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J
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J


Latin alphabet
A B C D
E F G H I J
K L M N O P
Q R S T U V
W X Y Z

The tenth letter of the Latin alphabet, J was originally only a capital letter, therefore, some people still write their names as Jsabel, Jnes instead of Isabel, Ines in the German-speaking world, and in Italy, in pre-modern use one also sometimes encounters J as a capital of I.

The Humanistic scholar Pierre de la Ramée (d. 1572) was the first to make a distinction between I and J. Originally, both I and J were pronounced as [i], [i:], and [j]; but Romance languages developed new sounds (from former [j] and [g]) that came to be represented as I and J; therefore, English J (from French J) has a sound quite different from I.

In other Germanic languages J stands for /j/. This is also true of Slavic languages that use the Latin alphabet as well as Hungarian and Albanian.

In modern standard Italian only foreign or Latin words have J. Until the 19th century, J was used instead of I in diphthongs, as a replacement for final -ii, or in vowels groups (as in Savoja); this rule was quite strict for official writing. J is also used for rendering words in dialect, where it stands for /j/, e.g. Romanesque ajo for standard aglio (garlic).

In Spanish J stands for /x/ (that in some cases developed from the /dZ/ sound, i.e. the same sound that English still has). In French former /dZ/ is now pronounced as /Z/ (as in English MEASURE).

In Turkish, Azeri and Tatar J is always prounced [Z]. (see SAMPA for meaning of all those phonetic symbols).

Juliet represents the letter J in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

Hebrew also influenced the English J, where it was sometimes pronounced as [y] in transcription (linguistics) (sometimes called transliteration.) The classic example is Hallelujah which is pronounced the same as Halleluyah. See the Hebrew yod for more details.

Meanings for J

See also: Ĵ

Two-letter combinations starting with J: