D

For technical reasons, "D#" redirects here. For D-sharp, see D♯ (disambiguation).
Writing cursive forms of D

D (named dee /ˈd/[1]) is the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History

Egyptian hieroglyph
door
Phoenician
daleth
Greek
Delta
Etruscan
D
Roman
D

The Semitic letter Dāleth may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are many different Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek and Latin, the letter represented /d/; in the Etruscan alphabet the letter was superfluous but still retained (see letter B). The equivalent Greek letter is Delta, Δ.

The minuscule (lower-case) form of 'd' consists of a loop and a tall vertical stroke. It developed by gradual variations on the majuscule (capital) form. In handwriting, it was common to start the arc to the left of the vertical stroke, resulting in a serif at the top of the arc. This serif was extended while the rest of the letter was reduced, resulting in an angled stroke and loop. The angled stroke slowly developed into a vertical stroke.

Use in writing systems

The letter D, standing for "Deutschland" (German for "Germany"), on a boundary stone at the border between Austria and Germany.

In most languages that use the Latin alphabet, and in the International Phonetic Alphabet, ⟨d⟩ generally represents the voiced alveolar or voiced dental plosive /d/. However, in the Vietnamese alphabet, it represents the sound /z/ in northern dialects or /j/ in southern dialects. (See D with stroke and Dz (digraph).) In Fijian it represents a prenasalized stop /nd/.[2] In some languages where voiceless unaspirated stops contrast with voiceless aspirated stops, ⟨d⟩ represents an unaspirated /t/, while ⟨t⟩ represents an aspirated /tʰ/. Examples of such languages include Icelandic, Scottish Gaelic, Navajo and the Pinyin transliteration of Mandarin.

Related characters

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

• 𐤃 : Semitic letter Dalet, from which the following symbols originally derive
• Δ δ : Greek letter Delta, from which the following symbols originally derive
• Ⲇ ⲇ : Coptic letter Delta
• Д д : Cyrillic letter De
• 𐌃 : Old Italic D, the ancestor of modern Latin D
•  : Runic letter dagaz, which is possibly a descendent of Old Italic D
• Runic letter thurisaz, another possible descendent of Old Italic D
• 𐌳 : Gothic letter daaz, which derives from Greek Delta

Computing codes

Character D d
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER D   LATIN SMALL LETTER D
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 68 U+0044 100 U+0064
UTF-8 68 44 100 64
Numeric character reference &#68; &#x44; &#100; &#x64;
EBCDIC family 196 C4 132 84
ASCII 1 68 44 100 64
1 Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

In British Sign Language (BSL), the letter 'd' is indicated by signing with the right hand held with the index and thumb extended and slightly curved, and the tip of the thumb and finger held against the extended index of the left hand.

References

1. ^ "D" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "dee", op. cit.
2. ^ Lynch, John (1998). Pacific languages: an introduction. University of Hawaii Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-8248-1898-9.
3. ^ Gordon, Arthur E. (1983). Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy. University of California Press. p. 44. ISBN 9780520038981. Retrieved 3 October 2015.