Dotted and dotless I

letter of the Latin alphabet

Dotted and dotless I are two different letters in the Turkish alphabet. One of them (İ, i) has a dot above it and the other (I, ı) does not. This is true in both the capital and lower case forms of the letters (see the picture).

Dotless and dotted I's in capital and lower case.

The dotless I has the /ɯ/ sound, while the dotted İ has the /i/ sound. To show how they are pronounced, here are two examples:

  • İstanbul /isˈtanbuɫ/ (starts with an i sound, not an ı).
  • Diyarbakır /dijaɾˈbakɯɾ/ (the first and last vowels are spelled and pronounced differently)

Some of the other Turkic languages that use the Latin script, like Azerbaijani and Tatar, also use both kinds of I. But in all these languages, including Turkish, the letter j does not have a dotted or dotless form, with a dot only on the lower case character (J, j), just like in the Indo-European languages. However, a dotless j, ȷ, does exist in Unicode.