The mentioned link (Wikipedia for W) contains the following text:
Which seems strange until we learn (Wikipedia for U) that:The earliest form of the letter W was a doubled V used in the 7th century by the earliest writers of Old English; it is from this <uu> digraph that the modern name "double U" comes.
And yet, neither explains why some languages call it "double U" and other "double V".During the late Middle Ages, two forms of "v" developed, which were both used for modern u and 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
Oh, I really should read thoroughly the links I quote, even when I think I know what is standing there.And yet, neither explains why some languages call it "double U" and other "double V".
In English, the letter w arose out of the need for a letter representing the phoneme /w/, and at first, it was represented as uu. In Old English, for a while, it was replaced by the runic letter 'wynn', then uu came back and was finally replaced by w.The only thing which we don't know yet, and I'm sorry I can't be of help here, is why one language uses one variety while the other one uses the other. I can only guess that this is due to some arbitrary fact of the history of either language.
Which are the other languages, except English, where "W" is said as "double u"?I know in some languages, such as English, the letter "W" is said as "double u". In some other languages, like Romanian, it translates to "double v". Why is this?
In Spanish, the phoneme doesn't exist, and in borrowed words, like whisky, the spelling is often changed to suit Spanish spelling rules: güisqui
Yes and no: the letter itself is mainly used for English loan words, but they call it double v (uve doble/doble uve/ve doble/doble ve), and in some parts of Latin America, double u (doble u) because of English influence.As far as I know, in Spanish "double u" is used only for English words or words of English origin. Or am I wrong?
In the case of English I suspect because the name is very old. Neither Old English nor classical Latin had the phoneme /v/. It was introduced only in the ME period, originally for French load words. In the 7th century, when the letter (or rather the ligature) was introduced to spell old English, it is hard to imagine how you could it "double-vee".And yet, neither explains why some languages call it "double U" and other "double V".
Well, in German "W" also was written "uu" or "u" in old texts; the pronunciation of "W" (which originally - supposedly - was the same as in English) changed to [v] (or rather a labiodental approximant in my opinion, or at least for Austrian pronunciation - and I was quite surprised to find the "approximant theory" mentioned in German Wikipedia ).Perhaps the German encyclopedias have some explanation about the German history of W, but I'll leave that research to the German speakers.
Of course. I meant generally loan words.I think you are wrong.
There certainly are also many German borrowings, Polish borrowings, etc.. in Spanish also...
Spanish placenames?Including, but not limited to, placenames.
The "distinguation between the wovel and consonant application" of "i" arise also during the roman empire.nly in the Middle Ages did a distinguation between the the vowel and consonant application of "v" and "i" arise visually in the orthography, so that "u" was introduced to act as vowel while "v" maintained its part as a consonant, and "j" was introduced as the consonant counterpart to "i" (notice that the two pairs are adjacent in the alphabet).
Basically yes but the detour going back to Phoenician wasn't really necessary because the Latin script did properly distinguish between vowels and consonants. The Romans just didn't distinguish between vowels an semivowels but this has nothing to do with the Semitic roots of their writing system but with the Logic of their own language. And classical Latin didn't have the sound [v] so they needed no sign for it. The letter V was pronouced either as a vowel or as a semivowel.Just to summarise (maybe mostly for me ):