Definition for T


is the twentieth letter of the English Alphabet, and a close consonant. It represents a close joining of the end of the tongue to the root of the upper teeth, as may be perceived by the syllable at, et, ot, ut, in attempting to pronounce which, the voice is completely intercepted. It is therefore numbered among the mutes, or close articulations, and it differs from d chiefly in its closeness; for in pronouncing ad, ed, we perceive the voice is not so suddenly and entirely intercepted, as in pronouncing at and et. T by itself has one sound only, as in take, turn, bat, bolt, smite, bitter. So we are accustomed to speak; but in reality, t can be hardly said to have any sound at all. Its use, like that of all mute articulations, is to modify the manner of uttering the vocal sound which precedes or follows it. When t is followed by h, as in think and that, the combination really forms a distinct sound for which we have no single character. This combination has two sounds in English; aspirated, as in think, and vocal as in that. The letters ti, before a vowel, and unaccented, usually pass into the sound of sh, as in nation, motion, partial, substantiate; which are pronounced nashon, moshon, parshal, substanshate. In this case, t loses entirely its proper sound or use, and being blended with the subsequent letter, a new sound results from the combination, which is in fact a simple sound. In a few words, the combination ti has the sound of English ch, as in Christian, mixtion, question. T is convertible with d. Thus the Germans write tag, where we write day, and gut for good. It is also convertible with s and z, for the Germans write wasser, for water, and zahm, for tame. T. as an abbreviation, stands for theologia; as, S. T. D. sanctæ theologiæ doctor, doctor of divinity. In ancient monuments and writings, T. is an abbreviature which stands for Titus, Titius, or Tullius. As a numeral, T, among the Latins, stood for 160, and with a dash over the top, [T with super-macron], for 160,000. Encyc. In music, T, is the initial of tenor, vocal and instrumental; of tacet, for silence, as adagio tacet, when a person is to rest during the whole movement. In concertos and symphonies, it is the initial of tutti, the whole band, after a solo. It sometimes stands for tr. or trillo, a shake.

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