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Cyrillic letter Yery
Cyrillic letter Yery - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Phonetic usage:[?]
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
Non-Slavic letters
Archaic letters

Yery, Yeru, Ery or Eru (? ?; italics: ? ?), usually called ? [?] in modern Russian or yerý historically and in modern Church Slavonic, is a letter in the Cyrillic script. It represents the close central unrounded vowel /?/ (more rear or upper than i) after non-palatalised (hard) consonants in the Belarusian and Russian alphabets.

The letter is usually romanised into English and most other West European languages as ⟨y⟩: Krylov (family name, ). That spelling matches Polish, which uses ⟨y⟩ to represent a very similar sound. Russian ⟨?⟩ is used to transliterate Polish ⟨y⟩ into Cyrillic: Maryla (). However, Latin ⟨y⟩ may be used for other purposes as well (such as for ⟨?⟩, or as part of digraphs, e.g. ⟨?⟩).


The letter Yery in several fonts

Like many other Cyrillic letters, it was originally from a ligature ? (which is represented in Unicode as Yeru with Back Yer), formed from Yer ⟨?⟩ and ⟨?⟩ (formerly written either dotless or with two dots) or Izhe (⟨?⟩ which formerly resembled ⟨?⟩). In mediaeval manuscripts, it is almost always found as ⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩. Once the letters ⟨?⟩ and ⟨?⟩ later lost their values as vowels in the Slavic languages, the current simplified form ⟨?⟩ evolved.[clarification needed]


The soft sign (?) has the same trill. Because of phonological processes, the actual realisation of /i/ after alveolar consonants (⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, or ⟨?⟩) is retracted to a close central unrounded vowel [?], or [] after the labials: ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩.

In Rusyn, it denotes a sound a bit harder[clarification needed] than [?] and close to the Romanian sound î, also written â. In some situations, it may occur after palatalised consonants ( "blue", which never happens in Russian), and it often follows ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩, ⟨?⟩ and ⟨?⟩.

While vowel letters in the Cyrillic alphabet may be divided into iotated and non-iotated pairs (for example, ⟨?⟩ and ⟨?⟩ both represent /a/, the latter denoting a preceding palatalised consonant), ⟨?⟩ is more complicated. It appears only after hard consonants, its phonetic value differs from ⟨?⟩, and there is some scholarly disagreement as to whether or not ⟨?⟩ and ⟨?⟩ denote different phonemes.[]

Native Russian words do not begin with ⟨?⟩ (except for the specific verb : "to say the ⟨?⟩-sound"), but there are many proper and common nouns of non-Russian origin (including some geographical names in Russia) beginning with it: Kim Jong-un ( ) and Eulji Mundeok ( ), a Korean military leader; and Ytyk-Kyuyol (?-), Ygyatta (?), a village and a river in Sakha (Yakutia) Republic respectively.

In the Ukrainian alphabet, yery is not used as the language lacks the sound /?/.[1] In the Ukrainian alphabet, yery was mixed with [i] and was phased out in the second half of the 19th century.[2] According to Ukrainian academician Hryhoriy Pivtorak, the letter was replaced with so called "Cyrillic i" ⟨?⟩ which in Ukrainian language pronounced as and appeared due to the merger of letters ⟨?⟩ and ⟨i⟩ ("Cyrillic dotted i").[1] The yery letter could be found in several earlier versions of Ukrainian writing system that were introduced in the 19th century among which are "Pavlovsky writing system", "Slobda Ukraine (New) writing system", "Yaryzhka", and others.[3]

The letter ⟨?⟩ is also used in Cyrillic-based alphabets of several Turkic and Mongolic languages (see the list) for a darker vowel . The corresponding letter in Latin-based scripts are ⟨?⟩ (dotless I), I with bowl, and the soft sign (? ?)

In Tuvan, the Cyrillic letter can be written as a double vowel.[4][5]

Related letters and other similar characters

Computing codes

Character information
Preview Ы ы
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1067 U+042B 1099 U+044B 42576 U+A650 42577 U+A651
UTF-8 208 171 D0 AB 209 139 D1 8B 234 153 144 EA 99 90 234 153 145 EA 99 91
Numeric character reference Ы Ы ы ы Ꙑ Ꙑ ꙑ ꙑ
Named character reference Ы ы
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 249 F9 217 D9
Code page 855 242 F2 241 F1
Code page 866 155 9B 235 EB
Windows-1251 219 DB 251 FB
ISO-8859-5 203 CB 235 EB
Macintosh Cyrillic 155 9B 251 FB


  1. ^ a b Larysa Pavlenko Historical grammar of the Ukrainian language ( ?). The editorial and publishing department of the Volyn National University of Lesia Ukrainka. Lutsk, 2010. pages 47-48
  2. ^ Hlushchenko, V. Yer, yery (, ). Ukrainian Language. Encyclopedia (Izbornik).
  3. ^ Hryhoriy Pivtorak. Orthography (). Izbornik.
  4. ^ "Tuvan language, alphabet and pronunciation". Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Campbell, George L.; King, Gareth (24 July 2013). "Compendium of the World's Languages". Routledge. Retrieved 2016 – via Google Books.

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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