When did U appear?

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by franknagy, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Is it a medieval letter?
     
  2. XiaoRoel

    XiaoRoel Senior Member

    Vigo (Galiza)
    galego, español
  3. jakowo Senior Member

    German
    In early Greek the phonetic value of the Ύψιλον was
    (the sign was derived from the Phoenician waw [​IMG])

    The Etruscans took over the early Greek Ύψιλον and its phonetic value. Over time, the lower tip disappeared among the Etruscans, the letter got the Form V. The interpretation of the letter changed : the Etruscan had also the semi-vowel [w] (basically nothing more than a unsyllabic ).

    The Romans adopted the letter originally with both sound values. In the beginning, the letter was written in the form Y adopted by the Etruscans.
    Around 40 pC, writers sometimes began rounding the V to U, however, both were still interchangeable.
    Using the round version of the letter exclusively for the phonetic value of started very late (18th century or so, if memory serves).
     

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