Ukrainian Ye (Є є; italics: Є є) is a character of the Cyrillic script. It is a separate letter in the Ukrainian alphabet (8th position since 1992, 7th position before then), the Pannonian Rusyn alphabet, and both the Carpathian Rusyn alphabets; in all of these, it comes directly after Е. In modern Church Slavonic, it is considered a variant form of Ye (Е е) (there, the selection of Є and Е is driven by orthography rules). Until the mid-19th century, Є/є was also used in Serbian (the letter was eliminated in Vuk Karadžić's alphabet and replaced by digraph је). Other modern Slavonic languages may use Є/є shapes instead of Е/е for decorative purposes. Then, the letter is usually referred to by the older name Yest and the descriptive name Long E. Due to Yest, this letter was not part of the modern Ukrainian alphabet anymore.
In Ukrainian, Є/є commonly represents the sound /je/ or /jɛ/ like the pronunciation of ⟨ye⟩ in "yes". (See usage for more detail.)
Ukrainian Ye is romanized as ⟨je⟩ or ⟨e⟩. See scientific transliteration of Cyrillic.
Letter Є/є was derived from one of variant forms of Cyrillic Ye (Е е), known as "long E" or "anchor E". Є-shaped letter can be found in late uncial (ustav) and semi-uncial (poluustav) Cyrillic manuscripts, especially ones of Ukrainian origin. Typically it corresponds to the letter Iotated E (Ѥ ѥ) of older monuments. Certain old primers and grammar books of Church Slavonic language had listed Є/є as a letter distinct from Е/е and placed it near the end of the alphabet (the exact alphabet position varies). Among modern-style Cyrillic scripts (known as "civil script" or "Petrine script"), Є/є was first used in Serbian books (end of the 18th century and first half of the 19th century); sometimes, Serbian printers might be using Э/э instead of Є/є due to font availability. For the modern Ukrainian language, Є/є is used since 1837 (orthography of almanach "Русалка Днѣстровая"). In Cyrillic numerals, Є is always preferred to E to represent 5.
Old Slavonic, Old East Slavic
In oldest Slavonic manuscripts, Є is just a graphical variant of Е and thus represents /e/ without palatalization. Later Є replaces Ѥ (i.e. denotes /ʲe/ after consonants and /je/ after vowels and in an initial position). Yet later, it also accepts both decorative role (as an initial letter of a word, even if there were no iotation) and an orthographical one, to make distinction between certain homonymical forms (mostly between plural and singular).
New Church Slavonic
Since the mid-17th century, the Church Slavonic orthography has the following main rules related to the usage of shapes Є and Е:
- in an initial position, always use Є;
- otherwise, use Е with the following exceptions:
- in noun's endings, use -євъ and -ємъ for plural and -евъ, -емъ for singular;
- in other endings, suffixes and roots of nouns, adjectives, participles, numerals and pronouns, use Є for plural/dual, if there exists a homonymous form in the singular (either of the same word or a different one; the actual rule is much more complicated and not well-defined, as there are multiple other ways to eliminate such homonymy);
- publishers from Kiev also use Є in the genitive case of three pronouns (менє, тебє, себє), and Е in the accusative case (мене, тебе, себе);
- as a numerical sign (with value 5) use Є, not Е (the rule has often been ignored outside of the Russian Empire).
In the modern Church Slavonic alphabet, the 6th letter is typically shown as Єєе (one uppercase accompanied with two variants of lowercase).
Old Believers print their books using an older variant of New Church Slavonic language. Its orthography combines the fully formal system described above with the older tradition to use Є phonetically (after vowels, to represent iotated /je/).
Є is similar to the symbol for the euro currency ⟨€⟩. In a memorandum from the European Commission on the design of the euro sign, Ukrainian Ye was accidentally used to represent the Greek letter Epsilon.
Related letters and other similar characters
- Ε ε : Greek letter Epsilon
- Ɛ ɛ : Latin letter Epsilon
- Е е : Cyrillic letter Ye
- Ё ё : Cyrillic letter Yo
- Э э : Cyrillic letter E
- Ԑ ԑ : Cyrillic letter Reversed Ze
- E e : Latin letter E
- Ꞓ ꞓ : Latin letter Ꞓ
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER
|CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER|
|UTF-8||208 132||D0 84||209 148||D1 94|
|Numeric character reference||Є||Є||є||є|
|Code page 855||135||87||134||86|
|Code page 866||242||F2||243||F3|
- Federal Geographic Data Committee, ed. (August 2006). FGDC Digital Cartographic Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization FGDC-STD-013-2006 (PDF). U.S. Geological Survey for the Federal Geographic Data Committee. p. A–32–1. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
- "How to use the euro name and symbol". European Commission – Economic and Financial Affairs. Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- Півторак Г. П. Український алфавіт // Українська мова: Енциклопедія. — К.: Українська енциклопедія, 2000. ISBN 966-7492-07-9 — С. 679—680. (H. Pivtorak, "Ukrainian Alphabet")