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Little Yus (Ѧ, ѧ) and Big Yus (Ѫ, ѫ), or Jus, are the letters representing two Common Slavonic nasal vowels, in the early Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. Each can occur in iotified form (Ѩ, ѩ, Ѭ, ѭ), as a ligature with the letter I. As of Unicode 5.1, the Blended Yus (Ꙛ, ꙛ), Closed Little Yus (Ꙙ, ꙙ) and Iotified Closed Little Yus (Ꙝ, ꙝ) were added.

Phonetically, Little Yus represents a nasalized front vowel, possibly , while Big Yus represents a nasalized back vowel, such as IPA .

Names of the letters do not imply capitalization: both Little and Big Yus exist in majuscule and minuscule variants.

All modern Slavic languages which use the Cyrillic alphabet have lost the nasal vowels, making Yus unnecessary.

Big Yus was a part of the Bulgarian alphabet until 1945. However, the back nasal was pronounced the same way as ъ [ə] by that point. As a result, there were inconsistencies in its usage since people had to rely on memorized orthographic conventions to put it in its etymologically correct place. There are some Bulgarian or Macedonian dialects around Thessalonikimarker and Kastoriamarker in Northern Greece which still keep nasal pronunciation: КъНде греНдеш, мило чеНдо?

In Russiamarker, Little Yus was adapted to represent the iotated /ja/ я in the middle or end of a word; the modern letter Ya я is an adaptation of its cursive form of the seventeenth century, enshrined by the typographical reform of 1708. (This is also why я in Russian often appears as ę in Polish; cf. Russian пять; Polish pięć.)

In Polish, which is a Slavic language written with Latin alphabet, the letter Ę, ę has the phonetic value of Little Yus, while Ą, ą has that of Big Yus. The ioticized forms, meanwhile, are written ię, ią, ję, ją in Polish. Curiously, the phonemes written ę and ą are not historically descended from those represented by Little and Big Yus, but developed after the original nasals merged in Polish and then diverged again.

Little and Big Yus can also be found in the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet, used until about 1860. Little Yus was used for and Big Yus for .

Code positions

Character encoding Letter Case Decimal Hexadecimal Octal Binary

Little Yus Capital 1126 0466 02146 0000010001100110
Small 1127 0467 02147 0000010001100111
Iotified Little Yus Capital 1128 0468 02150 0000010001101000
Small 1129 0469 02151 0000010001101001

Big Yus Capital 1130 046a 02152 0000010001101010
Small 1131 046b 02153 0000010001101011
Iotified Big Yus Capital 1132 046c 02154 0000010001101100
Small 1133 046d 02155 0000010001101101

See also

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