERIF
BOLD ITALIC SMALL GAMMA
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode120606U+1D71E120632U+1D738120664U+1D758120690U+1D772120722U+1D792120748U+1D7AC
UTF-8240 157 156 158F0 9D 9C 9E240 157 156 184F0 9D 9C B8240 157 157 152F0 9D 9D 98240 157 157 178F0 9D 9D B2240 157 158 146F0 9D 9E 92240 157 158 172F0 9D 9E AC
UTF-1655349 57118D835 DF1E55349 57144D835 DF3855349 57176D835 DF5855349 57202D835 DF7255349 57234D835 DF9255349 57260D835 DFAC
Numeric character reference𝜞𝜞𝜸𝜸𝝘𝝘𝝲𝝲𝞒𝞒𝞬𝞬

These characters are used only as mathematical symbols. Stylized Greek text should be encoded using the normal Greek letters, with markup and formatting to indicate text style.

See also

References

  1. Russell, Bertrand (1972). A history of western philosophy (60th print. ed.). New York: Touchstone book. ISBN 9780671314002.
  2. Powell, Barry B. (2012). Writing: Theory and History of the Technology of Civilization. John Wiley & Sons. p. 182. ISBN 978-1-118-29349-2.
  3. Hamilton, Gordon James (2006). The Origins of the West Semitic Alphabet in Egyptian Scripts. Catholic Biblical Association of America. pp. 53–6. ISBN 978-0-915170-40-1.
  4. "Greek Alphabet Symbols". Rapid Tables. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  5. Practical Orthography of African Languages
  6. François Cardarelli (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Springer-Verlag London Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.