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Cyrillic letter Ge or He
Phonetic usage:[ɡ], [k], [v], [ɦ], [ɣ]
Name (Early Cyrillic alphabet):глаголи
Numeric value:3
Derived from:Greek letter Gamma (Γ γ)
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
АА̀А̂А̄ӒБВГ
ҐДЂЃЕЀЕ̄Е̂
ЁЄЖЗЗ́ЅИІ
ЇЍИ̂ӢЙЈК
ЛЉМНЊОО̀О̂
ŌӦПРСС́ТЋ
ЌУУ̀У̂ӮЎӰФ
ХЦЧЏШЩЪ
Ъ̀ЫЬѢЭЮЮ̀Я
Я̀
Non-Slavic letters
ӐА̊А̃Ӓ̄ӔӘӘ́Ә̃
ӚВ̌ԜГ̑Г̇Г̣Г̌Г̂
Г̆Г̈г̊ҔҒӺҒ̌
ғ̊ӶД́Д̌Д̈Д̣Д̆
ӖЕ̃Ё̄Є̈ԐԐ̈ҖӜ
ӁЖ̣ҘӞЗ̌З̣З̆Ӡ
И̃ӤҊҚӃҠҞҜ
К̣к̊қ̊ԚЛ́ӅԮ
ԒЛ̈ӍН́ӉҢԨ
ӇҤО̆О̃Ӧ̄ӨӨ̄Ө́
Ө̆ӪԤП̈ҎР̌С̌Ҫ
С̣С̱Т́Т̈Т̌Т̇Т̣Ҭ
У̃ӲУ̊Ӱ̄ҰҮҮ́
Х̣Х̱Х̮Х̑Х̌ҲӼх̊
Ӿӿ̊ҺҺ̈ԦЦ̌Ц̈Ҵ
ҶҶ̣ӴӋҸЧ̇Ч̣
ҼҾШ̣Ы̆Ы̄Ӹ
ҌҨЭ̆Э̄Э̇ӬӬ́Ӭ̄
Ю̆Ю̈Ю̄Я̆Я̄Я̈Ӏʼ
ˮ
Archaic or unused letters
А̨Б̀Б̣Б̱В̀Г̀Г̧
Г̄Г̓Г̆Ҕ̀Ҕ̆ԀД̓
Д̀Д̨ԂЕ̇Е̨
Ж̀Ж̑Џ̆
Ꚅ̆З̀З̑ԄԆ
ԪІ̂І̣І̨
Ј̵Ј̃К̓К̀К̆Ӄ̆
К̑К̇К̈К̄ԞК̂
Л̀ԠԈЛ̑Л̇Ԕ
М̀М̃Н̀Н̄Н̧
Н̃ԊԢН̡Ѻ
П̓П̀
П́ҦП̧П̑ҀԚ̆Р́
Р̀Р̃ԖС̀С̈ԌҪ̓
Т̓Т̀ԎТ̑Т̧
Ꚍ̆ОУУ̇
У̨ꙋ́Ф̑Ф̓Х́Х̀Х̆Х̇
Х̧Х̾Х̓һ̱ѠѼ
ѾЦ̀Ц́Ц̓Ꚏ̆
Ч́Ч̀Ч̆Ч̑Ч̓
ԬꚆ̆Ҽ̆Ш̀
Ш̆Ш̑Щ̆Ꚗ̆Ъ̄Ъ̈
Ъ̈̄Ы̂Ы̃Ѣ́Ѣ̈Ѣ̆
Э̨Э̂Ю̂
Я̈Я̂Я̨ԘѤѦѪ
ѨѬѮѰѲѴ
Ѷ
Ge, from Alexandre Benois' 1904 alphabet book

Ge, ghe, or he (Г г; italics: Г г) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. Most commonly, it represents the voiced velar plosive /ɡ/, like ⟨g⟩ in "gift", or the voiced glottal fricative [ɦ], like ⟨h⟩ in "heft". It is generally romanized using the Latin letter g or h, depending on the source language.

History

The Cyrillic letter ge was derived directly from the Greek letter Gamma (Γ) in uncial script.

In the Early Cyrillic alphabet, its name was глаголь (glagol' ), meaning "speak".

In the Cyrillic numeral system, it had a numerical value of 3.

Usage in Slavic languages

Г in:
Russian/Serbian normal font;
Bulgarian Cyrillic;
Russian/Bulgarian italic;
Serbian italic

Belarusian, Rusyn, and Ukrainian

From these three languages, the letter is romanized with h. Its name is he in Belarusian and Ukrainian, and hy in Rusyn.

In Belarusian (like in Southern Russian), the letter corresponds to the velar fricative /ɣ/[1] and its soft counterpart /ɣʲ/.

In Ukrainian and Rusyn, it represents a voiced glottal fricative [ɦ],[1] a breathy voiced counterpart of the English [h].

In Ukrainian and Rusyn, a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ is written with the Cyrillic letter ghe with upturn (Ґ ґ). In Belarusian, the official orthography uses г for both /ɣ/ and /ɡ/ (which is rare), although in Taraškievica ghe with upturn is optionally used for /ɡ/. Ґ is transliterated with G.

In all three languages' historical ancestor Ruthenian, the sound /ɡ/ was also represented by the digraph кг.

Russian

In standard Russian, ghe represents the voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ but is devoiced to [k] word-finally or before a voiceless consonant. It represents /ɡʲ/ before a palatalizing vowel. In the Southern Russian dialect, the sound becomes the velar fricative /ɣ/. Sometimes, the sound is the glottal fricative /ɦ/ in the regions bordering Belarus and Ukraine.

It is acceptable, for some people, to pronounce certain Russian words with [ɣ] (sometimes referred to as Ukrainian Ge): Бог, богатый, благо, Господь (Bog, bogatyj, blago, Gospod’). The sound is normally considered nonstandard or dialectal in Russian and is avoided by educated Russian speakers. Бог (Bog, "God") is always pronounced [box] in the nominative case.[1]

In the Russian nominal genitive ending -ого, -его, ghe represents [v], including in the word сегодня ("today", from сего дня).

It represents a voiceless [x] (not [k]) in front of ka in two Russian words, namely, мягкий and лёгкий, and their derivatives.

The Latin letter h of words of Latin, Greek, English or German origin is usually transliterated into Russian with ghe rather than kha: heroгерой, hamburgerгамбургер, HaydnГайдн. That can occasionally cause ambiguity, as for example English Harry and Gary/Garry would be spelled the same in Russian, e.g. Гарри Поттер). The reasons for using ghe to write h include the fact that ghe is used for h in Ukrainian, Belarusian and some Russian dialects, along with the perception that kha sounds too harsh. Nevertheless, in newer loanwords (especially from English), kha is often used. [citation needed]

South Slavic

In standard Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Bulgarian and Macedonian the letter ghe represents a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/. But in Bulgarian and Macedonian it is devoiced to [k] word-finally or before a voiceless consonant.

Usage in non-Slavic languages

In many non-Slavic languages it can represent both /ɡ/ and /ʁ~ɣ/ (the latter mostly in Turkic and some Finno-Ugric languages).

In Ossetian, an Indo-Iranian language spoken in the Caucasus, ⟨г⟩ represents the voiced velar stop /ɡ/. However, the digraph ⟨гъ⟩ represents the voiced uvular fricative /ʁ/.

Related letters and other similar characters

Computing codes

Character information
Preview Г г
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER GHE CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER GHE
Encodings decimal hex dec hex
Unicode 1043 U+0413 1075 U+0433
UTF-8 208 147 D0 93 208 179 D0 B3
Numeric character reference Г Г г г
Named character reference Г г
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 231 E7 199 C7
CP 855 173 AD 172 AC
Windows-1251 195 C3 227 E3
ISO-8859-5 179 B3 211 D3
Mac Cyrillic 131 83 227 E3

Cultural references

In Russian Empire the name of the letter, glagol' was an informal reference to the Γ-shaped gallows:

Кругом пустыня, дичь и голь,
А в стороне торчит глаголь,
И на глаголе том два тела
Висят. Закаркав, отлетела
Ватага чёрная ворон,...
[All around there is desert, game and bareness... And a glagol' sticks out on the side, And on that glagol' two bodies hang. The gang of black crows croaked and flew off..]
Alexander Pushkin, 1836[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Звуки на месте буквы г [Sounds in place of the letter г]. Scholarly Dialectical Atlas (in Russian). map 14.
  2. ^ Альфонс садится на коня…