Short U (Cyrillic)

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Cyrillic letter Short U
Cyrylicka litera Ў.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

Short U (Ў ў; italics: Ў ў) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. The only Slavic language using this letter is the Belarusian Cyrillic script. Among the non-Slavic languages using Cyrillic alphabets, ў is used in the Dungan language and in the Siberian Yupik language. It was also used in Uzbek before the adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1992.

History[edit]

The letter originates from the letter izhitsa Ѵ ѵ with a breve (Іереѵ̆ская власть, пучина Егеѵ̆ская, etc.) used in certain Ukrainian books during the end of the 16th–beginning of the 17th centuries.[citation needed] Later, this character was probably in use in the Romanian Cyrillic script, from where it was borrowed in 1837 by the compilers of Ukrainian poetry book Rusalka Dnistrovaja (Русалка днѣстровая). The book's foreword reads “we have accepted Serbian џ . . . and Wallachian [Romanian] ў . . .”.[1] In this book, ў is used mostly for etymological [l] transformed to [w]—modern Ukrainian spelling uses letter в ([v]) in this position.

For the Belarusian language, the combination of the Cyrillic letter U with a breve ў was proposed by P.A. Bessonov in 1870.[2] Before that, various ad hoc adaptations of the Latin U were used, for example, italicized in some publications of Vintsent Dunin-Martsinkyevich, with acute accent ú in Jan Czeczot's Da milykh mužyczkoú (To dear peasants, 1846 edition), W with breve in Epimakh-Shypila, 1889, or just the letter u itself (e.g., in publications of Kalinowski, 1862–1863). A U with haček ǔ was also used.[3]

After 1870, both the distinction for the phoneme and the new shape of the letter still were not consistently used until the mid-1900s.[4] Among the first publications using it were folklore collections published by Michał Federowski and the first edition of Francišak Bahuševič's Dudka Biełaruskaja (Belarusian flute, published in Kraków, 1891). Also, for quite a while other kinds of renderings (plain u, or with added accent, haček, or caret) were still being used, sometimes within a single publication (Bahushevich, 1891, Pachobka, 1915).[5]

Usage[edit]

Belarusian[edit]

The letter is called non-syllabic u or short u (Belarusian: у нескладовае, u nieskladovaje or у кароткае, u karotkaje) in Belarusian because, while resembling the vowel у (u), it does not form syllables. Its equivalent in the Belarusian Latin alphabet is ŭ.

In native Belarusian words, ў represents the sonorant bilabial fricative consonant,[6] as in хлеў, pronounced [xlʲeʊ] (chleŭ, ‘shed’) or воўк [vɔʊk] (voŭk, ‘wolf’). This is similar to the w in English cow /kaʊ/.

The letter ў cannot occur before a vowel; when grammar would require this, ў is replaced by в /v/. Compare хлеў ([xlʲeʊ] chleŭ) with за хлявом ([za xlʲaˈvom] za chlavóm, ‘behind the shed’). Also, when a word beginning with у /u/ follows a vowel, so that it forms a diphthong through liaison, it is usually, but not necessary, written with ў instead. For example, у хляве ([u xlʲaˈvʲe] u chlavié, ‘in the shed’) but увайшлі яны ў хлеў ([uvajʃˈlʲi jaˈnɨ ʊ xlʲeʊ] uvajšlí janý ŭ chleŭ, ‘they went into the shed’).

The letter ў is also used to represent the labial-velar approximant /w/ in foreign loanwords.

Monument[edit]

In September 2003, during the tenth Days of Belarusian Literacy celebrations, the authorities in Polatsk, the oldest Belarusian city, made a monument to honor the unique Cyrillic Belarusian letter ў. The original idea for the monument came from professor Paval Siemčanka, a scholar of Cyrillic calligraphy and type.

Related letters and other similar characters[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

Character Ў ў
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER
SHORT U
CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER
SHORT U
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1038 U+040E 1118 U+045E
UTF-8 208 142 D0 8E 209 158 D1 9E
Numeric character reference Ў Ў ў ў
Code page 855 153 99 152 98
Code page 866 246 F6 247 F7
Windows-1251 161 A1 162 A2
ISO-8859-5 174 AE 254 FE
Macintosh Cyrillic 216 D8 217 D9

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ “...приймилисмо сербскоє џ (виџу wydzu) и волоскоє ў (аў, ɑʋ Erazm. Rotterd., 𝖆𝖚, еў, ɛʋ: спѣваў, spiwɑʋ; душеў, duʃɛʋ)...”. Markiyan Shashkevych (1837), Rusalka Dnistrovaya (Mermaid of the Dniester), p V.
  2. ^ Булыка (Bulyka). У нескладовае // Энцыклапедыя літаратуры і мастацтва Беларусі. Т.4. p.377.
  3. ^ Per (Bulyka).
  4. ^ Due to the technical problems, per Bulyka.
  5. ^ Supposedly, because of technical problems, too.
  6. ^ E.g., per Беларуская мова: Вучэб. дапам. / Э. Д. Блінава, Н. В. Гаўрош, М. Ц. Кавалёва і інш.; Пад рэд. М. С. Яўневіча. — Мн. : Выш. школа, 1991. ISBN 5-339-00539-9.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of Ў at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ў at Wiktionary