Cyrillic alphabet

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The Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced /sɨˈrɪlɪk/) is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School.[1] and is used in various languages, past and present, of Eastern Europe and Asia, especially those of Slavic origin as well as non-Slavic languages influenced by Russian.

With the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Cyrillic became the third official alphabet of the European Union, following the Latin and Greek alphabets.



As the Cyrillic alphabet spread throughout the East and South Slavic territories, it was adopted for writing local languages, such as Old East Slavic. Its adaptation to the characteristics of local languages led to the development of its many modern variants, below.

Capital and lowercase letters were not distinguished in old manuscripts.

Yeri (Ы) was originally a ligature of Yer and I (Ꙑ). Iotation was indicated by ligatures formed with the letter I: (not ancestor of modern ya, Я, which is derived from Ѧ), Ѥ, Ю (ligature of I and ОУ), Ѩ, Ѭ. Many letters had variant forms and commonly used ligatures, for example И=І=Ї, Ѡ=Ѻ, Оу ⁄ ОУ=Ѹ, ѠТ=Ѿ.

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