N
N n
Usage
Writing systemLatin script
TypeAlphabetic and Logographic
Language of originLatin language
Phonetic usage[n]
[ŋ]
[ɲ]
[ɳ]
[nˠ]
[]
[◌̃]
/ɛn/
Unicode codepointU+004E, U+006E
Alphabetical position14
History
Development
Time period~-700 to present
Descendants •
 • Ƞ
 • Ŋ
 • ɧ
 • ʩ
SistersН
Ң
Ӊ
Ӈ
Ԋ
נ
ן
ن
ܢ

ނ
Ն ն
Մ մ





Other
Other letters commonly used withn(x), nh, ng, ny
Writing directionLeft-to-Right
This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

N, or n, is the fourteenth letter of the Latin alphabet, used in the modern English alphabet, the alphabets of other western European languages, and others worldwide. Its name in English is en (pronounced /ˈɛn/), plural ens.[1]

History

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Egyptian hieroglyph
Phoenician
Nun
Western Greek
Nu
Etruscan
N
Latin
N
D
Latin N

One of the most common hieroglyphs, snake, was used in Egyptian writing to stand for a sound like the English J, because the Egyptian word for "snake" was djet. It is speculated by many[who?] that Semitic speakers working in Egypt adapted hieroglyphics to create the first alphabet, and that they used the same snake symbol to represent N, because their word for "snake" may have begun with that sound. However, the name for the letter in the Phoenician, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic alphabets is nun, which means "fish" in some of these languages. The sound value of the letter was /n/—as in Greek, Etruscan, Latin, and modern languages.

Use in writing systems

Pronunciation of ⟨n⟩ by language
Orthography Phonemes
Standard Chinese (Pinyin) /n/
English /n/, silent
French /n/
German /n/
Portuguese /n/
Spanish /n/
Turkish /n/

English

In English, ⟨n⟩ usually represents a voiced alveolar nasal /n/, but can represent other nasal consonants due to assimilation. For example, before a velar plosive (as in ink or jungle), ⟨n⟩ represents a voiced velar nasal /ŋ/.

⟨n⟩ is generally silent when it is preceded by an ⟨m⟩ at the end of words, as in hymn; however, it is pronounced in this combination when occurring word medially, as in hymnal.

On the other hand, other consonants are often silent when they precede an ⟨n⟩ at the beginning of an English word. Examples include gnome, knife, mnemonic, and pneumonia.

⟨n⟩ is the sixth-most common letter and the second-most commonly used consonant in the English language (after ⟨t⟩).[2]

Other languages

The letter ⟨n⟩ represents a voiced dental nasal /n̪/ or voiced alveolar nasal /n/ in virtually all languages that use the Latin alphabet.

In many languages, these nasal consonants assimilate to the consonant that follows them to produce other nasal consonants.

In Italian and French, ⟨gn⟩ represents a palatal nasal /ɲ/. The Portuguese and Vietnamese spelling for this sound is ⟨nh⟩, while Spanish, Breton, and a few other languages use the letter ñ.

A common digraph with ⟨n⟩ is ⟨ng⟩, which represents a voiced velar nasal /ŋ/ in a variety of languages.[3][4]

Other systems

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, ⟨n⟩ represents the voiced alveolar nasal /n/.

Other uses

Main article: N (disambiguation)

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

Other representations

Computing

Character information
Preview N n
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N LATIN SMALL LETTER N FULLWIDTH LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N FULLWIDTH LATIN SMALL LETTER N
Encodings decimal hex dec hex dec hex dec hex
Unicode 78 U+004E 110 U+006E 65326 U+FF2E 65358 U+FF4E
UTF-8 78 4E 110 6E 239 188 174 EF BC AE 239 189 142 EF BD 8E
Numeric character reference N N n n N N n n
EBCDIC family 213 D5 149 95
ASCII 1 78 4E 110 6E
1 Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other

NATO phonetic Morse code
November
  ▄▄▄ ▄ 

⠝
Signal flag Flag semaphore American manual alphabet (ASL fingerspelling) British manual alphabet (BSL fingerspelling) Braille dots-1345
Unified English Braille

See also

References

  1. ^ "N" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "en," op. cit.
  2. ^ "English Letter Frequency".
  3. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Everson, Michael (2001-09-20). "L2/01-347: Proposal to add six phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b Everson, Michael; Dicklberger, Alois; Pentzlin, Karl; Wandl-Vogt, Eveline (2011-06-02). "L2/11-202: Revised proposal to encode "Teuthonista" phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF).
  5. ^ Constable, Peter (2003-09-30). "L2/03-174R2: Proposal to Encode Phonetic Symbols with Middle Tilde in the UCS" (PDF).
  6. ^ a b c Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF).
  7. ^ Miller, Kirk (2020-07-11). "L2/20-125R: Unicode request for expected IPA retroflex letters and similar letters with hooks" (PDF).
  8. ^ Anderson, Deborah (2020-12-07). "L2/21-021: Reference doc numbers for L2/20-266R "Consolidated code chart of proposed phonetic characters" and IPA etc. code point and name changes" (PDF).
  9. ^ Miller, Kirk; Ball, Martin (2020-07-11). "L2/20-116R: Expansion of the extIPA and VoQS" (PDF).
  10. ^ Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF).
  11. ^ Everson, Michael; et al. (2002-03-20). "L2/02-141: Uralic Phonetic Alphabet characters for the UCS" (PDF).
  12. ^ Ruppel, Klaas; Aalto, Tero; Everson, Michael (2009-01-27). "L2/09-028: Proposal to encode additional characters for the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet" (PDF).
  13. ^ Miller, Kirk; Rees, Neil (2021-07-16). "L2/21-156: Unicode request for legacy Malayalam" (PDF).