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Related to Cyrillic: Cyrillic alphabet, Cyrillic letters


see alphabetalphabet
[Gr. alpha-beta, like Eng. ABC], system of writing, theoretically having a one-for-one relation between character (or letter) and phoneme (see phonetics). Few alphabets have achieved the ideal exactness.
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one of the two Slavic alphabets. It was named for the ninth-century Slavic educator Cyril (called Constantine before he became a monk), who in 863 created the first Slavic alphabet and, with the help of his brother Methodius, translated the text of the Christian church service from Greek into Slavic. The earliest Cyrillic monuments probably date from the time of the earliest Glagolitic monuments.The most ancient Cyrillic works are the Old Bulgarian Mostich inscription (tenth century), the inscription of Tsar Samuil (993), and the inscription of Ivan-Vladislav (1016); and the 11th-century manuscripts Savvina Kniga, the Codex Suprasliensis, and the Enin Book of the Apostles; as well as the more numerous East Slavic works, including such particularly valuable dated manuscripts as the Ostromir Gospel (1056–57), the Sviatoslav Missals (1073 and 1076), the Service Book of Days (1095, 1096 and 1097), and the beresto writings, which are documents of everyday correspondence.

There are a number of hypotheses concerning the origin of the Cyrillic alphabet. Most scholars, relying on the Moravian-Pannonian and Ohrid Glagolitic traditions associated with the activity of Cyril and Methodius, on the great age of many Glagolitic monuments, and on the 11th-century Novgorod monument, in which Glagolitic writing is called Cyrillic, have concluded that Cyril created the Glagolitic alphabet and that the Cyrillic alphabet was compiled in eastern Bulgaria in the late ninth century (in Preslav) to make the Slavic writing system more similar to the ceremonial Byzantine system.

The ancient Cyrillic alphabet (see Table 1) contained 24 Greek uncials and the following specially created letters that were not in the Greek alphabet but were needed to represent the corresponding Slavic sounds: (There were also some other letters whose original shape has not been definitively established.) Until the 11th and 12th centuries, the Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets paralleled each other, but Cyrillic later became the prevailing alphabet. The composition and shape of the Cyrillic letters have changed. In the 14th century the original uncials began to be replaced by half uncials, which were the basis for the first Russian typefaces. Beginning in the late 14th century, cursive script became widespread in business and everyday correspondence, and the ornamental ligature script was used in book titles. In 1708–10, Peter I replaced the half uncials with the Civil typeface, which was similar to the modern alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet was the basis for the alphabets of not only the southern and eastern Slavs but also of most of the peoples of the USSR, as well as of the Mongolian alphabet (by way of Russian).


Georgiev, E. Slavianskaia pis’mennost’do Kirilla i Mefodiia. Sofia, 1952.
Likhachev, D. S. Vozniknovenie russkoi literatury. Moscow-Leningrad, 1952.
Cherepnin, L. V. Russkaia paleografiia. Moscow, 1956.
Istrin, V. A. 1100 let slavianskoi azbuki. Moscow, 1963.



denoting or relating to the alphabet derived from that of the Greeks, supposedly by Saint Cyril, for the writing of Slavonic languages: now used primarily for Russian, Bulgarian, and the Serbian dialect of Serbo-Croat
References in periodicals archive ?
Furthermore, the Cyrillic letter io is a common representation of the vowel [?
The results are given in Table II for the Cyrillic, Latin and Glagolitic scripts.
Kazakhstan has used the Cyrillic alphabet since 1940, when it was a Soviet republic.
For example, in the word 'lions' two characters are saved by replacing the vowels with a Cyrillic letter resembling 'io', followed by the Unicode symbol for nanosecond 'ns'.
About one million customer records are to be screened by the software daily in both Cyrillic and English.
AMMAN (Star)--Under the patronage of Bulgarian Ambassador in Amman, Mr Petar Dragnev, a new exhibition "The Cyrillic Alphabet -- the new alphabet in the EU" was launched at Graphiclub's art space.
Not until you'd exhausted the Cyrillic alphabet and several non-Indo-European languages would you begin to describe some of the "stars" of this year's I'm A Celebrity.
So they realize they'll need to have a navigation system that uses Cyrillic characters.
However in 1863, retaliation came with an edict that all Lithuanian writing must be in the Cyrillic alphabet, and Catholic schools were closed, resulting in a mainly-agrarian society, much poorer than neighbouring Latvia and Estonia, but resolutely strong in the Catholic faith.
But several photographs snatch us away from this dreamy landscape, much to our delight--most notably the backside of a man who appears to be hewn from granite with tattoos in Cyrillic and other sundry symbols traversing his body.
And the Russian Cyrillic alphabet makes it difficult to understand their handwriting.
While many British publishers seem reluctant to include any Cyrillic, in this book a number of terms, such as raznochinets and zaum' are given in Cyrillic only, without translation or explanation.