Yus

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Cyrillic letter Yus
Cyrillic letter Little Yus.png
Cyrillic letter Big Yus.png
Cyrillic letter Iotified Little Yus.png
Cyrillic letter Iotified Big Yus.png
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

Little yus (Ѧ ѧ) and big yus (Ѫ ѫ), or jus, are letters of the Cyrillic script,[1] representing two Common Slavonic nasal vowels in the early Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. Each can occur in iotified form (Ѩ ѩ, Ѭ ѭ), formed as ligatures with the letter Decimal I (І). Other yus letters are blended yus (Ꙛ ꙛ), closed little yus (Ꙙ ꙙ) and iotified closed little yus (Ꙝ ꙝ).

Cyrillic little yus (left) and big yus (right); normal forms (above) and iotified (below)
Handwritten little yus

Phonetically, Little yus represents a nasalized front vowel, possibly [ɛ̃], while big yus represents a nasalized back vowel, such as IPA [ɔ̃]. This is also suggested by the appearance of each as a 'stacked' digraph of 'Am' and 'om' respectively.

The names of the letters do not imply capitalization: both little and big yus exist in majuscule and minuscule variants.

All modern Slavic languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet have lost the nasal vowels, making yus unnecessary.

Big Yus was a part of the Bulgarian alphabet until 1945. However, by that time in the eastern dialects the back nasal was pronounced the same way as ъ [ə]. Because the language is based mainly on them, the western pronunciations were deemed unliterary and the letter was removed.

There are some Bulgarian dialects around Thessaloniki and Kastoria in Northern Greece that still preserve a nasal pronunciation: [ˈkə̃(n)de ˈɡrẽ(n)deʃ ˈmilo ˈt͡ʃẽ(n)do], 'Where are you going, dear child?').

In Russia, little yus was adapted to represent the iotated /ja/ я in the middle or end of a word; the modern letter я is an adaptation of its cursive form of the seventeenth century, enshrined by the typographical reform of 1708. (This is also why я in Russian often corresponds to nasalized ę in Polish; cf. Russian пять; Polish pięć.)

In Polish, which is a Slavic language written with Latin alphabet, the letter Ę ę has the phonetic value of little yus, while Ą ą has that of big yus. The iotated forms are written ię, ią, ję, ją in Polish. However, the phonemes written ę and ą are not directly descended from those represented by Little and Big Yus, but developed after the original nasals merged in Polish and then diverged again. (Kashubian, the closest relative of Polish, uses ã instead of ę.)

Little and big yus can also be found in the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet, used until about 1860. Little yus was used for /ja/ and big yus for /ɨ/.

Related letters and other similar characters[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

Character Ѧ ѧ Ѩ ѩ
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER
LITTLE YUS
CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER
LITTLE YUS
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER
IOTIFIED LITTLE YUS
CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER
IOTIFIED LITTLE YUS
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1126 U+0466 1127 U+0467 1128 U+0468 1129 U+0469
UTF-8 209 166 D1 A6 209 167 D1 A7 209 168 D1 A8 209 169 D1 A9
Numeric character reference Ѧ Ѧ ѧ ѧ Ѩ Ѩ ѩ ѩ
Character Ѫ ѫ Ѭ ѭ
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER
BIG YUS
CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER
BIG YUS
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER
IOTIFIED BIG YUS
CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER
IOTIFIED BIG YUS
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1130 U+046A 1131 U+046B 1132 U+046C 1133 U+046D
UTF-8 209 170 D1 AA 209 171 D1 AB 209 172 D1 AC 209 173 D1 AD
Numeric character reference Ѫ Ѫ ѫ ѫ Ѭ Ѭ ѭ ѭ

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cyrillic: Range: 0400–04FF". The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. 2010. p. 41. Retrieved 2011-10-31.