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{{About|the Greek letter Gamma Γ (and γ) as used in various fields. For the Latin forms like Ɣ see {{section link|Gamma|Phonetic transcription}} | other uses|}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{refimprove|date=March 2016}}{{Greek Alphabet|letter=gamma}}File:NAMA Alphabet grec.jpg|thumb|The alphabet on black-figure pottery with a lambdalambdaGamma (uppercase {{Script|Grek|Γ}}, lowercase {{Script|Grek|γ}}; gámma) is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 3. In Ancient Greek, the letter gamma represented a voiced velar stop {{IPA|/ɡ/}}. In Modern Greek, this letter represents either a voiced velar fricative or a voiced palatal fricative.In the International Phonetic Alphabet and other modern Latin-alphabet based phonetic notations, it represents the voiced velar fricative.


{{further|History of the Greek alphabet}}The Greek letter Gamma Γ was derived from the Phoenician letter for the /g/ phoneme ({{Script|Phnx|𐤂}} gīml), and as such is cognate with Hebrew gimel ג.Based on its name, the letter has been interpreted as an abstract representation of a camel's neck,BOOK, Russell, Bertrand, A history of western philosophy, 1972, Touchstone book, New York, 9780671314002, 60th print., registration,weblink but this has been criticized as contrived,BOOK, Powell, Barry B., Barry B. Powell, Writing: Theory and History of the Technology of Civilization,weblink 2012, John Wiley & Sons, 978-1-118-29349-2, 182, and it is more likely that the letter is derived from an Egyptian hieroglyph representing a club or throwing stick.BOOK, Hamilton, Gordon James, The Origins of the West Semitic Alphabet in Egyptian Scripts,weblink 2006, Catholic Biblical Association of America, 978-0-915170-40-1, 53–6, In Archaic Greece, the shape of gamma was closer to a classical lambda (Λ), while lambda retained the Phoenician L-shape ({{Script|Phnx|𐌋}}).Letters that arose from the Greek gamma include Etruscan (Old Italic) 𐌂, Roman C and G, Runic kaunan {{Script|Runr|ᚲ}}, Gothic geuua {{Script|Goth|𐌲}}, the Coptic Ⲅ, and the Cyrillic letters Г and Ґ.WEB,weblink Greek Alphabet Symbols, Rapid Tables, 25 August 2014,

Greek phoneme

{{further|Ancient Greek phonology|Modern Greek phonology}}The Ancient Greek /g/ phoneme was the voiced velar stop, continuing the reconstructed proto-Indo-European *g, *ǵ.The modern Greek phoneme represented by gamma is realized either as a voiced palatal fricative ({{IPA|/ʝ/}}) before a front vowel (/e/, /i/), or as a voiced velar fricative {{IPA|/ɣ/}} in all other environments. Both in Ancient and in Modern Greek, before other velar consonants (κ, χ, ξ k, kh, ks), gamma represents a velar nasal {{IPA|/ŋ/}}. A double gamma γγ represents the sequence {{IPA|/ŋɡ/}} (phonetically varying {{IPA|[ŋɡ~ɡ]}}) or {{IPA|/ŋɣ/}}.

Phonetic transcription

Lowercase Greek gamma is used in the Americanist phonetic notation and Uralic Phonetic Alphabet to indicate voiced consonants.The gamma was also added to the Latin alphabet, as Latin gamma, in the following forms: majuscule Ɣ, minuscule ɣ, and superscript modifier letter ˠ.In the International Phonetic Alphabet the minuscule letter is used to represent a voiced velar fricative and the superscript modifier letter is used to represent velarization. It is not to be confused with the character {{IPA|ɤ}}, which looks like a lowercase Latin gamma that lies above the baseline rather than crossing, and which represents the close-mid back unrounded vowel. In certain nonstandard variations of the IPA, the uppercase form is used.{{Citation needed|date=May 2017}}It is as a full-fledged majuscule and minuscule letter in the alphabets of some of languages of Africa such as Dagbani, Dinka, Kabye, and Ewe,Practical Orthography of African Languages and Berber languages using the Berber Latin alphabet.It is sometimes also used in the romanization of Pashto.

Mathematics and science


The lowercase letter gamma is used as a symbol for: The lowercase Latin gamma ɣ can also be used in contexts (such as chemical or molecule nomenclature) where gamma must not be confused with the letter y, which can occur in some computer typefaces.


The uppercase letter Gamma is used as a symbol for:



The HTML entities for uppercase and lowercase gamma are Γ and γ.


  • Greek Gamma
name1=Greek Capital Letter Gammaname2=Greek Small Letter Gammaname3=Greek Letter Small Capital Gammaname4=Modifier Letter Small Greek Gammaname5=Greek Subscript Small Letter Gamma}}
  • Coptic Gamma
name1=Coptic Capital Letter Gammaname2=Coptic Small Letter Gamma}} {{charmapname1=Latin Capital Letter Gammaname2=Latin Small Letter Gammaname3=Modifier Letter Small Gammaname4=Latin Small Letter Rams Horn}}
  • CJK Square Gamma
name1=Square Gamma}}
  • Technical / Mathematical Gamma
name1=Double-StruckCapital Gammaname2=Double-StruckSmall Gammaname3=Mathematical BoldCapital Gammaname4=Mathematical BoldSmall Gammaname5=Mathematical ItalicCapital Gammaname6=Mathematical ItalicSmall Gamma}}{{charmapname1=Mathematical Bold ItalicCapital Gammaname2=Mathematical Bold ItalicSmall Gammaname3=Mathematical Sans-SerifBold Capital Gammaname4=Mathematical Sans-SerifBold Small Gammaname5=Mathematical Sans-SerifBold Italic Capital Gammaname6=Mathematical Sans-SerifBold Italic Small Gamma}}These characters are used only as mathematical symbols. Stylized Greek text should be encoded using the normal Greek letters, with markup and formatting to indicate text style.

See also




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Eastern Philosophy
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