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Cyrillic letter I
Cyrillic letter I - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Cyrillic numerals: 8
Unicode (hex)
majuscule: U+0418
minuscule: U+0438
Cyrillic alphabet
А Б В Г Ґ Д Ђ
Ѓ Е Ѐ Ё Є Ж З
Ѕ И Ѝ І Ї Й Ј
К Л Љ М Н Њ О
П Р С Т Ћ Ќ У
Ў Ф Х Ц Ч Џ Ш
Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я
Non-Slavic letters
Ӑ Ӓ Ә Ӛ Ӕ Ғ Ҕ
Ӻ Ӷ Ԁ Ԃ Ӗ Ӂ Җ
Ӝ Ԅ Ҙ Ӟ Ԑ Ӡ Ԇ
Ӣ Ҋ Ӥ Қ Ӄ Ҡ Ҟ
Ҝ Ԟ Ԛ Ӆ Ԓ Ԡ Ԉ
Ԕ Ӎ Ӊ Ң Ӈ Ҥ Ԣ
Ԋ Ӧ Ө Ӫ Ҩ Ҧ Ҏ
Ԗ Ҫ Ԍ Ҭ Ԏ Ӯ Ӱ
Ӳ Ү Ұ Ҳ Ӽ Ӿ Һ
Ҵ Ҷ Ӵ Ӌ Ҹ Ҽ Ҿ
Ӹ Ҍ Ӭ Ԙ Ԝ Ӏ  
Archaic letters
Ҁ Ѻ ОУ Ѡ Ѿ Ѣ
Ѥ Ѧ Ѫ Ѩ Ѭ Ѯ
Ѱ Ѳ Ѵ Ѷ    
List of Cyrillic letters
Cyrillic digraphs

I or Y (И, и, italics: И, и) is a letter of almost all ancient and modern Cyrillic alphabets, representing typically /i/ (in Old Slavonic, Church Slavonic, Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Macedonian), or /ɪ/ (in Ukrainian, as well as in certain positions in modern Church Slavonic and, realised as /ɨ/ - close central unrounded vowel in certain positions in Russian ). Small cursive Cyrillic и (I) looks like Latin u (U).

Contents

Origins

И is derived from the Greek letter eta (<Η, η> representing /ɛː/ in Ancient Greek and /i/ in Modern Greek). This is why the earliest (up to the 13th century) shape of Cyrillic <и> was <H>.

In the early Cyrillic alphabet there was little or no distinction between the letters <И> (izhe) and <І> (i), descended from the Greek letters <Η> (eta) and <Ι> (iota). They both remained in the alphabetical repertoire because they represented different numbers in the Cyrillic numeral system, eight and ten, and are therefore sometimes referred to as octal I and decimal I. Today they co-exist in Church Slavonic (with no pronunciation difference) and in Ukrainian (representing actual pronunciation differences). Other modern orthographies for Slavic languages eliminated one of the two letters during alphabet reforms of the 19th or 20th centuries: Russian, Macedonian, Serbian and Bulgarian languages use only <И>, whereas Belarusian uses only <І>.

Usage

Since the 1930s, <и> has been the tenth letter of the Russian alphabet, and in Russian it represents /i/, like the i in machine. Although in isolation it is not preceded by the /j/ semivowel like other "soft" vowels (<е>, <ё>, <ю>, and <я>), in Russian it is considered the soft counterpart to <ы>, which represents [ɨ], because it typically denotes a preceding soft consonant. In Ukrainian and Belarusian, the sound /i/ is represented by the letter <і>, sometimes called Ukrainian I.

From the list below, you can see that the usage and pronunciation in Russian and Ukrainian may cause some confusion:

  • Russian "и" = Ukrainian "i" (pronounced: [i])
  • Russian "ы" = Ukrainian "и" (pronounced: [ɨ] (Rus.) or [ɪ] (Ukr.))

The letter <и> is the eleventh letter of the Ukrainian alphabet.

It is transliterated from Russian as <i>, or from Ukrainian as <y> or <i>, depending on romanization systems. See romanization of Russian and romanization of Ukrainian.

Shape

Originally, Cyrillic <и> had the shape identical to Greek uppercase <Η> or Latin uppercase <H>. Later, the middle stroke turned counterclockwise which made the modern form similar to the mirrored Latin alphabet's capital <N> (this is why <И> is used in faux Cyrillic typography). But the style of the two letters is not fully identical: in Roman-type fonts, <И> has serifs on all four corners, whereas <N> only has them on bottom-left and top-right ones; also, <И> has (contrarily to <N>) thicker vertical lines than the diagonal one. Lowercase <и> in regular fonts has the same shape as uppercase <И>. In other words, in serif fonts, <И> more closely resembles two Latin <I>s connected by a thin diagonal bar. (See also the Dutch digraph-ligature <IJ>, which is joined similarly.)

In italic (cursive) fonts, lowercase <и> may look like Latin <u>. In handwritten (calligraphic) fonts, both lower- and uppercase forms of <и> have usually the shape of handwritten Latin lowercase <u>.

Accented forms and derived letters

The vowel represented by <и>, as well as almost any other Slavonic vowel, can be stressed or unstressed. Stressed variants are sometimes (in special texts, like dictionaries, or to prevent ambiguity) graphically marked by acute, grave, double grave, or circumflex accent marks.

Special Serbian texts also use <и> with a macron to represent long unstressed variant of the sound. Serbian <и> with a circumflex can be unstressed as well; in this case, it represent the genitive case of plural forms and is used to distinguish them from other similar forms.

Modern Church Slavonic orthography uses smooth breathing sign (Greek and Church Slavonic: psili, Latin: spiritus lenis) above the initial vowels (just for tradition, there is no difference in pronunciation). It can be combined with acute or grave accents, if necessary.

None of these above-mentioned combinations is considered as a separate letter of respective alphabet, but one of them (<Ѝ>) has an individual code position in Unicode.

<И> with a breve forms the letter <й> for the consonant /j/ or a similar semi-vowel, like the y in English "yes" or "boy." This form has been used regularly in Church Slavonic since the 16th century, but it officially became a separate letter of alphabet much later (In Russian, only in 1918). The original name of <й> was I s kratkoy ('I with the short [line]'), later I kratkoye ('short I') in Russian, similarly I kratko in Bulgarian, but Yot in Ukrainian. For the details, see the article Short I.

Cyrillic alphabets of non-Slavic languages have additional <и>-based letters, like <Ӥ> or <Ӣ>.

See also

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Cyrillic letter I
File:Cyrillic letter I - uppercase and
Cyrillic numerals: 8
Unicode (hex)
majuscule: U+0418
minuscule: U+0438
Cyrillic alphabet
А Б В Г Ґ Д Ђ
Ѓ Е Ѐ Ё Є Ж З
Ѕ И Ѝ І Ї Й Ј
К Л Љ М Н Њ О
П Р С Т Ћ Ќ У
Ў Ф Х Ц Ч Џ Ш
Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я
Non-Slavic letters
Ӑ Ӓ Ә Ӛ Ӕ Ғ Ҕ
Ӻ Ӷ Ԁ Ԃ Ӗ Ӂ Җ
Ӝ Ԅ Ҙ Ӟ Ԑ Ӡ Ԇ
Ӣ Ҋ Ӥ Қ Ӄ Ҡ Ҟ
Ҝ Ԟ Ԛ Ӆ Ԓ Ԡ Ԉ
Ԕ Ӎ Ӊ Ң Ӈ Ҥ Ԣ
Ԋ Ӧ Ө Ӫ Ҩ Ҧ Ҏ
Ԗ Ҫ Ԍ Ҭ Ԏ Ӯ Ӱ
Ӳ Ү Ұ Ҳ Ӽ Ӿ Һ
Ҵ Ҷ Ӵ Ӌ Ҹ Ҽ Ҿ
Ӹ Ҍ Ӭ Ԙ Ԝ Ӏ  
Archaic letters
Ҁ Ѻ Ѹ Ѡ Ѿ Ѣ
Ѥ Ѧ Ѫ Ѩ Ѭ Ѯ
Ѱ Ѳ Ѵ Ѷ    
List of Cyrillic letters
Cyrillic digraphs

I or Y[citation needed] (И, и, italics: И, и) is a letter of almost all ancient and modern Cyrillic alphabets, representing typically /i/ (in Old Slavonic, Church Slavonic, Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Macedonian) or /ɪ/ (in Ukrainian, as well as in certain positions in modern Church Slavonic[citation needed]). Small cursive Cyrillic и (I) looks like Latin u (U).

Contents

Origins

И is derived from the Greek letter eta (‹Η›, ‹η› representing /ɛː/ in Ancient Greek and /i/ in Modern Greek). This is why the earliest (up to the 13th century) shape of Cyrillic ‹и› was ‹H›.

In the early Cyrillic alphabet there was little or no distinction between the letters ‹И› (izhe) and ‹І› (i), descended from the Greek letters ‹Η› (eta) and ‹Ι› (iota). They both remained in the alphabetical repertoire because they represented different numbers in the Cyrillic numeral system, eight and ten, and are therefore sometimes referred to as octal I and decimal I. Today they co-exist in Church Slavonic (with no pronunciation difference) and in Ukrainian (representing actual pronunciation differences). Other modern orthographies for Slavic languages eliminated one of the two letters during alphabet reforms of the 19th or 20th centuries: Russian, Macedonian, Serbian and Bulgarian languages use only ‹И›, whereas Belarusian uses only ‹І›.

Usage

Since the 1930s, ‹и› has been the tenth letter of the Russian alphabet, and in Russian it represents /i/, like the i in machine, except after some consonants (see below). In Russian ‹и› typically denotes a preceding soft consonant and therefore is considered the soft counterpart to ‹ы› (which represents [ɨ]) but, unlike other "soft" vowels (‹е›, ‹ё›, ‹ю›, and ‹я›), ‹и› in isolation is not preceded by the /j/ semivowel. ‹И› pronounced as [ɨ] in ‹жи› (sounds like ‹жы› [ʐɨ]), ‹ши› (sounds like ‹шы› [ʂɨ]) and ‹ци› (sounds like ‹цы› [t͡sɨ]), because in Russian the sound [i] after consonants “zh” ‹ж›, “sh” ‹ш› and “ts” ‹ц› is inarticulable.

In Ukrainian and Belarusian, the sound /i/ is represented by another letter ‹і›, sometimes called Ukrainian I, removed from the modern Russian alphabet. Ukrainian and Belarusian ‹і› sounds like Russian ‹и› [i], but a clearly distinct sound [ɪ] is represented by ‹и› in Ukrainian, which only slightly differs from Russian ‹ы› and perceived as ‹ы› by a Russian speaker.

The letter ‹и› is the eleventh letter of the Ukrainian alphabet.

It is transliterated from Russian as ‹i›, or from Ukrainian as ‹y› or ‹i›, depending on romanization systems. See romanization of Russian and romanization of Ukrainian.

Shape

Originally, Cyrillic ‹и› had the shape identical to Greek uppercase ‹Η› or Latin uppercase ‹H›. Later, the middle stroke turned counterclockwise which made the modern form similar to the mirrored Latin alphabet's capital ‹N› (this is why ‹И› is used in faux Cyrillic typography). But the style of the two letters is not fully identical: in Roman-type fonts, ‹И› has serifs on all four corners, whereas ‹N› only[citation needed] has them on bottom-left and top-right ones; also, ‹И› has (contrarily to ‹N›) thicker vertical lines than the diagonal one. Lowercase ‹и› in regular fonts has the same shape as uppercase ‹И›. In other words, in serif fonts, ‹И› more closely resembles two Latin ‹I›s connected by a thin diagonal bar. (See also the Dutch digraph-ligature ‹IJ›, which is joined similarly.)

In italic (cursive) fonts, lowercase ‹и› may look like Latin ‹u›. In handwritten (calligraphic) fonts, both lower- and uppercase forms of ‹и› have usually the shape of handwritten Latin lowercase ‹u›: u .

Accented forms and derived letters

The vowel represented by ‹и›, as well as almost any other Slavonic vowel, can be stressed or unstressed. Stressed variants are sometimes (in special texts, like dictionaries, or to prevent ambiguity) graphically marked by acute, grave, double grave, or circumflex accent marks.

Special Serbian texts also use ‹и› with a macron to represent long unstressed variant of the sound. Serbian ‹и› with a circumflex can be unstressed as well; in this case, it represent the genitive case of plural forms and is used to distinguish them from other similar forms.

Modern Church Slavonic orthography uses smooth breathing sign (Greek and Church Slavonic: psili, Latin: spiritus lenis) above the initial vowels (just for tradition, there is no difference in pronunciation). It can be combined with acute or grave accents, if necessary.

None of these above-mentioned combinations is considered as a separate letter of respective alphabet, but one of them (‹Ѝ›) has an individual code position in Unicode.

‹И› with a breve forms the letter ‹й› for the consonant /j/ or a similar semi-vowel, like the y in English "yes" or "boy." This form has been used regularly in Church Slavonic since the 16th century, but it officially became a separate letter of alphabet much later (In Russian, only in 1918). The original name of ‹й› was I s kratkoy ('I with the short [line]'), later I kratkoye ('short I') in Russian, similarly I kratko in Bulgarian, but Yot in Ukrainian. For the details, see the article Short I.

Cyrillic alphabets of non-Slavic languages have additional ‹и›-based letters, like ‹Ӥ› or ‹Ӣ›.

See also


Simple English

Cyrillic letter I
File:Cyrillic letter I - uppercase and
Cyrillic alphabet
А Б В Г Ґ Д Ђ
Ѓ Е Ѐ Ё Є Ж З
Ѕ И Ѝ І Ї Й Ј
К Л Љ М Н Њ О
П Р С Т Ћ Ќ У
Ў Ф Х Ц Ч Џ Ш
Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я
Non-Slavic letters
Ӑ Ӓ Ә Ӛ Ӕ Ғ Ҕ
Ӻ Ӷ Ԁ Ԃ Ӗ Ӂ Җ
Ӝ Ԅ Ҙ Ӟ Ԑ Ӡ Ԇ
Ӣ Ҋ Ӥ Қ Ӄ Ҡ Ҟ
Ҝ Ԟ Ԛ Ӆ Ԓ Ԡ Ԉ
Ԕ Ӎ Ӊ Ң Ӈ Ҥ Ԣ
Ԋ Ӧ Ө Ӫ Ҩ Ҧ Ҏ
Ԗ Ҫ Ԍ Ҭ Ԏ Ӯ Ӱ
Ӳ Ү Ұ Ҳ Ӽ Ӿ Һ
Ҵ Ҷ Ӵ Ӌ Ҹ Ҽ Ҿ
Ӹ Ҍ Ӭ Ԙ Ԝ Ӏ  
Old letters
Ҁ Ѻ ОУ Ѡ Ѿ Ѣ
Ѥ Ѧ Ѫ Ѩ Ѭ Ѯ Ѱ
Ѳ Ѵ        
List of Cyrillic letters
Cyrillic digraphs

I (И, и) is the ninth letter in the Cyrillic alphabet. It sounds like [i]. It looks like a backwards N. The lowercase и's italic looks like a и. Its old name was izhe.

It came from the Greek eta and stands for the Roman I.

There is another letter, the decimal I (І, і), that sounds the same as И. Russian, Macedonian, Serbian and Bulgarian languages use only И; and Church Slavonic and Ukrainian uses both И and і. To tell the letters apart, И is sometimes called octal I because was eighth in the Cyrillic numeral system.

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