Yu (Cyrillic)

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Not to be confused with Korean 어 (eo) or the Cyrillic letter yus.
Cyrillic letter Yu
Cyrillic letter Yu - uppercase and lowercase.svg
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
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
Ԥ Ҧ Ҏ Ԗ Ҫ Ԍ
Ҭ Ԏ Ӯ Ӱ Ӳ Ү
Ұ Ҳ Ӽ Ӿ Һ Ԧ
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

Yu (Ю ю; italics: Ю ю; Russian pronunciation: [ju]) is a letter of the Cyrillic script used in East Slavic and Bulgarian alphabets.

In English, Yu is commonly romanized as yu. In turn, ю is used, where is available, in transcriptions of English letter u (in open syllables), and also of the ew digraph. The sound [y], like u in French and ü in German, may also be approximated by the letter ю.

Pronunciation[edit]

It is a so-called iotated vowel, pronounced in isolation as /ju/, like the pronunciation of you in "youth". After a consonant, no distinct /j/ sound is pronounced, but the consonant is softened. Exact pronunciation of the vowel sound of ю, in Russian, depends also on the succeeding sound due to allophony in Slavic languages. Before a soft consonant it is [ʉ], the close central rounded vowel – like in 'rude'. If a hard consonant follows ю, or none, then the result is a back vowel [u] – like in 'Lewis'. See palatalization#Synchronic palatalization for some background.

History[edit]

Apart from the form I-O, in early Slavonic manuscripts the letter appears also in a mirrored form O-I (Ꙕ, ꙕ).[1] It is this form that is probably the original,[vague] precisely displaying the Greek combination omicron-iota (οι). At the time that the Greek alphabet was adapted to the Slavonic language (giving rise to the Cyrillic alphabet), this denoted the close front rounded vowel /y/ in educated Greek speech. This digraphic representation of /y/ was so basic for speakers of Greek that the simple letter upsilon (υ) representing the same sound came to be called υ ψιλόν (y psilon) "simple" υ in contrast to "complex" οι. Note that the close front rounded vowel unlikely appears in East Slavic, see above.

There was another way, which may lead to the modern form. By the analogy to several 'iotated' letters Ѥ, ІА, Ѩ and Ѭ, the ancient ligature (or letter) Uk оѵ/оу possibly had its iotated form іоѵ/іоу.

Also, the iotified big Yus Ѭ merged itself to ю in East Slavic languages.

Related letters and other similar characters[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

Character Ю ю
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER YU CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER YU
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1070 U+042E 1102 U+044E
UTF-8 208 174 D0 AE 209 142 D1 8E
Numeric character reference Ю Ю ю ю
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 224 E0 192 C0
Code page 855 157 9D 156 9C
Windows-1251 222 DE 254 FE
ISO-8859-5 206 CE 238 EE
Macintosh Cyrillic 158 9E 254 FE

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yefim Karskiy (1928, 1979 (facsimile)). Славянская кирилловская палеография [The Slavic Cyrillic paleography] (in Russian) (2nd (facsimile)). Nauka. p. 494. 

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of Ю at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ю at Wiktionary