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História da letra G

A história da letra G está intimamente ligada à história do C, uma vez que as duas derivam da mesma forma. Os fenícios e os demais povos semitas usavam uma forma gráfica bastante simples para representar tanto o C quanto o G e a chamavam de gimel. Quando foi adotado pelos gregos o gimel recebeu o nome de gama e sofreu algumas alterações em sua forma. O gama foi ainda adotado pelos etruscos e pelos romanos que foram os responsáveis pela diferenciação dos dois sons. O C passou a designar o som de K ou de S como em cesta ou casa. Um pequeno traço foi acrescentado à letra gama para que pudesse designar o som G.

A letra G também existe em outras línguas.

The letter 'G.' was introduced in the Old Latin period as a variant of ⟨c⟩ to distinguish voiced, /ɡ/ from voiceless, /k/. The recorded originator of ⟨g⟩ is freedman Spurius Carvilius Ruga, the first Roman to open a fee-paying school, who taught around 230 BC. At this time ⟨k⟩ had fallen out of favor, and ⟨c⟩, which had formerly represented both /ɡ/ and /k/ before open vowels, had come to express /k/ in all environments.

Ruga's positioning of ⟨g⟩ shows that alphabetic order, related to the letters' values as Greek numerals, was a concern even in the 3rd century BC. Sampson (1985) suggests that: "Evidently the order of the alphabet was felt to be such a concrete thing that a new letter could be added in the middle only if a 'space' was created by the dropping of an old letter." According to some records, the original seventh letter, ⟨z⟩, had been purged from the Latin alphabet somewhat earlier in the 3rd century BC by the Roman censor Appius Claudius, who found it distasteful and foreign.

Eventually, both velar consonants /k/ and /ɡ/ developed palatalized allophones before front vowels; consequently in today's Romance languages, ⟨c⟩ and ⟨g⟩ have different sound values depending on context. Because of French influence, English orthography shares this feature.

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