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The dotted i (? ?; italics: ? ? ), also called decimal ? (? , after its former numeric value), is a letter of 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.

In Ukrainian ? is the twelfth letter of the alphabet and represents the sound [i] in writing. Ukrainian uses ? to represent the sound [?].

In Belarusian I is the tenth letter of the alphabet. It represents [i].

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".

In Kazakh, the letter occurs on most native Turkic words. Most of the loanwords use ?.[]

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 letter was also used in Russian before 1918.


The Cyrillic soft-dotted letter i was derived from the Greek letter iota (? ?).

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.


Languages Notes
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.

Rules for usage in Russian (pre-1918)

In early Russian typewriters like this one, there was no key for the digit 1, so the dotted ? was used instead. Following the Russian alphabet reform of 1917, a 1 key was added.
  • was used before all vowels and before the semivowel except at the end of a morpheme in a compound word, where was used + ? = (five-acre);
  • was used as the last letter of a word and before consonants except in ? for "world, universe, local community, commons, society, laity" and words derived from it (but: ? "peace").

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").

Computing codes

Character І і
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1030 U+0406 1110 U+0456
UTF-8 208 134 D0 86 209 150 D1 96
Numeric character reference І І і і
KOI8-U 182 B6 166 A6
Code page 855 139 8B 138 8A
Windows-1251 178 B2 179 B3
ISO-8859-5 166 A6 246 F6
Macintosh Cyrillic 167 A7 180 B4

Related letters and other similar characters

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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