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Yogh

Yogh (Ȝ ȝ) is a letter used in Middle English, representing y = SAMPA /j/ and various velar phonemes. Velars are sounds that are usually made when the back of the tongue is pressed against the soft palate. They include the <k> in cat, the <g> in girl and the <ng> = SAMPA /N/ in hang.

Yogh is shaped like the Arabic numeral 3, which is sometimes substituted for the character in online reference works. It would seem there is some confusion about the letter in the literature. The character yogh - pronounced either [jouk], [joug], [jou] or [joux] - came into Old English spelling via Irish. It stood for /g/ and its various allophones - including the velar fricative [G] (= voiced [x]) and [g] - as well as the phoneme /j/ (y in modern English spelling). In Middle English, yogh stood for the phoneme /x/ as in [ni3t] (night). Sometimes, yogh stood for /j/ or /w/, e.g. in the word [3o3elinge] = /'jowelinge/ = yowling. In the late Middle English period, yogh was no longer used: ni3t came to be spelled [night]. Middle English used the French g for /g/.



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