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Re: Cyrillics, was: Re: Russian orthography (was: ...

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Friday, February 4, 2000, 21:27
Vasiliy Chernov wrote:

> The ligature I-O (without ypsilon) was used long before Peter I. Actually, > I don't remember if I-OY has ever been in use; it *is* mentioned in > the literature, but only hypothetically (AFAIK).
Yes, I was wrong to attribute this change to Peter. But I think that I-OY was real, not just hypothetical.
> There are more such ligatures. Modern 'JA' is originally I-A; in early > Slavonic manuscripts, there are also I-E, I-E~ (with 'small YUS'), and > I-O~ (with 'big YUS').
Indeed, and Unicode has all of these except IA. The modern letter YA is by origin a variant of small-yus: both letters had come to be pronounced /ja/ in Russian, and Peter abolished the IA ligature.
> BTW, 'YERU' - Oh... :( - is a ligature 'hard sign' > + iota (not 'soft sign', as it may seem because of its modern shape).
Indeed; in old manuscripts one sometimes sees the hard sign explicitly.
> It seems that Peter picked up what was already in use, selecting such > forms that resembled the Roman letters most.
Undoubtedly. -- Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)