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H, eighth letter that the alphabet. It corresponds to Semitic cheth and also Greek eta (Η). It may derive from an early symbol for fence. In the early Greek alphabets a form with 3 horizontal bars and the simpler form H to be both widely distributed. In Etruscan the prevailing kind was similar to the beforehand Greek form, and the same or a similar kind occurs in very early Latin inscriptions, yet the form H come into basic use in Latin, one of two people from the Chalcidic Greek alphabet of Cumae or native some other source. The modern-day majuscule H is obtained directly native the Latin. The cursive Latin type resembled a stylized version of the contemporary minuscule h, as did the uncial form. Both of this forms an outcome from composing the letter without acquisition the pen native the paper, the right-hand upright bar being therefore foreshortened and also the horizontal stroke rounded. From these come the Carolingian form as well as the modern minuscule h.
In the alphabets supplied to write the east Ionic language of Greek the letter came to be superfluous together a result of the loss of the aspirate i beg your pardon it stood for in that dialect. It was accordingly put come a brand-new use to indicate the open long e i m sorry had occurred through change of the primitive Greek long a. In a couple of inscriptions from Thera, Naxos, and also several other localities the letter was provided with syllabic value; that is, it consisted of he, for this reason showing that old consonantal and also its brand-new vocalic value at the very same time. Eventually, as a an outcome of the spread of the Ionic alphabet, its usage for the long vowel e or η came to be general transparent Greece, while its consonantal value as the aspirate h passed native the west Greek alphabets into the Etruscan alphabets and then right into the Latin and other alphabets of old Italy. In the romantic languages the sound has largely disappeared, however the letter is still generally used, partly with just etymological value, (e.g., French homme), partly with fancied etymological worth (e.g., French haut from Latin altus, with h v the affect of hoh, the Old High German native of the same meaning), partially with special orthographical functions. Because that example, in Italian h is provided in combination with c or g to indicate the hard sound before a front vowel (e.g., chi, ghetto).
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In English the early h is express in indigenous of Germanic origin (e.g., hunt, hook); in part words of romance origin, the h continues to be unpronounced (e.g., heir, honour), but in rather it has actually been restored (e.g., humble, humour). The early stage h often disappears in unaccented syllables (e.g., “What did he say?”). In chemistry H is the symbol because that the aspect hydrogen.