List of Cyrillic digraphs and trigraphs

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Main article: Cyrillic digraphs

The following digraphs (and trigraphs) are used in the Cyrillic script. The palatalized consonants of Russian and other languages written as C-ь are mostly predictable and therefore not included here unless they are irregular. Likewise, in the languages of the Caucasus, there are numerous other predictable multigraphs that are not included. These include doubled letters (or whole digraphs) that indicate 'tense' ('strong') consonants and long vowels; sequences with в, у, ә for labialized consonants; and sequences with ӏ or ъ for ejective consonants or pharyngealized consonants and vowels. Tatar also has discontinuous digraphs. See Cyrillic digraphs for examples.

А[edit]

ан is used in Dungan to write the nasalized vowel [æ̃].

аь is used in Chechen, Ingush, and various Dagestanian languages such as Tabasaran to write the sound [a] or [æ].

Г[edit]

гг is used in Tabasaran to write the sound [ɣ].

гу is used in Kabardian to write the sound [ɡʷ]. A sequence гу with this sound value is found in several languages where у is used for labialization, but in Kabardian its value is not predictable, as plain г is pronounced [ɣ].

гъ is used in for a guttural fricative ([ʁ] or [ɣ], depending on language and dialect) in Avar, Archi, Kabardian, Tatar (word finally), Karachay-Balkar, and Ossetian. In Tabasaran, which uses гг for [ɣ], гъ is [ʕ].

гь is used in Avar, Archi, and Tabasaran to write the sound [h]. In Tatar, it is used word-finally for [ɡ].

гӏ is used in various languages of the Caucasus to write a guttural fricative, further back than гъ if the language also has that digraph. In Avar and Archi it is [ʕ], whereas in Chechen and Ingush it is [ɣ] or [ʁ].

Д[edit]

дж is a digraph or sequence of letters, depending on the language. It is used in many languages, such as Bulgarian, Ukrainian and Belarusian, to write a sound [] or in Russian to write [] (standard Russian pronunciation has two separate sounds here, even in loanwords). In Karachay-Balkar it pronounced [dʒ] (Karachay dialect) or [dz] (Balkar dialect), and in Kabardian it is [ɡʲ].

дз is a digraph or sequence of letters used in some languages such as Kabardian, Ossetian, Komi, Bulgarian, Ukrainian and Belarusian to write the affricate [dz]. In Ossetian, the letter ж does not exist apart from Russian loans, and з is pronounced [ʒ] or [z], though a distinction exists between дж [dʒ] and дз [dz]. In Komi, the sound is always palatalized, so it does not require palatalizing vowels or ь.

дь is used in Yakut to write the sound [ɟ].

Ё[edit]

ён is used in Dungan to write the sound [jaŋ]. Cf. Ян and он.

ёь is used in Chechen to write the sound [jø].

Ж[edit]

жд is an uncommon digraph used in Russian to write the sound [ʑʑ] in the word дождь "rain" and its derivatives (devoiced to [ɕɕ] in the nominative singular of дождь). However, these words may also be pronounced as if жд were a simple sequence of letters, which is the case in all the other words with жд.

жж is an uncommon digraph used in Russian to write the sound [ʑʑ], which is also written as зж. Examples are дрожжи "yeast" and жужжать "to hum". The pronunciation in these cases varies between [ʑʑ] and [ʐʐ] [1]. Dmitry Ushakov showed the former variant, following the traditional Moscow pronunciation [2]; later, [ʐʐ] became to be also accepted, making жж not a digraph but a simple sequence.

жч is a sequence of letters used in Russian to write a long voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative [ɕɕ], the same value as the letter щ. However, since the sound value of жч is a predictable effect of assimilation, it is not a true digraph. An example is in the word мужчина ("man"), pronounced [muɕˈɕinə].[3] Other sequences with the same result are сч, шч, зч, ссч, стч, здч and сщ.

жь is used in Kabardian to write the palatalized sound [ʑ]. ь is commonly used for palatalized consonants like [ʑ] in other languages such as Abkhaz, where жь would not be considered a digraph, but this is not the case in Kabardian.

З[edit]

зж is a sequence of letters used in Russian to write the uncommon sound [ʑː], the same value as the digraph жж, for example позже ("later"). It may be also pronounced [ʐʐ] and is always pronounced so when з belongs to the prefix and ж belongs to the root. However, since the latter sound value of зж is a predictable effect of assimilation, in this case it is not a true digraph like жж.

К[edit]

Trigraph Кхъ

ку is used in Kabardian to write the sound []. A sequence ку with this sound value is found in several languages where у is used for labialization, but in Kabardian its value is not so predictable, as plain к is only found in foreign loanwords.

кх is used in Chechen to write the sound [q] and in Ingush for [].

къ is used with different values in various languages. In Avar, it is used to write the "tense" ejective sound [qːʼ]; in Chechen, Archi, and Kabardian it is plain ejective []; in Ingush and Karachay-Balkar it is plain [q] (Ingush does not have ejective consonants); and in Tabasaran it is [qʰː] (К is []). It is used for word-final [q] in Tatar. Къ also occurs in Ossetian for [], but there it is not a true digraph, as ъ is used as a predictable mark of ejective consonants.

кь is used in Avar to write the "tense" ejective sound [tɬːʼ], in Archi to write [k] ([kʟ̝̊]), and in Tabasaran to write []. In Tatar, it is used word-finally for [k].

кӏ is used in Kabardian to write the ejective consonant sound [kʼʲ]. Кӏ is commonly used for ejective [] in the languages of the Caucasus, though as a predictable sequence of к and the ejective marker ӏ, not a true digraph. However, in Kabardian there is no plain к apart from foreign loan words, and palatalized [] is written ч.

кхъ is used in Kabardian to write the sound [q]. It is not predictable from къ, which is the ejective homologue [].

кӏу is used in Kabardian to write the sound [kʷʼ]. It is actually a regular sequence of к for [k], ӏ for ejective consonants, and у for labialization. However, it is not predictable from the digraph кӏ, which stands for palatalized [kʲʼ], not plain [].

Л[edit]

лъ is used in Kabardian and Archi to write the sound [ɬ] (cf. л for [ɮ] in Kabardian and for [l] in Archi) and in Avar for the "tense" sound [tɬː] (cf. л for [l]).

лl is used in Kabardian to write the sound [ɬʼ] and in Archi to write [kʼ] ([kʟ̝̊ʼ])

л’ is used in Khanty to write the sound [ɬ].

лх is used in Moksha to write the sound [].

Н[edit]

нг is used in Uzbek and Karachay-Balkar to write the sound [ŋ]. It is a transliteration of the Roman digraph ng.

нь is used when cyrillicizing Mandarin Chinese to write the sound [n] at the end of a syllable. It is equivalent to pinyin n. (The letter н at the end of a syllable represents [ŋ], pinyin ng.) Нь is also used in Yakut for the sound [ɲ]. This is a digraph rather than a predictable sequence in Yakut, which does not otherwise have the letter ь.

О[edit]

он is used in Dungan to write the sound [aŋ]. Cf. Ан (digraph).

оь is used in various languages of the Caucasus to write the sound [ø], including Chechen, Ingush, Kumyk, Nogai, and various Dagestanian languages.

Р[edit]

рх is used in Moksha to write the sound [].

рхӏ is used in Chechen to write the sound [].

С[edit]

сж is a sequence of letters used in Russian to write the uncommon sound [ʐː]. However, since the sound value of сж is a predictable effect of assimilation, it is not a true digraph like жж.

Т[edit]

тш is used in Komi to write the sound []. (The letter ч is [tsʲ].)

У[edit]

уь is used in various languages of the Caucasus to write the sound [y], including Chechen, Ingush, Kumyk, Nogai, and various Dagestanian languages such as Tabasaran.

Ү[edit]

үй is used in Turkmen to write the sound []. It is the long version of the vowel ү.

Х[edit]

хъ is used in various languages of the Caucasus. In ? language it is used to write the "tense" sound [qː], in Tabasaran for [], in Archi and Ossetian for [q], and in Kabardian for [χ].

хь is used in various languages of the Caucasus. In Avar, Archi, and Tabasaran it is used to write the sound [x]; in Kabardian and Chechen for [ħ]; and in Ingush to write [ç].

хӏ is used in a few languages of the Caucasus to write a guttural sound further back than хь. In Avar and Archi it is used for [ħ], and in Chechen for [h].

Ц[edit]

цз is used when cyrillicizing Mandarin Chinese to write the sounds [ts] and []. It is equivalent to pinyin z and-before an iotated vowel-j.

Ч[edit]

чж is used when cyrillicizing Mandarin Chinese to write the sound []. It is equivalent to pinyin zh.

ч’ is used in Khanty.

Э[edit]

эр is used in Dungan to write the rhotic vowel [aɻ].

Ю[edit]

юй is used when cyrillicizing Mandarin Chinese to write the syllable [y]. It is equivalent to pinyin yu.

юь is used in Chechen to write the sound [jy].

Я[edit]

ян is used in Dungan to write the nasalized vowel [jæ̃].

яь is used in Chechen to write the sound [ja].

See also[edit]