Dotted I (Cyrillic)
|The Cyrillic script|
It is used in the orthographies of the Belarusian, Kazakh, Khakas, Komiv, Rusyn and Ukrainian languages, where it is the equivalent of the Cyrillic letter i (И и) as used in Russian and other languages. (Ukrainian і is therefore Russian и, while Ukrainian uses и for a sound close to Russian ы. Belarusian meanwhile uses only і and ы, excluding и entirely. Rusyn uses і, и, and ы for three different sounds: /i/, /ɪ/, and /ɨ/ respectively.) In Komi, і occurs only after the consonants д, з, л, н, с, and т and does not palatalize them, whereas и does. In Kazakh and Khakas, і represents /ɪ/, as in "bit".
Just like the Latin letters I/i (and J/j), the dot above the letter only appears in its lowercase form, and only if that letter is not combined with a diacritic above it (notably the diaeresis used in Ukrainian to note the letter yi of its alphabet, and the macron). But even in that case (and as with the Latin letters i and j), this dot has not always been rendered in historic texts where the lowercase form was present without any other diacritic, and some modern texts and font styles may still discard this "soft" dot on the lowercase letter, because it is necessary for the readability of the text only for cursive styles.
The Cyrillic soft-dotted letter i was derived from the Greek letter iota (Ι ι).
The name of this letter in the Early Cyrillic alphabet was и/ижеи (i/ižei), meaning "and".
In the Cyrillic numeral system, soft-dotted I had a value of 10.
In the early Cyrillic alphabet there was little or no distinction between the Cyrillic letter i (И и), derived from the Greek letter eta, and the soft-dotted letter i. They both remained in the alphabetical repertoire because they represented different numbers in the Cyrillic numeral system, eight and ten respectively, and are therefore sometimes referred to as octal I and decimal I.
|Belarusian, Kazakh, Khakas, Komi, Rusyn, Ukrainian||In current use.|
|Macedonian||This letter or the letter ⟨Й⟩ were used by Macedonian authors to represent the sound /j/ until the introduction of the letter ⟨Ј⟩.|
|Russian||In use until 1918, when a significant reform of the Russian orthography came into effect.|
|Bulgarian||In use until 1878.|
Rules for usage in Russian (pre-1918)
- ⟨і⟩ was used before all vowels and before the semivowel ⟨й⟩, except at the end of a morpheme in a compound word, where ⟨и⟩ is used: пяти + акровый = пятиакровый, (five-acre)
- ⟨и⟩ was used as the last letter of a word and before consonants, except in міръ for "world, universe, local community, commons, society, laity", and words derived from it.
The distinction between миръ ("peace") and міръ ("world"), lost when they were merged to мир, led to the legend that Tolstoy's War and Peace (Война и миръ) was originally titled "War and (the) World". As it turns out, the spelling of the two variants of мир was an artificial distinction to separate two different definitions of what was originally in fact the same word (much as with English "to" vs. "too").
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER
|CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER
|UTF-8||208 134||D0 86||209 150||D1 96|
|Numeric character reference||І||І||і||і|
|Code page 855||139||8B||138||8A|
Related letters and other similar characters
- Ι ι : Greek letter Iota
- I i, İ i and I ı : Latin letter I (soft-dotted), dotted and dotless I
- И и : Cyrillic letter I
- Ї ї : Cyrillic letter Yi
- Й й : Cyrillic letter Short I
- Ј ј : Cyrillic letter Јe
- Ӏ ӏ : Cyrillic letter Palochka