Yodh

Yodh
Phonemic representation j, i, e
Position in alphabet 10
Numerical value 10
Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician

Yodh (also spelled yud, yod, jod, or jodh) is the tenth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Yōd , Hebrew Yōd י, Aramaic Yodh , Syriac Yōḏ ܝ, and Arabic Yāʾ ي (first in abjadi order, but last in modern order). Its sound value is /j/ in all languages for which it is used; in many languages, it also serves as a long vowel, representing //.

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Iota (Ι),[1] Latin I, J, Cyrillic І, Coptic iauda (Ⲓ) and Gothic eis .

Origins

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”

Arabic yāʼ

The letter ي is named yāʼ (يَاء). It is written in several ways depending on its position in the word:

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ي ـي ـيـ يـ

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 underwent the diphthong /aj/ in most of the 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: ئ

Yāʾ serves several functions in the Arabic language. Yāʾ as a prefix is the marker for a singular imperfective verb, as in يَكْتُب yaktub "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 (نِسْبَة). For instance, مِصْر Miṣr (Egypt) → مِصْرِيّ Miṣriyy (Egyptian). The transformation can be more abstract; for instance, مَوْضَوع mawḍūʿ (matter, object) → مَوْضُوعِيّ mawḍūʿiyy (objective). Still other uses of this function can be a bit further from the root: إِشْتِرَاك ishtirāk (cooperation) → إِشْتِرَاكِيّ ishtirākiyy (socialist). The common pronunciation of the final /-ijj/ is most often pronounced as [i] or [iː].

A form similar to but distinguished from yāʾ is the ʾalif maqṣūrah (أَلِف مَقْصُورَة) "broken 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 transliteration: ā) 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.

Perso-Arabic ye

In the Persian alphabet, the letter is generally called ye following Persian-language custom. In its final form, the letter does not have dots (ی), much like the Arabic ʾalif 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.

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ی ـی ـیـ یـ

In computers, the Persian version of the letter automatically appears with two dots initially and medially: (یـ ـیـ ـی). The Arabic version without dots ى is not used initially or medially, and it is not joinable initially or medially in all fonts. However, it is used in the Uyghur Arabic alphabet and the Arabic-based Kyrgyz alphabet: (ىـ ـىـ).

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ى ـى ـىـ ىـ

In Kashmiri, it uses a ring instead from ي of a dots below (ؠ ؠـ ـؠـ ـؠ).

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ؠ ـؠ ـؠـ ؠـ

Returned yāʾ

In different calligraphic styles like the Hijazi script, Kufic, 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"),[2] either with two dots or without them.[3]

In Urdu 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).

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ے ـے ـے ے

Alif maksura

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ى ـى ـىـ ىـ

Hebrew Yud

Orthographic variants
Various print fonts Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
script
SerifSans-serifMonospaced
י י י

Hebrew spelling: יוֹד ;[4][5] colloquial יוּד

Pronunciation

In both Biblical and modern Hebrew, Yud represents a palatal approximant ([j]).

Variations

Yud is a mater lectionis, like Aleph, He, and Vav. At the end of words with a vowel or when marked with a sh'va nach, it represents the formation of a diphthong, such as /ei/, /ai/, or /oi/.

Significance

In gematria, 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 (my father).

"Yod" in the Hebrew language signifies iodine.

In religion

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, Jesus 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.

Much kabbalistic 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.[6]

Character encodings

Characterיيیܝ
Unicode nameHEBREW LETTER YODARABIC LETTER YEHPERSIAN LETTER YESYRIAC LETTER YUDHSAMARITAN LETTER YUT
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode1497U+05D91610U+064A1740U+06CC1821U+071D2057U+0809
UTF-8215 153D7 99217 138D9 8A219 140DB 8C220 157DC 9D224 160 137E0 A0 89
Numeric character referenceייييییܝܝࠉࠉ
Character𐎊𐡉𐤉
Unicode nameUGARITIC LETTER YODIMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER YODHPHOENICIAN LETTER YOD
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode66442U+1038A67657U+1084967849U+10909
UTF-8240 144 142 138F0 90 8E 8A240 144 161 137F0 90 A1 89240 144 164 137F0 90 A4 89
UTF-1655296 57226D800 DF8A55298 56393D802 DC4955298 56585D802 DD09
Numeric character reference𐎊𐎊𐡉𐡉𐤉𐤉

See also

References

  1. Victor Parker, A History of Greece, 1300 to 30 BC, (John Wiley & Sons, 2014), 67.
  2. Gacek, Adam (2008). The Arabic manuscript tradition: a glossary of technical terms and bibliography: supplement. Leiden: Brill. p. 29. ISBN 9004165401.
  3. Yūsofī, Ḡolām-Ḥosayn (1990). "Calligraphy". Encyclopædia Iranica. IV. pp. 680–704.
  4. Morfix.mako.co.il
  5. Fileformat.info
  6. Inner.org
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