It was the initial variant of the Cyrillic letter Іі, which saw change from two dots to one in 18th century, possibly inspired by similar Latin letter i. Later two variants of the letter separated to become distinct letters in the Ukrainian alphabet.
It is used in the Ukrainian alphabet, the Pannonian Rusyn alphabet, and the Prešov Rusyn alphabet of Slovakia, where it represents the iotated vowel sound /ji/, like the pronunciation of ⟨yea⟩ in "yeast". As the historical variant of the Cyrillic Іі it represented ether /i/ (as i in pizza) or /j/ (as y in yen).
In various romanization systems, ї is represented by Roman ji, yi, i, or even ï, but the most common is yi.
It was formerly also used in the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet in the late 1700s and early 1800s, where it represented the sound /j/; in this capacity, it was introduced by Dositej Obradović but eventually replaced with the modern letter ј by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić.
In Ukrainian, the letter was introduced as part of the Zhelekhivka orthography, in Yevhen Zhelekhivsky's Ukrainian–German dictionary (2 volumes, 1885–6).
Related letters and other similar characters
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER YI||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER YI|
|UTF-8||208 135||D0 87||209 151||D1 97|
|Numeric character reference||Ї||Ї||ї||ї|
|Code page 855||141||8D||140||8C|
|Code page 866||244||F4||245||F5|
- Maretić, Tomislav. Gramatika i stilistika hrvatskoga ili srpskoga književnog jezika. 1899.
- Karadžić, Vuk Stefanović. Pismenica serbskoga iezika, po govoru prostoga narod’a, 1814.
- The dictionary definition of Ї at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of ї at Wiktionary
- Ager, Simon. "Ruthenian (Rusyn/Русин)". Omniglot: the online encyclopedia of writing systems & languages. Retrieved 11 Apr 2012.
- Ager, Simon. "Ukrainian (Українська)". Omniglot: the online encyclopedia of writing systems & languages. Retrieved 11 Apr 2012.