Ya (Cyrillic)

Ya (Cyrillic)

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Heading=Cyrillic letter Ya

Ya (Я, я) is a letter in the Cyrillic alphabet, representing either the combination IPA|/ja/ (a so-called iotated vowel) or IPA|/a/ after a palatalized consonant.

History

Я is actually a hybrid of two historic letters. One is "iotified a " (IA), (majuscule: unicode|, minuscule: unicode|) a ligature of Decimal I and A, similar to letters like Yu (ю) or Iotified E (Unicode|Ѥ). The other is Little Yus (Unicode|Ѧ) and the Iotified Yat. In East Slavic (including Russian), the phonetic distinction between IA (IPA| [ja] ) and Unicode|Ѧ (a front nasal vowel IPA|/ɛ̃/ in Old Church Slavonic) was lost, so that in many East Slavic texts written in the Cyrillic cursive script (Skoropis), a variant of the letter Unicode|Ѧ (a rounder form without the "middle leg") was used to indicate IPA| [ja] .


[
Unicode|Ѧ or IA] When Peter I introduced his "civil script" in 1708, he had this round form of Unicode|Ѧ adapted to the roman style of the Western European Latin alphabet, which resulted in the form of a backwards Latin R.

Consequently, this new "Я" has no counterpart in the Glagolitic, Greek or Latin alphabets, no numerical value, and no name other than "Ya".

Code positions

Я is encoded as follows:

Its HTML entity is Я or Я for capital and я or я for small letter.

In versions of Unicode up to and including 5.0, "А iotified" shared codepoints with "Я", the actual glyph being dependent upon the font. However, with effect from version 5.1, Unicode provides the following dedicated codepoints for "А iotified": hexadecimal A656 (capital), A657 (small).

Puns based on this letter

Я is the thirty-third and last letter of the Russian alphabet. In Russian, the word "ya" (я) is the personal pronoun 'I'. A popular saying based on this fact, "Ya (= I) is the last letter in the alphabet", is used to teach children modesty and humility. In Early Cyrillic alphabet the name "az" (азъ) of the first letter "а" stood for 'I'. In the Bulgarian language "az" (аз) means 'I', and "ya" is used in sentences to express surprise. In some Bulgarian dialects я is used instead of az (аз) but this is considered provincial or rural.

The Cyrillic letters Я and И are used in faux Cyrillic typography.

ee also

*Iotification


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