Brill’s New Pauly

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K (linguistics)
(385 words)

[German version]

The 11th letter of the Greek alphabet is still in use today. Not so in Latin: The sound /k/ could initially be rendered as C K Q. Due to an orthographic rule - probably brought about by the names of the letters cē kā qū - K was especially used in front of a vowel [3. 10; 5. 15-18]; but since it was superfluous beside C (and Q), it fell out of use as early as the 6th cent. BC. The spelling <KA> beside <CA> was, however, preserved in old-established words: in proper names (Karthago, Kastrum, Kaeso, Karus) as well as in legal (iudika-, kaput) and religious expressions (interkalaris, Kalenda…

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Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen), “K (linguistics)”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 30 May 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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