V or v (pronounced [ faʊ ] ) is the 22nd letter of the Latin alphabet and a consonant. The letter V in German texts has an average frequency of 0.67 %, it is now the 22nd - most frequent letter.

Origin and use

The V shares most of its history with the U and W, along with the Y and the F are related to him.

About phonetic value and meaning of the letter in the proto- Semitic alphabet is not known. The corresponding icon is a hook or a club with a round tip dar. In Phoenician alphabet, the letter lost its top and looked like a well-rounded Y. The letter was named Waw and was used to the phonetic value [ w] represent ( a unsilbisches [ u] ).

The letter was admitted as Ypsilon In the Greek alphabet. In early Greek was the phonetic value of the Ypsilon the [ w] corresponding vowel [ u].

The Etruscans took over the early Greek Ypsilon and its phonetic value. Over time, disappeared among the Etruscans, the lower tip, the letter got the Form V. The interpretation of the letter changed: The Etruscan contained the the [ u] corresponding semi-vowel [ w] and the letter was used to both sounds to. Write

The Romans took the letter with the loud values. Originally the letter in the form adopted by the Etruscans acute form was written. In late antiquity, also a rounded variant was developed, which corresponds in appearance to the U. Both forms were interchangeable. It was not until about the 17th century, the top version of the letter was used only for the consonantal sound value and the round only for the vowel.

Until the 5th century from the Roman semi-vowel [ w] in the framework of phonetic change the fricative [v ]. When, towards the end of the first millennium AD the Germanic languages ​​have been transliterated, who possessed the sound [ w], we felt the character or not always as appropriate, and instead created the ligature or . , which developed the present w.

In the modern High German language and to an even greater extent in the Low German or Dutch language in the letter is often used to reproduce the text [ f]. You also seem to be the only languages ​​that the V mostly F -sound and rarely as We- According apply as. This is common in Germany, especially in apparently German words, in southern Germany there is a tendency for more names to the F- sound ( examples: Vikar, Viktor, Viper, valve, vulgar ).

  • In Old High German sound you usually wrote with an F: fihu ( cattle ), filu (a lot), fior (four), firwizan ( direct) folch ( people ).
  • In Middle High German occur f and v overrides for one and the same word; the v - spelling is preferred for the normalized Middle High German: Vrouwe ( woman), vriunt ( friend), vinden (Find ), vuoz (foot), vilvraz ( Wolverine ), Valsch ( wrong) and vRide (peace ).

In Spanish, the phonetic value of V is merged with that of the B: In absolute initial position and after [m ] both letters are pronounced as voiced [b ], while they are in all other positions at the bilabial fricative [ β ]. The latter is the [v ] similar, but comes without the participation of the tooth row about.

In Polish, the letter V is traditionally not available, but is familiar with foreign words and was added to the alphabet in the early 90 's. Even the Sorbian uses the letter only in foreign words.

The V as Latin numerals for the 5 has no relationship with the letter V. This V is half of a X, the Roman numeral symbol for 10

In primary schools the V often ( spelling ) is a bird -V ( - [ faʊ ] ) or ( lautierend ) as bird [f: ] referred to the difference with the letter F ( spelled [ ɛf ] or vocalises [f: ] ) to make it clear.


V is now the f phonetically perfectly equal in h [igh ] d [ eutsche ], which also graphically it finds its expression, Dazs words of the same tribe are soon, soon written with f v ( full, complete ). today is a loud toneless labiodental; try to separate the two letters after today's tender also phonetically, presuppose differences that are not related to the national language ... ( of the Grimm dictionary )