Kaph - Wikipedia
Kaph
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Kaf (also spelled kaph) is the eleventh letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Kāp 𐤊‎‎ , Hebrew Kāf כ, Aramaic Kāp 𐡊‎‎ , Syriac Kāp̄ ܟܟ, and Arabic Kāf ك‎ (in Abjadi order).
Kaph
Phoenician
Hebrewכ ,ך
Aramaic
Syriacܟܟ
Arabicك
Phonemic representationk, x
Position in alphabet11
Numerical value20
Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician
GreekΚ
LatinK
CyrillicК
This article contains Ugaritic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Ugaritic alphabet.
The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greekkappa (Κ), Latin K, and Cyrillic К.
Origin of kaph
Kaph is thought to be derived from a pictogram of a hand (in both modern Arabic and modern Hebrew, kaph כף means palm/grip) though in arabic the a in the name of the letter (كاف) is pronounced longer than the a in the word meaning palm (كَف).‎
Hebrew kaf
Orthographic variants
Various print fonts
Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
script
SerifSans-serifMonospaced
כככ
Hebrew spelling: כַּףְ
Hebrew pronunciation
Main article: Modern Hebrew phonology
The letter kaf is one of the six letters that can receive a dagesh kal. The other five are bet, gimel, daleth, pe, and tav (see Hebrew Alphabet for more about these letters).
There are two orthographic variants of this letter that alter the pronunciation:
NameSymbolIPATransliteration[1]Example
Kafכּ[k]kkangaroo
Khafכ[χ] or [x]ch, kh, or kloch
Kaf with the dagesh
When the kaph has a "dot" in its center, known as a dagesh, it represents a voiceless velar plosive ([k]). There are various rules in Hebrew grammar that stipulate when and why a dagesh is used.
Kaf without the dagesh (khaf)
When this letter appears as כwithout the dagesh ("dot") in its center it represents [χ], like the ch in German "Bach".
In modern Israeli Hebrew the letter heth is often pronounced as a [χ], but many communities (particularly those of Mizrahi and Sephardi origins, as well as immigrants to Israel from Arab countries and Arab Israelis) have differentiated between these letters as in other Semitic languages.
Final form of kaf
Orthographic variants
Various Print Fonts
Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
script
SerifSans-serifMonospaced
ךךך
If the letter is at the end of a word the symbol is drawn differently. However, it does not change the pronunciation or transliteration in any way. The name for the letter is final kaf (kaf sofit). Four additional Hebrew letters take final forms: tsadi, mem, nun, and pei. Kaf/khaf is the only Hebrew letter that can take a vowel in its word-final form, which is pronounced after the consonant, that vowel being the qamatz.
NameAlternate nameSymbol
Final kafKaf sofitךּ
Final khafKhaf sofitך
Significance of kaph in Hebrew
In gematria, kaph represents the number 20. Its final form represents 500, but this is rarely used, tav and qoph (400+100) being used instead.
As a prefix, kaph is a preposition:
Arabic kāf
The letter is named kāf, and it is written in several ways depending on its position in the word.
There are three variants of the letter:
the basic form is used for the Arabic language and many other languages:
Position in word:IsolatedFinalMedialInitial
Glyph form:
(Help)
كـكـكـكـ
the cross-barred form, notably 'al-kāf al-mashkūlah/al-mashqūqah​,​[2] is used predominantly as an alternative form of the version above in all forms of Arabic and in the languages that use the Perso-Arabic script.
Position in word:IsolatedFinalMedialInitial
Glyph form:
(Help)
کـکـکـکـ
the long s-shaped variant form, al-kāf al-mabsūṭah,[3] which is used in Arabic texts and for writing the Qur'an. It has a particular use in the Sindhi language of Pakistan, where it represents the unaspirated /k/, in contrast to the aspirated /kʰ/, which is written using the "normal" kāf ک‎ (called keheh).
Position in word:IsolatedFinalMedialInitial
Glyph form:
(Help)
ڪـڪـڪـڪـ
In varieties of Arabic kāf is almost universally pronounced as the voiceless velar plosive /k/, but in rural Palestinian and Iraqi, it is pronounced as a voiceless postalveolar affricate [t͡ʃ].
Use in literary Arabic
In Literary Arabic, kāf is used as a prefix meaning "like", "as", or "as though". For example, كَطَائِر‎ (/katˤaːʔir/), meaning "like a bird" or "as though a bird" (as in Hebrew, above). The prefix كَـka is one of the Arabic words for "like" or "as" (the other, مِثْل‎ /miθl/, is unrelated). The /ka/ prefix sometimes has been added to other words to create fixed constructions. For instance, it is prefixed to ذٰلِك‎ /ðaːlik/ "this, that" to form the fixed word كَذٰلِك‎ /kaðaːlik/ "like so, likewise."
kāf is used as a possessive suffix for second-person singular nouns (feminine taking kāf-kasrah كِ‎, /ki/ and masculine kāf-fatḥah كَ‎ /ka/); for instance, كِتَابkitāb ("book") becomes كِتَابُكَkitābuka ("your book", where the person spoken to is masculine) كِتَابُكِkitābuki ("your book", where the person spoken to is feminine). At the ends of sentences and often in conversation the final vowel is suppressed, and thus كِتَابُكkitābuk ("your book"). In several varieties of vernacular Arabic, however, the kāf with no harakat is the standard second-person possessive, with the literary Arabic harakah shifted to the letter before the kāf: thus masculine "your book" in these varieties is كِتَابَكkitābak and feminine "your book" كِتَابِكkitābik.
Character encodings
Character information
Previewךכكکڪ
Unicode nameHEBREW LETTER FINAL KAFHEBREW LETTER KAFARABIC LETTER KAF/CAFARABIC LETTER KEHEHARABIC LETTER SWASH KAF (SINDHI)
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode1498U+05DA1499U+05DB1603U+06431705U+06A91706U+06AA
UTF-8215 154D7 9A215 155D7 9B217 131D9 83218 169DA A9218 170DA AA
Numeric character referenceךךככككککڪڪ

Character information
Previewܟ𐎋𐡊𐤊
Unicode nameSYRIAC LETTER KAPHSAMARITAN LETTER KAAFUGARITIC LETTER KAFIMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER KAPHPHOENICIAN LETTER KAF
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode1823U+071F2058U+080A66443U+1038B67658U+1084A67850U+1090A
UTF-8220 159DC 9F224 160 138E0 A0 8A240 144 142 139F0 90 8E 8B240 144 161 138F0 90 A1 8A240 144 164 138F0 90 A4 8A
UTF-161823071F2058080A55296 57227D800 DF8B55298 56394D802 DC4A55298 56586D802 DD0A
Numeric character referenceܟܟࠊࠊ𐎋𐎋𐡊𐡊𐤊𐤊
See also
References
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaph (letter).
  1. ^ Transliteration Rules, Encyclopedia Judaica.
  2. ^ Gacek, Adam (2008). The Arabic manuscript tradition: a glossary of technical terms and bibliography: supplement. Leiden: Brill. p. 43. ISBN 9004165401.
  3. ^ Gacek, Adam (2008). The Arabic manuscript tradition: a glossary of technical terms and bibliography: supplement. Leiden: Brill. p. 8. ISBN 9004165401.
Last edited on 14 May 2021, at 19:09
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