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ISO basic Laitin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg
Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn
Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu
Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

Cursive script 'b' and capital 'B' in the U.S. D'Nealian script style

B (named bee /ˈb/[1]) is the seicont letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is uised tae represent a variety o bilabial soonds (dependin on leid), but maist commonly a voiced bilabial stop.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

The caipital letter 'B' mey hae stairtit as a pictogram o the floorplan o a hoose in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Bi 1050 BC, the Phoenician alphabet's letter haed a linear fairm that served as the beth.

Egyptian hieroglyph
Egyptian hieroglyphic hoose Phoenician beth Greek beta Etruscan B Roman B

Typografie[eedit | eedit soorce]

The modren lawercase 'b' derives frae later Roman times, when scribes began omittin the upper loop o the caipital.

Blackletter B Uncial B
Blackletter B Uncial B
Modren Roman B Modren Italic B Modren Script B
Modren Roman B Modren Italic B Modren Script B

Uise[eedit | eedit soorce]

In Inglis, maist ither leids that uise the Latin alphabet, an the Internaitional Phonetic Alphabet, 'b' denotes the voiced bilabial plosive /b/, as in 'bib'. In Inglis it is whiles silent; maist instances are derived frae auld monosyllablic wirds wi the 'b' final an immediately precedit bi an 'm', sic as 'lamb' an 'bomb'; a few are ensaumples o etymological spellin tae mak the wird mair lik its Latin oreeginal, sic as 'debt' or 'doubt'.

In Estonian, Icelandic, an Cheenese pinyin, 'b' daes nae denote a voiced consonant; insteid, it represents a voiceless /p/ that contrasts wi aither a geminated /pp/ (in Estonie) or an aspirated /pʰ/ (in Cheenese, Danish an Icelandic), representit bi 'p'. In Fijian 'b' represents a prenasalized /mb/, whauras in Zulu an Xhosa it represents an implosive /ɓ/, in contrast tae the digraph 'bh' which represents /b/.

Finnish anly uises 'b' in loanwirds.

'B' is an aa a muisical note. Its value varies dependin on the region; a 'b' in Anglophone kintras represents a note that is a semitone heicher than the B note in Northren Continental Europe. (Anglophone B is representit in Northren Europe wi 'H'.) Archaic fairms o 'b', the b quadratum (square b, ) an b rotundum (roond b, ) remain in uise for muisical notation as the seembols for naitural an flat, respectively.

In Contractit (grade 2) Inglis braille, 'b' staunds for "but" when in isolation.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. "B" Oxford Inglis Dictionary, 2nt edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New Internaitional Dictionary o the Inglis Language, Unabridged (1993); "bee", op. cit.

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Media relatit tae B at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionar defineetion o B at Wiktionary
  • The dictionar defineetion o b at Wiktionary

The ISO basic Laitin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter B with diacritics
Ḃḃ Ḅḅ Ḇḇ Ƀƀ Ɓɓ Ƃƃ