|Cyrillic letter Dze|
|The Cyrillic script|
Dze (Ѕ ѕ) is a letter of the Cyrillic script, used in the Macedonian alphabet to represent the voiced alveolar affricate /d͡z/, similar to the pronunciation of ⟨ds⟩ in "needs" or "kids" in English. It is derived from the letter dzelo or zelo of the Early Cyrillic alphabet, and it was used historically for Old Church Slavonic, Ukrainian, Russian, and Romanian.
Although fully obsolete everywhere in the Cyrillic world by the 19th century, the letter zelo was revived in 1944 by the designers of the alphabet of the then-codified Macedonian language. The phoneme is also present in Greek (ΤΖ τζ) and Albanian (X x), both non-Slavic neighbours to the Macedonian language; all are a part of the Balkan linguistic area. In the early 21st century, the same letter also appeared in Vojislav Nikčević's proposal for the new alphabet for the modern Montenegrin language.
The most common early letterform (Ѕ ѕ) resembles the Latin letter S (S s), but it is also seen reversed (Ꙅ ꙅ) like the Latin letter Reversed S (Ƨ ƨ), or with a tail and a tick (Ꙃ ꙃ).
Abkhaz has Abkhazian Dze (Ӡ ӡ), with an identical function and name but a different shape.
The letter is descended from ѕѣло (pronounced dzělo;
The origin of Glagolitic letter Dzelo is unclear, but the Cyrillic Ѕ may have been influenced by the Greek stigma ⟨Ϛ⟩, the medieval form of the archaic letter digamma, which had the same form and numerical value (6). Thus the visual similarity of the Cyrillic ⟨Ѕ⟩ and Latin ⟨S⟩ is largely coincidental.
The initial sound of ⟨Ѕ⟩ in Old Church Slavonic was a soft /d͡z/ or /z/, which often corresponds in cognates to a /ɡ/ sound in modern Russian, as in мъноѕи (Russian: много), по ноѕѣ (Russian: нога), and растрьѕати (Russian: расторгать). However, in the Old Slavic period the difference between ⟨Ѕ⟩ and ⟨З⟩ had already begun to be blurred, and in the written Church Slavonic language from the middle of the 17th century ⟨Ѕ⟩ was used only formally. The letter's distinguishing features from ⟨З⟩ are:
In Russian it was known as зѣло or zelo [zʲɪˈɫo] and had the phonetic value of /d͡z/, /z/ or /zʲ/.
In the initial version of Russian civil script of Tsar Peter I (1708), the ⟨Ѕ⟩ was assigned the sound /z/, and the letter ⟨З⟩ was abolished. However, in the second version of the civil script (1710), ⟨З⟩ was restored, and ⟨Ѕ⟩ was abolished. Both versions of the alphabet were used until 1735, which is considered the date of the final elimination of ⟨Ѕ⟩ in Russian.
⟨Ѕ⟩ was used in the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet (where it represented /d͡z/) until the alphabet was abolished in favour of a Latin-based alphabet in 1860-62. ⟨Ѕ⟩ was also used—albeit rarely—to the middle of the 19th century in the Serbian civil script, whose orthography was closer to Church Slavonic (compared to Russian). Vuk Karadžić's Serbian Cyrillic alphabet (1868) did not include ⟨Ѕ⟩, instead favouring the digraph ⟨ДЗ⟩ to represent /dz/.
In Ukrainian, the sound /d͡z/ is integrated as part of the language's phonology, but it mainly occurs in loanwords rather than in words of native Ukrainian origin. As such, the digraph ⟨ДЗ⟩ is used to represent both the phoneme /d͡z/ and the separately occurring consonant cluster |d.z| which Ukrainian phonotactics assimilate as /d͡z.z/.
⟨Ѕ⟩ is now only used in the Macedonian alphabet. A commission formed to standardise the Macedonian language and orthography decided to adopt the letter on December 4, 1944, after a vote of 10-1. The letter represents /dz/ (examples including: ѕид/dzid, 'wall' and ѕвезда/dzvezda, 'star'). The corresponding sound is used in all dialects of Macedonian.
⟨Ѕ⟩ is also included in Microsoft's Serbian Cyrillic keyboard layout, although it is not used in the Serbian Cyrillic Alphabet. The Serbian keyboard in Ubuntu replaces Ѕ with a second Ж.
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER DZE||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER DZE||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER REVERSED DZE||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER REVERSED DZE||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER DZELO||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER DZELO|
|UTF-8||208 133||D0 85||209 149||D1 95||234 153 132||EA 99 84||234 153 133||EA 99 85||234 153 130||EA 99 82||234 153 131||EA 99 83|
|Numeric character reference||Ѕ
|Named character reference||Ѕ||ѕ|
|Code page 855||137||89||136||88|