F Littera

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F Littera tam apud arabes quam apud grecos a nostro in nullo differt, arabice fe dicunt greci vero fi et cetera.


tam apud arabes quam | aput arabes tamquaʒ f
arabice AC | arabes B efjp
{fi} dicunt add. e
et cetera add. AC


The {sound value of the} letter "f" in Arabic just as in Greek does not differ in any way from ours; in Arabic it is called "fe", but in Greek it is "fi"; and so forth.

Commentary: "Arabic has ﻓﺎﺀ ,ﻑ the letter "f", called /fāʔ/, the 20th letter in the Arabic alphabet, representing the sound /f/.

Greek has Φ,φ, called φεῖ, φῖ /pheî/ later /phî/, itacist [fi/, the 21st letter in the Greek alphabet.
It should be pointed out that this letter represented a different sound in classical Greek, i.e. /p/ followed immediately by /h/, e.g. the letter name was pronounced /p+hī/. Early Latin loans from Greek reflected this pronunciation faithfully as in phrygio "embroiderer in gold", pronounced /p+hrygio/.
It was only later, in Koine Greek, i.e. between 300 BC – 300 AD, that a sound change took place in the Greek-speaking world where /p+h/ was replaced by the sound /f/. The Romans could easily now have written frygio to imitate the new Greek pronunciation, but a transliteration tradition had by then been established and the etymological spelling phrygio prevailed. However in folk Latin and medieval Latin phonetic spellings with "f" are common, cf. Simon's Fegos rather than etymological phegos, etc.

WilfGunther 11/11/2013

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