Cedilla

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Diacritical marks

A cedilla (pronounced /sɨˈdɪlə/, si-DIL) or cédille[1] is a hook ( ¸ ) added under certain letters as a diacritical mark to modify their pronunciation.

Contents

Origin

The tail originated in Spain as the bottom half of a miniature cursive z. The word "cedilla" is the diminutive of the Old Spanish name for this letter, ceda (zeta).[2] Modern Spanish, however, no longer uses this diacritic, although it is still current in Portuguese,[3] Catalan, Occitan, and French, which gives English the alternative spelling of cedille, from French cédille. An obsolete spelling of cedilla is cerilla.[3] The earliest use in English cited by the Oxford English Dictionary[3] is a 1599 Spanish-English dictionary and grammar.[4] Chambers' Cyclopædia[5] is cited for the printer-trade variant ceceril in use in 1738.[3] The main use in English is not universal and applies to loan words from French and Portuguese such as "façade" (often typed "facade" due to lack of ç keys on the keyboards of most Anglophone countries).

Encodings

In Unicode, the symbol is ◌̧ U+0327 ̧combining cedilla.

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