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|The Cyrillic script|
It commonly represents the close front unrounded vowel /i/ like the pronunciation of ?i? in English "machine".
It is used in the orthographies of Belarusian, Kazakh, Khakas, Komi, Carpathian Rusyn and Ukrainian and quite often, but not always, is the equivalent of the Cyrillic letter i (? ?) as used in Russian and other languages.
The two Carpathian Rusyn standard varieties use ?, ? and ? for three different sounds: /i/, /?/ and /?/, respectively.
In Komi, ? occurs only after the consonants ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, and ? and does not palatalize them while ? does. In Kazakh and Khakas, ? represents /?/, as in "bit".
Just like the Latin letters I/i (and J/j), the dot above the letter appears only in its lowercase form and then 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).
Even when the lowercase form is present without any other diacritic, the dot is not always rendered in historic texts (the same historically applied to the Roman letters i and j). Some modern texts and font styles, except for cursive styles, still discard the "soft" dot on the lowercase letter because the text is readable without it.
The Cyrillic soft-dotted letter i was derived from the Greek letter iota (? ?). The dot came later with some typefaces through Western European influence, which similarly affected other Cyrillic letters such as ? and ?.
The name of this letter in the Early Cyrillic alphabet was ? (i), meaning "and".
In the Cyrillic numeral system, soft-dotted ? had a value of 10.
In the early Cyrillic alphabet, there was little or no distinction between the Cyrillic letter i (? ?), derived from the Greek letter eta, and the soft-dotted letter i. They both remained in the alphabetical repertoire since they represented different numbers in the Cyrillic numeral system, eight and ten, respectively. They are, therefore, sometimes referred to as octal I and decimal I.
|Belarusian, Kazakh, Khakas, Komi, Carpathian Rusyn, Ukrainian||In current use.|
|Macedonian||Either this letter or the letter was used by Macedonian authors to represent the sound /j/ until the introduction of the letter .|
|Russian||In use until 1918, when a significant reform of the Russian orthography came into effect.|
|Bulgarian||In use until 1878.|
|Ossetian||In use until 1923.|
As it turns out, the spelling of the two variants of 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
|Named character reference||І||і|
|Code page 855||139||8B||138||8A|