The palochka or palotchka (Ӏ ӏ; italics: Ӏ ӏ) (Russian: палочка, tr. palochka; IPA: [ˈpɑɫət͡ɕkə], literally "a stick") is a letter in the Cyrillic script. The letter usually has only a capital form, which is also used in lowercase text. The capital form of the palochka often looks like the capital form of the Cyrillic letter soft-dotted I (І і), the capital form of the Latin letter I (I i), and the lowercase form of the Latin letter L (L l).
The letter was introduced during the Cyrillization of the North-Caucasian languages in the late 1930s. To keep new orthographies compatible with Russian typewriters, many of the new alphabets contained only letters found in the Russian alphabet. Sounds absent in Russian were marked with digraphs and other letter combinations. The palochka was the only exception, and in practice in typewriting, the Arabo-European digit 1 was used instead. In fact, on Russian typewriters this character did not look like digit 1 but looked like a Roman numeral I with serifs. That is still common because the palochka is not present in most standard keyboard layouts (and, for some of them, not even the soft-dotted I) or common fonts and so cannot be easily entered or reliably displayed on many computer systems.
In the alphabets of the Caucasian languages Abaza, Adyghe, Avar, Dargwa, Ingush, Kabardian, Lak, Lezgian and Tabassaran, the palochka has no independent phonetic value but signals that the preceding consonant is an ejective. (An exception is the Abkhaz language, which does not use palochka for rendering ejectives.)
- Example from Avar: кӏалъазе [kʼaˈɬaze], "to speak"
In Adyghe, Ingush and Kabardian, Palochka is also a glottal stop /ʔ/.
- Example from Kabardian: елъэӏуащ [jaɬaˈʔʷaːɕ], "he asked her for something"
- Example from Chechen: кӏант [kʕant], "boy"
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC LETTER PALOCHKA||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER PALOCHKA|
|UTF-8||211 128||D3 80||211 143||D3 8F|
|Numeric character reference||Ӏ||Ӏ||ӏ||ӏ|
- The lowercase form of palochka was added to Unicode 5.0 in July 2006.
- "Cyrillic: Range: 0400–04FF" (PDF). The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. 2010. pp. 42, 43. Retrieved 2011-05-23.