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|Cyrillic letter Tse|
|The Cyrillic script|
Tse (Ц ц; italics: Ц ц) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.
It commonly represents the voiceless alveolar affricate /ts/, like the pronunciation of ⟨zz⟩ in "pizza".
In English, Tse is commonly romanized as ⟨ts⟩. However, in proper names (personal names, toponyms, etc.) and titles it may also be rendered as ⟨c⟩ (which signifies the sound in Serbo-Croatian, Czech, Hungarian etc.), ⟨z⟩ (which signifies the sound in Italian and German), ⟨cz⟩ or ⟨tz⟩.
In the Cyrillic numeral system, Tse has a value of 900.
Tse is the 24th (if Yo is included) letter of the Russian alphabet. It is used both in native Slavic words (where it mostly corresponds to Proto-Indo-European *k in certain positions) and in borrowed words:
- as a match for the Latin ⟨c⟩ in words of Latin origin, for example цирк (circus), центр (center),
- for the German ⟨z⟩ and ⟨tz⟩ in words borrowed from German, for example цинк (Zink), плац (Platz),
- ⟨ци⟩ may correspond to Latin ⟨ti⟩ (before vowels), for example сцинтилляция (scintillation).
Unlike most other consonants (but like ⟨ж⟩ and ⟨ш⟩), ⟨ц⟩ never represents a palatalized consonant in Russian (except occasionally in foreign proper names with ⟨ця⟩ or ⟨цю⟩). Since /i/ after unpalatalized consonants becomes [ɨ], the combinations ⟨ци⟩ and ⟨цы⟩ are pronounced identically: [tsɨ]. A notable rule of Russian orthography is that ⟨ц⟩ is seldom followed by ⟨ы⟩, with the following exceptions:
- the ending -⟨ы⟩ of the plural number or of Genitive case (птица nom. sg. → птицы nom. pl. or gen. sg.),
- possessive suffix -⟨ин⟩ is spelled -⟨ын⟩ after ⟨ц⟩ and only in this case: троицын, курицын,
- the suffix is very popular in Russian last names, but the spelling varies and both -⟨цын⟩ and -⟨цин⟩ are possible, Ельцин is an example,
- the ending of adjectives -⟨ый⟩ (that becomes -⟨ые⟩, -⟨ым⟩, -⟨ыми⟩, -⟨ых⟩ in declension), for example куцый or бледнолицый,
- conjugation of a vulgar verb сцать (сцы, сцым, сцыт, сцыте, сцышь) and its prefixed derivatives,
- only a few word roots contain ⟨цы⟩ now: цыган, цык- (цыкать, цыкнуть), цып- (цыплёнок, цыпки, цыпочки, цып-цып), цыц,
- pre-1956 lists contain words such as цыбик, цыбуля, цыгарка, цыдулка, цыкля, цымбалы, цымес, цынга, цыновка, цынубель, цырюльня, цытварный, цыфирь, панцырь etc. (examples are taken from Ya. S. Khomutov's spelling dictionary, 1927; now all these words are spelled with -ци-),
- Pinyin's ⟨ci⟩ becomes ⟨цы⟩, and ⟨qi⟩ becomes ⟨ци⟩.
Related letters and other similar characters
- 16x16px The dictionary definition of Ц at Wiktionary
- 16x16px The dictionary definition of ц at Wiktionary