|The Cyrillic script|
|Cyrillic letter Yery|
Yery or Yeru (Ы, ы, usually called "Ы" [ɨ] in modern Russian or "еры" yerý historically and in modern Church Slavonic) is a letter in the Cyrillic script. It represents the phoneme /i/ after non-palatalised (hard) consonants in the Belarusian and Russian alphabets. Because of phonological processes, the actual realization of /i/ after alveolar consonants (〈д〉, 〈з〉, 〈л〉, 〈н〉, 〈р〉, 〈с〉, 〈т〉, or 〈ц〉) is retracted to a close central unrounded vowel [ɨ], or [ʷi] after the labials 〈б〉, 〈в〉, 〈м〉, 〈п〉. In the Rusyn language it represents a sound that is a bit harder than [ɨ] and close to the Romanian sound î. In some situations it may occur after palatalised consonants (e.g.: синьый "blue", which is never the case in Russian), and often follows 〈к〉, 〈г〉, 〈ґ〉 and 〈х〉.
While vowel letters in the Cyrillic alphabet may be divided into iotated and non-iotated pairs (e.g. 〈а〉 and 〈я〉, both represent /a/ and the latter denotes a preceding palatalised consonant), 〈ы〉 is more complicated; while it appears only after hard consonants, its phonetic value differs from 〈и〉 and there is some scholarly disagreement as to whether or not 〈ы〉 and 〈и〉 denote different phonemes.
Like many Cyrillic letters, originally the letter yery was formed from a ligature: ꙑ—formed from Yer 〈ъ〉 and 〈і〉 (formerly written either dotless or with two dots) or Izhe (〈и〉, whose former letterform resembled 〈н〉). In mediaeval manuscripts, it is almost without exception found as 〈ъі〉 or 〈ъи〉. Once the letters 〈ъ〉 and 〈ь〉 subsequently lost their values as vowels in the Slavic languages, the current simplified form 〈ы〉 evolved.[clarification needed]
The letter is usually romanised into English and most other West European languages as 〈y〉, e.g. Krylov (family name, Крылов), although 〈y〉 may be used for other purposes as well (such as in digraphs).[clarification needed] This spelling matches Polish, where Latin 〈y〉 represents the same sound; Russian 〈ы〉 is used to transliterate Polish 〈y〉 into Cyrillic (e.g. Maryla – Марыля).
Native Russian words do not begin with 〈ы〉 (except for the specific verb ыкать, “to say the 〈ы〉-sound″), but many proper and common nouns of non-Russian origin (including some geographical names in Russia) that begin with this letter do exist, for example Ytyk-Kyuyol (Ытык-Кюёль), Ygyatta (Ыгыатта), a village and a river in Sakha (Yakutia) Republic respectively, or Eulji Mundeok (Ыльчи Мундок), a Korean military leader.
In the Ukrainian alphabet, the sound [ɪ] (between Russian 〈ы〉 and 〈и〉) is denoted by 〈и〉, and the letter 〈ы〉 is not used in Ukrainian. Conversely, Ukrainian 〈и〉 usually (but not always) is transcribed in Russian as 〈ы〉.
The letter 〈ы〉 is also used in Cyrillic-based alphabets of several Turkic and Mongolic languages (see the list) where it denotes a darker vowel [ɯ]. Corresponding letter in Latin-based scripts is 〈ı〉 (dotless I).
Related letters and other similar characters
- Ь ь : Cyrillic letter Soft sign
- І і : Cyrillic letter Dotted I
- И и : Cyrillic letter I
- Ъ ъ : Cyrillic letter Yer
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER YERU||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER YERU|
|UTF-8||208 171||D0 AB||209 139||D1 8B|
|Numeric character reference||Ы||Ы||ы||ы|
|KOI8-R and KOI8-U||249||F9||217||D9|
|Code page 855||242||F2||241||F1|
|Code page 866||155||9B||235||EB|
- Russian: An interactive online reference grammar, by Dr Robert Beard