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Y?-on ( (?), contracted word or diphthong) is a feature of the Japanese language in which a mora is formed with an added [j] sound, i.e., palatalized.

Y?on are represented in hiragana using a kana ending in i, such as ? (ki), plus a smaller version of one of the three y kana, ya, yu or yo. For example, ky?, "today", is written [k?oo], using a small version of the yo kana, ?. Contrast this with kiy?, "skillful", which is written [k?ijoo], with a full-sized yo kana. In historical kana orthography, y?on were not distinguished with the smaller kana, and had to be determined by context.

In earlier Japanese, y?on could also be formed with the kana wa, wi, we, and wo; for example, / kwa, ??/?? kwi, ??/?? kwe, ??/?? kwo. Although obsolete in modern Japanese, kwa and kwi can still be found in several of the Ryukyuan languages today, while kwe is formed with the digraph . Instead of the kana ?, these are formed with the kana for ku, ?/?.

Table

Y?on ()
katakana
? ya ? yu ? yo
? ki kya kyu kyo
? shi sha shu sho
? chi cha chu cho
? ni nya nyu nyo
? hi hya hyu hyo
? mi mya myu myo
? ri rya ryu ryo
dakuten
? gi gya gyu gyo
? ji ja ju jo
? bi bya byu byo
handakuten
? pi pya pyu pyo
hiragana
? ya ? yu ? yo
? ki kya kyu kyo
? shi sha shu sho
? chi cha chu cho
? ni nya nyu nyo
? hi hya hyu hyo
? mi mya myu myo
? ri rya ryu ryo
dakuten
? gi gya gyu gyo
? ji ja ju jo
? bi bya byu byo
handakuten
? pi pya pyu pyo

Other representations

Braille
Y?on Y?on + Dakuten Y?on + Handakuten -w-
? (braille pattern dots-4) ? (braille pattern dots-45) ? (braille pattern dots-46) ? (braille pattern dots-26)

In Japanese Braille, Y?on is indicated with one of the y?on, y?on+dakuten, or y?on+handakuten prefixes.

Unlike in kana, Braille y?on is prefixed to the -a/-u/-o syllables, rather than the -i, e.g. (kyu) = y?on + ku: ??. Likewise, the -w- syllables are indicated by a prefix of the -a/-i/-e/-o syllables, rather than an -u syllable, e.g. / (kwa) = -w- + ka: ??.


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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