Ç

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Ç
Ç ç
(See below)
Writing cursive forms of Ç
Usage
Writing systemLatin script
TypeAlphabetic and Logographic
Language of originOld Spanish language
Phonetic usage[s]
[t͡ʃ]
[d͡ʒ]
[t͡s]
[d͡z]
[ç]
[ɽ]
[ǂ]
/ˈssɪˈdɪlə/
Unicode valueU+00C7, U+00E7
History
Development
Time period~900 to present
DescendantsNone
SistersNone
Transliteration equivalentsch, c, s, ts
Variations(See below)
Other
Other letters commonly used withc, ch, s, ts

Ç or ç (c-cedilla) is a Latin script letter, used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Manx, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish, Zazaki, and Romance alphabets. Romance languages that use this letter include Catalan, French, Friulian, Ligurian, Occitan, and Portuguese as a variant of the letter C. It is also occasionally used in Crimean Tatar and in Tajik (when written in the Latin script) to represent the /d͡ʒ/ sound. It is often retained in the spelling of loanwords from any of these languages in English, Basque, Dutch, Spanish and other Latin script spelled languages.

It was first used for the sound of the voiceless alveolar affricate /t͡s/ in Old Spanish and stems from the Visigothic form of the letter z (). The phoneme originated in Vulgar Latin from the palatalization of the plosives /t/ and /k/ in some conditions. Later, /t͡s/ changed into /s/ in many Romance languages and dialects. Spanish has not used the symbol since an orthographic reform in the 18th century (which replaced ç with the now-devoiced z), but it was adopted for writing other languages.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, /ç/ represents the voiceless palatal fricative.

Usage as a letter variant in various languages[edit]

Evolution from Visigoth Z to modern Ç.

In many languages, ⟨ç⟩ represents the "soft" sound /s/ where a ⟨c⟩ would normally represent the "hard" sound /k/. These include:

  • Catalan. Known as ce trencada ('broken C') in this language, where it can be used before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or at the end of a word. Some examples of words with ⟨ç⟩ are amenaça ('menace'), torçat ('twisted'), xoriço ('chorizo'), forçut ('strong'), dolç ('sweet') and caça ('hunting'). A well-known word with this character is Barça, a common Catalan clipping of Futbol Club Barcelona.
  • French (cé cédille): français ('French'), garçon ('boy'), façade ('frontage'), grinçant ('squeaking'), leçon ('lesson'), reçu ('received' [past participle]). French does not use the character at the end of a word but it can occur at the beginning of a word (e.g., ça, 'that').[1]
  • Occitan (ce cedilha): torçut ('twisted'), çò ('this'), ça que la ('nevertheless'), braç ('arm'), brèç ('cradle'), voraç ('voracious'). It can occur at the beginning of a word.
  • Portuguese (cê-cedilha or cê cedilhado): it is used before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩: taça ('cup'), braço ('arm'), açúcar ('sugar'). Modern Portuguese does not use the character at the beginning or at the end of a word (the nickname for Conceição is São, not Ção). According to a Portuguese grammar written in 1550, the letter ç had the sound of /dz/ around that time. Another grammar written around 1700 would say that the letter ç sounds like /s/, which shows a phonetic evolution that is still valid today.
  • Manx aaçhent ('to flash back'), atçhim ('terror'), çhaggil ('Gather') the digraph çh makes a /tʃ/ sound and so does tçh

In other languages, it represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate /t͡ʃ/ (like ⟨ch⟩ in English chalk):

  • Friulian (c cun cedilie) before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or at the end of a word.
  • Turkish: çelik ('steel'), çilek ('strawberry'), and çamur ('mud').

In Manx, it is used in the digraph ⟨çh⟩, which also represents /t͡ʃ/, to differentiate it from normal ⟨ch⟩, which represents /x/.

In loanwords only[edit]

  • In Basque, ⟨ç⟩ (known as ze hautsia) is used in the loanword curaçao.
  • In Dutch, it can be found in some words from French and Portuguese, such as façade, reçu, Provençaals and Curaçao.
  • In English, ⟨ç⟩ is used in loanwords such as façade and limaçon (although the cedilla mark is often dropped: ⟨facade⟩, ⟨limacon⟩).
  • In modern Spanish it can appear in loanwords, especially in Catalan proper nouns.

Usage as a separate letter in various languages[edit]

It represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate /t͡ʃ/ in the following languages:

It previously represented a voiceless palatal click /ǂ/ in Juǀʼhoansi and Naro, though the former has replaced it with ⟨ǂ⟩ and the latter with ⟨tc⟩.

The similarly shaped letter the (Ҫ ҫ) is used in the Cyrillic alphabets of Bashkir and Chuvash to represent /θ/ and /ɕ/, respectively.

It also represents the retroflex flap /ɽ/ in the Rohingya Latin alphabet.

Janalif uses this letter to represent the voiced postalveolar affricate /d͡ʒ/

[1]Computer[edit]

Character Ç ç
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA LATIN SMALL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA LATIN CAPITAL LETTER VISIGOTHIC Z LATIN SMALL LETTER VISIGOTHIC Z
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 199 U+00C7 231 U+00E7 42850 U+A762 42851 U+A763
UTF-8 195 135 C3 87 195 167 C3 A7 234 157 162 EA 9D A2 234 157 163 EA 9D A3
Numeric character reference Ç Ç ç ç Ꝣ Ꝣ ꝣ ꝣ
Named character reference Ç ç

Input[edit]

On Albanian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish and Italian keyboards, Ç is directly available as a separate key; however, on most other keyboards, including the US and British keyboard, a combination of keys must be used:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The French Academy online dictionary also gives çà and çûdra.