Short I
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Short I
For the sound in English sometimes represented by ?, see near-close near-front unrounded vowel.

Short I or Yot (? ?; italics: ? ?) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. It is made of the Cyrillic letter ? with a breve.

Short I represents the palatal approximant /j/ like the pronunciation of ⟨y⟩ in yesterday.

Depending on the romanization system in use and the Slavic language that is under examination, it can be romanized as ⟨y⟩ (the most common), ⟨j⟩, ⟨i⟩ or ⟨?⟩ (probably the least common).

For more details, see romanization of Russian, romanization of Ukrainian and romanization of Bulgarian.


Active use of ⟨?⟩ (or, rather, the breve over ⟨?⟩) began around the 15th and the 16th centuries. Since the middle of the 17th century, the differentiation between ⟨?⟩ and ⟨?⟩ is obligatory in the Russian variant of Church Slavonic orthography (used for the Russian language as well). During the alphabet reforms of Peter I, all diacritic marks were removed from the Russian writing system, but shortly after his death, in 1735, the distinction between ⟨?⟩ and ⟨?⟩ was restored. ⟨?⟩ was not officially considered a separate letter of the alphabet until the 1930s.

Because ⟨?⟩ was considered to be a vowel and not a consonant, it was not required to take a hard sign when it came at the end of a word in pre-reform orthography.


Language position in
Belarusian 11th ? (I neskladovaye, or "non-syllabic I")
Bulgarian 10th ? (I kratko or "short I")
Russian 11th ? ? (I kratkoye or "short I")
Ukrainian 14th /j?t/, ? /?j/

In Russian, it appears predominantly in diphthongs like /ij/ in (shirokiy 'wide'), /aj/ in (kray 'end', 'krai'), /ej/ in (doley 'portion'), /oj/ in (goroy 'mountain'), and /uj/ in ?? (buystvo 'rage'). It is used in other positions only in foreign words, such as ?op? (York, not with ⟨?⟩), including fellow Slavic words like ? (Yovovich).

In Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian, the Cyrillic letter ? is used to represent the same sound. Latin-based Slavonic writing systems, such as Polish, Czech and the Latin version of Serbian and Croatian use the Latin letter J (not the letter Y, as in English or French), for that purpose.

Related letters and other similar characters

Contrastive use of Cyrillic kratka (for consonant [j]) and Latin breve (for short vowel [?]) above ? in Russian-Nenets dictionary

Note that breve in ? may be quite different from ordinary breve, the former having a thinner central part and thicker ends (the opposite holds for ordinary breve). This is often seen in serif fonts, cf. ? (Cyrillic Short I) and ? (Latin U with breve).

Computing codes

Character Й й
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1049 U+0419 1081 U+0439
UTF-8 208 153 D0 99 208 185 D0 B9
Numeric character reference Й Й й й
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 234 EA 202 CA
Code page 855 190 BE 189 BD
Code page 866 137 89 169 A9
Windows-1251 201 C9 233 E9
ISO-8859-5 185 B9 217 D9
Macintosh Cyrillic 137 89 233 E9

External links

  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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