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F or f (pronounced: [ ʔɛf ]) is the sixth letter of the classical and modern Latin alphabet . It's a consonant . In German, the f the phonetic value [⁠ f ⁠] . This sound is a voiceless labiodental fricative . The letter F has an average frequency of 1.66% in German-language texts. This makes it the 18th most common letter in German texts .

The letter F in the finger alphabet

The finger alphabet for the deaf or hard of hearing represents the letter F , with the thumb and index finger forming a closed circle and the remaining three fingers pointing parallel upwards.

Waw sign (Protosinaitic) Phoenician vaw Greek digamma Etruscan W Etruscan F. Latin F.
Waw sign (Protosinaitic) Phoenician vaw Greek digamma Etruscan W Etruscan F. Latin F.

Nothing is known about the sound value and meaning of the letter in the Protosinaitic script , the corresponding symbol represents a hook or a club with a round tip. In the Phoenician alphabet , the letter lost its tip and looked like a rounded Y. The letter was named Waw and was used to the phonetic value [⁠ w ⁠] display.

In the early Greek alphabet , the letter was twice taken: firstly, as Digamma identifying the consonants [⁠ w ⁠] , on the other as Ypsilon that initially the vowel [⁠ u ⁠] called. Until the Classical Greek Digamma, however, was rendered useless because the anlautende [⁠ w ⁠] was not more pronounced before vowels. The letter was removed from the Greek alphabet, but still lived on as a symbol for the number 6.

The Etruscans adopted the early Greek digamma and its sound value. The Etruscan language also knew the sound [⁠ f ⁠] , this sound existed in Ancient Greek, not (the Phi originally stood for [ P ], later [was f ] thereof). The Etruscans used the digamma in combination with the letter H to represent this sound. In a write from right to left, the letter combination is as follows: . Later, the Etruscans led a separate letter for the [f] According to one, namely: . The origin of this letter is unclear. EtruscanH-01.pngEtruscanF-01.pngEtruscanF-02.png

When the Romans took over the alphabet from the Etruscans, they did not use the letter EtruscanF-02.png, but the first part of the combination to reproduce the sound [f]. EtruscanH-01.pngEtruscanF-01.png

Web links

Commons : F  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: F  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: f  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations