Letter Q

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by franknagy, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Why did Latin use letter Q? It has another letter C denoting the sound 'k'.
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    You need Q to distinguish QVI /kwi:/ from CVI /kui/.
  3. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Does the sound /w/ occur in Latin only after Q?
  4. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    No, the letter V represents three phonemes: semi-vowel /w/, short vowel /u/, long vowel /u:/. IVVENIS is /juwenis/, for example.
  5. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    <qu> was most likely still a single sound (/kʷ/) in Latin and not two separate ones like, e.g., in Italian.
    Last edited: May 14, 2014

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