D is the fourth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The Semitic letter Dâlet may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are various 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. In most languages using the Latin alphabet, ⟨d⟩ represents the voiced alveolar plosive /d/, but in the Vietnamese alphabet it represents the sound /z/ (pronounced /j/ in the southern variety). In Fijian it represents a prenasalized stop /nd/. 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.
Tag descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.