Spanish orthography is the writing system for the Spanish language. It is fairly phonemic, especially in comparison to more opaque orthographies like English and Irish, having a relatively consistent mapping of graphemes to phonemes. -------------------------------------------------
The Spanish language is written using the Spanish alphabet, which is the Latin alphabet with one additional letter, eñe ⟨ñ⟩, for a total of 27 letters.Although the letters ⟨k⟩ and ⟨w⟩ are part of the alphabet, they appear only in loanwords such as karate, kilo, waterpolo and wolframio 'tungsten'. Each letter has a single official name according to the Real Academia Española's new 2010 Common Orthography, but in some regions alternative traditional names coexist as explained below. Spanish Alphabet
| be, be larga
| /k/, /θ/2
| /ɡ/, /x/
| ve, uve, ve corta
| uve doble, ve doble, doble ve, doble u
| i griega, ye
| /ɾ/, /r/
| /ks/, /x/, /s/
| /ʝ/, /i/
| ^1 The sequence ⟨ch⟩ represents the affricate /tʃ/. The digraph was formerly treated as a single letter, called che. ^2 The phonemes /θ/ and /s/ have merged in many dialects; see ceceo. ^3 With the exception of some loanwords: hámster, hachís, hawaiano, which have /x/. ^4 When ⟨l⟩ is written double (e.g. calle), it represents the palatal lateral /ʎ/ in a few dialects; but in most dialects—because of the historical merger called yeísmo—it, like the letter ⟨y⟩, represents the phoneme /ʝ/. ^5 Used only in the digraph ⟨qu⟩.
^6 The digraph ⟨rr⟩, which only appears between vowels, represents the trill [r]. For details on Spanish pronunciation, see Spanish phonology and Wikipedia:IPA for Spanish. When acute accent and diaeresis marks are used on vowels ⟨á é í ó ú ü⟩ they are considered variants of the plain vowel letters, but ⟨ñ⟩ is considered a separate letter from ⟨n⟩. This makes a difference when sorting alphabetically; ⟨ñ⟩ appears in dictionaries after ⟨n⟩. For example, in a Spanish dictionary piñata comes after pinza. There are five digraphs: ⟨ch⟩ (che / ce hache), ⟨ll⟩ (elle / doble ele), ⟨rr⟩ (doble erre), ⟨gu⟩ (ge u) and ⟨qu⟩ (cu u). While che and elle were formerly considered separate letters, in 1994 the tenth congress of the Association of Spanish Language Academies agreed to alphabetize ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨ll⟩ as ordinary pairs of letters in the dictionary by request of UNESCO and other international organizations. Thus ⟨ch⟩ now comes between ⟨cg⟩ and ⟨ci⟩, instead of being alphabetized between ⟨c⟩ and ⟨d⟩ as was formerly done. Despite their former status as separate letters of the alphabet, ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨ll⟩ have always been correctly capitalized as two Latin letters. The word chillón in a text written in all caps is CHILLÓN, not *ChILlÓN, and if it is the first word of a sentence, it is written Chillón, not *CHillón. Sometimes one finds lifts (elevators) with buttons marked *LLamar, but this double capitalization has always been incorrect according toRAE rules. In Spanish text, the letters are ranked from most to least common ⟨E A O S R N I D L C T U M P B G V Y Q H F Z J Ñ X W K⟩, and the vowels take around 45% of the text.
Be and uve
The letters ⟨b⟩ and ⟨v⟩ were originally simply known as be and ve. However, there is no longer any distinction between the sounds of these letters—their accepted names are be anduve; in some regions, speakers may instead add something to the names to distinguish them....
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