# I

ISO basic Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg
Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn
Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu
Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

Cursive script 'i' and capital 'I'

I (named i , plural ies)[1] is the ninth letter and a vowel in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

## History

Egyptian hieroglyph Phoenician
Yodh
Etruscan
I
Greek
Iota

In Semitic, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative (/ʕ/) in Egyptian, but was reassigned to /j/ (as in English "yes") by Semites, because their word for "arm" began with that sound. This letter could also be used to represent /i/, the close front unrounded vowel, mainly in foreign words.

The Greeks adopted a form of this Phoenician yodh as their letter iota (Ι, ι) to represent /i/, the same as in the Old Italic alphabet. In Latin (as in Modern Greek), it was also used to represent /j/ and this use persists in the languages that descended from Latin. The modern letter 'j' was firstly a variation of 'i', and both were used interchangeably for both the vowel and the consonant, coming to be differentiated only in the 16th century. The dot over the lowercase 'i' is sometimes called a tittle. In the Turkish alphabet, dotted and dotless I are considered separate letters, representing a front and back vowel, respectively, and both have uppercase ('I', 'İ') and lowercase ('ı', 'i') forms.

In modern English, 'i' represents several different sounds, either a "long" diphthong /aɪ/ as in kite, which developed from Middle English /iː/ after the Great Vowel Shift of the 15th century, or the "short" /ɪ/ as in bill.

## Use in English

In English orthography, the letter 'i' has a "long" and "short" sound like the other vowel letters as a result of the Great Vowel Shift: "long" 'i' has the sound and "short" 'i' has the sound . The letter 'i' may also take the sound in loanwords from other languages. Some digraphs that include 'i' are ai, oi, ei, ui and ie.

The letter 'i' is the fifth most common letter in the English language.

## Use in other languages

In many languages' orthographies, 'i' is used to represent the sound /i/ or more rarely, /ɪ/.

## Other Usage

It is also used in math to denote the imaginary unit $i$.

## Forms and variants

In some san serif typefaces, the uppercase letter I, 'I' may be difficult to distinguish from the lowercase letter L, 'l', the vertical bar character '|', or the digit one '1'. In serifed typefaces, the capital form of the letter has both a baseline and a cap-height serif, while the lowercase L has generally a hooked ascender and a baseline serif.

The uppercase I does not have a dot (tittle) while the lowercase i has one in the most of Latin-based alphabet schemes. However, some schemes, such as the Turkish alphabet, have two kinds of I's: the dotted one (İi) and the dotless one (Iı).

The uppercase I has two kinds of shapes, which are one with crossbars () and without crossbars (). Usually, they are considered the same, but they are distinguished in some extended Latin alphabet systems such as the 1978 version of the African reference alphabet. In the system, the former is the uppercase counterpart of ɪ and the latter is the counterpart of 'i'.

## Computing codes

Character I i
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I     LATIN SMALL LETTER I
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 73 U+0049 105 U+0069
UTF-8 73 49 105 69
Numeric character reference &#73; &#x49; &#105; &#x69;
EBCDIC family 201 C9 137 89
ASCII 1 73 49 105 69
1 Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.