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ye
hiragana
japanese hiragana ye
katakana[1]
japanese katakana ye
another katakana[2]
japanese katakana ye
transliterationye
hiragana origin
katakana origin
another katakana origin
Man'yōgana曳 延 要 遥 叡 兄 江 吉 枝 衣
unicodeU+1B001
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Ye (hiragana: 𛀁, katakana: エ,𛄡) is a Japanese syllable or a kana used to write it, no longer in standard use.[3]

History

It is presumed that 𛀁 would have represented [je] [citation needed]. In the 10th century, e and ye progressively merged into ye, and then during the Edo period the pronunciation changed from /je/ to /e/.

However, during the Meiji period, linguists almost unanimously agreed on the kana for yi, ye, and wu. 𛀆 and 𛄢 are thought to have never occurred as syllables in Japanese, and 𛀁 was merged with え and エ.

Characters

Nara period–Heian period

Japanese people separated e and ye in Man'yōgana, early Hiragana and early Katakana.

Man'yōgana[4]

Hiragana[5]

Katakana[6]

After that, e and ye merged into ye in the 10th century, before eventually evolving back to e.[7]

Edo period–Meiji period

In the Edo period and the Meiji period, some Japanese linguists tried to separate kana e and kana ye again. The shapes of characters differed with each linguist. 𛀁 and 𛄡 were just two of many shapes.

They were phonetic symbols to fill in the blanks of gojuon table. Japanese people didn't separate them in normal writing.

These suggestions weren't accepted.

Unicode

The hiragana version is encoded as HIRAGANA LETTER ARCHAIC YE (with the normative alias of HENTAIGANA LETTER E-1) in the position U+1B001. The katakana version is encoded as KATAKANA LETTER ARCHAIC YE, in the position of U+1B121.

References

See also