PIIONETIC CHARACTER. As a phonetic char acter, p is the breathed or surd labial stop con sonant corresponding to the voiced b. In form ing the sound the lips are closed for an instant, and the breath then escapes explosively. From the manner of its sound-formation it is termed an occlusive explosive. The sound p is often voiced to b, which may then become the closely related f or C, as Latin episeopus, 'bishop,' Span ish obispo, French e'reque, English bishop; Avesta sz'apan, 'night,' Persian fob, North Baluchi Kurdish for. P in Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin becomes Germanic f by Grimm's law (q.v.). as Sanskrit pad, 'foot.' Greek 7r65-a6, Latin ped-em, English foot; Sanskrit napat, 'grandson,' Latin nepos, Anglo-Saxon nefa. English nephew. In English, p represents an original Indo-Germanic b, which was, however, of rare occurrence. No example of initial p from this original b exists in English. As examples of medial p from Indo Germanic b may be cited Sanskrit sab-ar, 'nectar,' English sap; Latin lubricus. slippery. English
slippery. The digraph ph is pronounced f, as in pharmacy, phonetic, and is written f in Spanish and Italian, as farmacia, fonCtico. In English words beginning with pa, ps, and pt, as pneu matic, pseudonym. pteropod, p is silent. Such words are of Greek origin, as in pure Latin p combines initially only with the consonants and r. A p in Latin is often euphonically in serted between and s, and at and t. This p is retained in English derivatives of such words, as for example, redemption, sumptuous.
As A SYMBOL. In Hebrew and Greeks and 111 stood for SO; in mediHval numbers, P for 400, and p for 400,000. In chemistry, P is the sym bol for phosphorus.. In music p is the abbrevia tion of piano (softly), and pp of pianissimo (very softly).
P is the abbreviation of Latin poft in P.M. (post meridiem) and in P.S., postscript.