transliteration of mjagkij znak (Cyrillic soft sign)

Martin Heijdra mheijdra at Princeton.EDU
Tue Feb 9 08:14:51 CST 2016

And so it is, also in the library world both before and after Unicode: for miagkii znak the prime is prescribed. The prime is also prescribed for some uses for standard transliteration in Tibetan and Hebrew/Arabic/Persian/Pushto:

See:e.g. the relevant tables on

Tibetan: When two full forms of letters are stacked, as in Sanskritized Tibetan, there is no need to indicate the stacking. However, in the two cases noted here a modified letter prime should be inserted between the two consonants for the purpose of disambiguation.









Hebrew: A single prime ( ʹ ) is placed between two letters representing two distinct consonantal sounds when the combination might otherwise be read as a digraph.


Persian: When the affix and the word with which it is connected grammatically are written
separately in Persian, the two are separated in romanization by a single prime
( ʹ ).


Martin Heijdra

-----Original Message-----
From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at] On Behalf Of Michael Everson
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2016 8:43 AM
To: Unicode Discussion
Subject: Re: transliteration of mjagkij znak (Cyrillic soft sign)

On 9 Feb 2016, at 05:31, Asmus Freytag (t) <asmus-inc at<mailto:asmus-inc at>> wrote:

> Without scouring the book I don't know whether there's another place in it where something's unquestioningly the prime. In that case we could figure out whether its appearance is simply the way that font does it. Alternatively, if making double prime look different from two single primes, perhaps that's common enough across fonts, and would help to lay any doubts to rest -   but so far, what I see is a spacing acute.

Well, Asmus, it isn’t one. We linguists have been taught it’s the prime.

Michael Everson *

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