Letter I PNG Image

letter I

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Being the third vowel letter of modern English alphabets, the letter I is pronounced as /aɪ/. 

It is presumed that the letter I might have been derived from hieroglyphs. At certain point in time it was used as an arm to represent voiced pharyngeal fricative in Egyptian only to be later replaced by /j/ by Semites, as their word for ”arm” began with the same sound. 

Another use of this letter is to represent /i/ which is a close front unrounded vowel in a few foreign languages. In today’s  English language, ⟨i⟩ represents a number of different sounds, such as the short /ɪ/ in a word like skill, the ⟨ee⟩ sound /iː/ in fishing or the diphthong /aɪ/ (“long” ⟨i⟩) in words like might or sight. Due to its origination from the Middle English long vowel, diphthong /aɪ/ is infamously called “long” <i> in English grammar. 

The usage of the letter I in some font styles can often seem a bit puzzling at times. Some of the issues can be the fact that the uppercase I is difficult to differentiate from the lowercase L and the vertical bar character ‘|’ or as a matter of fact, even the numeric digit 1. A fun fact about this letter is that the dot used in the lowercase I even has a name. The tiny dot of great significance is called a tittle. 

Uses of  letter I in English Writing System

  • It is used to represent first-person singular nominative pronouns in the English language. It is pronounced /aɪ/ and written as the uppercase I. The reason behind origination of this pattern is as to why the lowercase <i> acquired a dot, simply to make sure that it does not get lost in manuscripts.
  • It is the fifth most common letter in the English language. 
  • One can trace back the first appearance of capitalized I to the year 1250, in the northern and midland dialects of England, as per the Chamber Dictionary of Etymology.
  • Chambers further explains that capitalizing the pronoun made it easier for the letter I to stand out and thus prevent people from misreading the handwritten manuscripts.
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uploads letter j letter j PNG38

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