(also spelled yud
, or jodh
) is the tenth letter
of the Semitic abjads
, including Phoenician
Yōd , Hebrew
Yodh , Syriac
Yōḏ ܝ, and Arabic Yāʾ ي
. Its sound value is /j
/ in all languages for which it is used; in many languages, it also serves as a long vowel
, representing /iː
The term yod
is often used to refer to the speech sound [j
], a palatal approximant
, even in discussions of languages not written in Semitic abjads, as in phonological phenomena such as English "yod-dropping
Yodh is originated from a pictograph of a “hand” that ultimately derives from Proto-Semitic *yad-
. It may be related to the Egyptian hieroglyph
of an “arm” or “hand”
Hebrew spelling: יוֹד
, Yud represents the number ten.
As a prefix
, it designates the third person singular (or plural, with a Vav
as a suffix
) in the future tense.
As a suffix
, it indicates first person singular possessive; av
(father) becomes avi
"Yod" in the Hebrew language signifies iodine
. Iodine is also called يود yod
Two Yuds in a row designate the name of God Adonai
and in pointed texts are written with the vowels of Adonai; this is done as well with the Tetragrammaton
As Yud is the smallest letter, much kabbalistic
and mystical significance is attached to it. According to the Gospel of Matthew
mentioned it during the Antithesis of the Law
, when he says: "One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Jot, or iota, refers to the letter Yud; it was often overlooked by scribes because of its size and position as a mater lectionis
. In modern Hebrew, the phrase "tip of the Yud" refers to a small and insignificant thing, and someone who "worries about the tip of a Yud" is someone who is picky and meticulous about small details.
and mystical significance is also attached to it because of its gematria value as ten, which is an important number in Judaism, and its place in the name of God.
the letter yud is used for several orthographic purposes in native words:
- Alone, a single yud י may represent the vowel [i] or the consonant [j]. When adjacent to another vowel, or another yud, [i] may be distinguished from [j] by the addition of a dot below. Thus the word Yidish 'Yiddish' is spelled ייִדיש. The first yud represents [j]; the second yud represents [i] and is distinguished from the adjacent [j] by a dot; the third yud represents [i] as well, but no dot is necessary.
- The digraph יי, consisting of two yuds, represents the diphthong [ej].
- A pair of yuds with a horizontal line (pasekh) under them, ײַ, represents the diphthong [aj] in standard Yiddish.
- The digraph consisting of a vov followed by a yud, וי, represents the diphthong [oj].
from Hebrew or Aramaic in Yiddish are spelled as they are in their language of origin.
The letter ي is named yāʼ (يَاء). It is written in several ways depending on its position in the word:
It is pronounced in four ways:
- As a consonant, it is pronounced as a palatal approximant /j/, typically at the beginnings of words in front of short or long vowels.
- A long /iː/ usually in the middle or end of words. In this case it has no diacritic, but could be marked with a kasra in the preceding letter in some traditions.
- A long /eː/ In many dialects, as a result of the monophthongization that the diphthong /aj/ underwent in most words.
- A part of a diphthong, /aj/. Then, it has no diacritic but could be marked with a sukun in some traditions. The preceding consonant could have no diacritic or have fatḥa sign, hinting to the first vowel in the diphthong, i.e. /a/.
As a vowel, yāʾ can serve as the "seat" of the hamza
Yāʾ serves several functions in the Arabic language. Yāʾ as a prefix is the marker for a singular imperfective
verb, as in يَكْتُب
"he writes" from the root ك-ت-ب
K-T-B ("write, writing"). Yāʾ with a shadda
is particularly used to turn a noun into an adjective, called a nisbah
). For instance, مِصْر
) → مِصْرِيّ
(Egyptian). The transformation can be more abstract; for instance, مَوْضَوع
(matter, object) → مَوْضُوعِيّ
). Still other uses of this function can be a bit further from the root: إِشْتِرَاك
(cooperation) → إِشْتِرَاكِيّ
). The common pronunciation of the final /-ijj/ is most often pronounced as [i]
A form similar to but distinguished from yāʾ is the ʾalif maqṣūrah
) "limited/restricted alif
", with the form ى
. It indicates a final long /aː/.
In Egypt, Sudan and sometimes the Maghreb
, the final form is always ى
(without dots), both in handwriting and in print, representing both final /-iː/ and /-aː/. ى
representing final /-aː/ (DIN 31635
) is less likely to occur in Modern Standard Arabic. In this case, it is commonly known as, especially in Egypt, أَلِف لَيِّنَة
ʾalif layyinah[ˈʔælef læjˈjenæ]
. In Egypt, it is always short [-æ, -ɑ] if used in Egyptian Arabic
and most commonly short in Modern Standard Arabic, as well.
The alif maqṣūrah
, 'limited/restricted alif'), commonly known in Egypt as alif layyinah
, 'flexible alif'), looks like a dotless yā’ ى
) and may appear only at the end of a word. Although it looks different from a regular alif
, it represents the same sound /aː/, often realized as a short vowel. When it is written, alif maqṣūrah
is indistinguishable from final Persianye
or Arabic yā’
as it is written in Egypt, Sudan and sometimes elsewhere. The letter is transliterated as y
. Alif maqsurah
is transliterated as á
in DIN 31635
in ISO 233-2, and ỳ
in ISO 233
In Arabic, Alif maqsurah ى
is not used initially or medially, and it is not joinable initially or medially in all fonts. However, the letter is used initially and medially in the Uyghur Arabic alphabet
and the Arabic-based Kyrgyz alphabet
: (ىـ ـىـ
In the Persian alphabet
, the letter is generally called ye
custom. In its final form, the letter does not have dots (ی
), much like the Arabic Alif maqṣūrah
or, more to the point, much like the custom in Egypt, Sudan and sometimes Maghreb. On account of this difference, Perso-Arabic ye
is located at a different Unicode code point
than both of the standard Arabic letters. In computers, the Persian version of the letter automatically appears with two dots initially and medially: (یـ ـیـ ـی
, it uses a ring instead of a dots below (ي) (ؠ ؠـ ـؠـ ـؠ
In different calligraphic styles like the Hijazi script
, and Nastaʿlīq script
, a final yāʾ
might have a particular shape with the descender turned to the right (ـے
), called al-yāʾ al-mardūdah/al-rājiʿah
("returned, recurred yāʾ
either with two dots or without them.
this is called baṛī ye
("big ye"), but is an independent letter used for /ɛː, eː/ and differs from the basic ye (choṭī ye
, "little ye"). For this reason the letter has its own code point
in Unicode. Nevertheless, its initial and medial forms are not different from the other ye
(practically baṛī ye
is not used in these positions).
- ^ Victor Parker, A History of Greece, 1300 to 30 BC, (John Wiley & Sons, 2014), 67.
- ^ Morfix.mako.co.il[permanent dead link]
- ^ Fileformat.info
- ^ Inner.org
- ^ Weinreich, Uriel (1992). College Yiddish. New York: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. pp. 27–8.
- ^ Gacek, Adam (2008). The Arabic manuscript tradition: a glossary of technical terms and bibliography: supplement. Leiden: Brill. p. 29. ISBN 978-9004165403.
- ^ Yūsofī, Ḡolām-Ḥosayn (1990). "Calligraphy". Encyclopædia Iranica. IV. pp. 680–704.
Last edited on 13 May 2021, at 22:50
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