|Writing system||Latin script|
|Type||Alphabetic and Logographic|
|Language of origin||Latin language|
|Time period||~-700 to present|
|Descendants|| • U|
|Transliteration equivalents||Y, U, W|
|Other letters commonly used with||v(x)|
V, or v, is the twenty-second letter in the Latin alphabet, used in the modern English alphabet, the alphabets of other western European languages and others worldwide. Its name in English is vee (pronounced /ˈviː/), plural vees.
The letter V ultimately comes from the Phoenician letter waw by way of U. See U for details.
During the Late Middle Ages, two minuscule glyphs of U developed which were both used for sounds including /u/ and modern /v/. The pointed form "v" was written at the beginning of a word, while a rounded form "u" was used in the middle or end, regardless of sound. So whereas "valour" and "excuse" appeared as in modern printing, "have" and "upon" were printed as "haue" and "vpon". The first distinction between the letters "u" and "v" is recorded in a Gothic script from 1386, where "v" preceded "u". By the mid-16th century, the "v" form was used to represent the consonant and "u" the vowel sound, giving us the modern letter V. U and V were not accepted as distinct letters until many years later. The rounded variant became the modern-day version of U, and the letter's former pointed form became V.
In the International Phonetic Alphabet, /v/ represents the voiced labiodental fricative. See Help:IPA.
In English, special rules of orthography normally apply to the letter V:
Like J, K, Q, X, and Z; V is not used very frequently in English. It is the sixth least frequently used letter in the English language, with a frequency of about 1% in words. V is the only letter that cannot be used to form an English two-letter word in the British and Australian versions of the game of Scrabble. It is one of only two letters (the other is C) that cannot be used this way in the American version. V is also the only letter in the English language that is never silent.
The letter appears frequently in the Romance languages, where it is the first letter of the second person plural pronoun and (in Italian and Catalan) the stem of the imperfect form of most verbs.
In Japanese, V is called a variety of names originating in English, most commonly ブイ [bɯi] or [bui], but less nativized variants, violating to an extent the phonotactics of Japanese, of ヴィー [viː], ヴイ [vɯi] or [vui], and ヴィ [vi] are also used. The phoneme /v/ in Japanese is used properly only in loanwords, where the preference for either /v/ or /b/ depends on many factors; in general, words that are perceived to be in common use tend toward /b/.
|/β/||After vowels, l, or r|
|German||Standard||/f/||Typically in Germanic words|
|/v/||Typically in loanwords|
|Irish||/vʲ/||After i, or before e or i|
|Mandarin||Standard||/y/||Pinyin latinization; informal replacement for <ü>|
In most languages which use the Latin alphabet, ⟨v⟩ has a voiced bilabial or labiodental sound. In English, it is a voiced labiodental fricative. In most dialects of Spanish, it is pronounced the same as ⟨b⟩, that is, [b] or [β̞]. In Corsican, it is pronounced [b], [v], [β] or [w], depending on the position in the word and the sentence. In contemporary German, it is pronounced [v] in most loan-words while in native German words, it is always pronounced [f]. In standard Dutch it is traditionally pronounced as [v] but in many regions it is pronounced as [f] in some or all positions.
In Native American languages of North America (mainly Muskhogean and Iroquoian), ⟨v⟩ represents a nasalized central vowel, /ə̃/.
In Chinese Pinyin, while ⟨v⟩ is not used, the letter ⟨v⟩ is used by most input methods to enter letter ⟨ü⟩, which most keyboards lack (Romanised Chinese is a popular method to enter Chinese text). Informal romanizations of Mandarin Chinese use V as a substitute for the close front rounded vowel /y/, properly written ü in pinyin and Wade–Giles.
In Irish, the letter ⟨v⟩ is mostly used in loanwords, such as veidhlín from English violin. However the sound [v] appears naturally in Irish when /b/ (or /m/) is lenited or "softened", represented in the orthography by ⟨bh⟩ (or "mh"), so that bhí is pronounced [vʲiː], an bhean (the woman) is pronounced [ənˠ ˈvʲanˠ], etc. For more information, see Irish phonology.
This letter is not used in the Polish alphabet, where /v/ is spelled with the letter ⟨w⟩ instead, following the convention of German.
In the 19th century, ⟨v⟩ was sometimes[when?] used to transcribe a palatal click, /ǂ/, a function since partly taken over by ⟨ç⟩.
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER V||LATIN SMALL LETTER V|
|Numeric character reference||V
V is the symbol for vanadium. It is number 23 on the periodic table. Emerald derives its green coloring from either vanadium or chromium.
v, v., and vs can also be used as an abbreviation for the word versus when between two or more competing items (Ex: Brown v. Board of Education).