What is the real purpose of the c-cedilla? (ç)
« Ç » should be pronounced like « s » , right? If so, then why do we have a regular "c" without a cédille pronounced like a "s" so much? « Ceci » , « Cela » , « Ces » , etc. ?
The cedilla is used to change the K sound into an S sound.
It is necessary when you need to keep an S sound in front of a hard vowel: a, o, u.
- ça [sa], garçon [gaʁɔ̃], gerçure [ʒɛʁsyʁ] (chap)
The consonant C naturally sounds S in front of a soft vowel: e, i, y
- ce, cet, ces, ceci, cela, celui, celle, ici, un cigare, un cycle ...
Like in English, e, i and y change the pronunciation of the previous c from hard (k-y sound) to soft (s-y sound). In French, ç is used to indicate a soft sound where the c would otherwise be hard. In other words:
- ce, ci, cy, ça, ço, çu = s
- ca, co, cu, c + consonant = k
- ch = sh