J is the tenth letter in the modern
Latin alphabet; it was the last of the 26 letters to be added. Its name in English is jay (pronEng|dʒeɪ)."J", "Oxford English Dictionary," 2nd edition (1989)] [ "J" and "jay", "Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged" (1993)] It was formerly "jy" (from French "ji"), and in some dialects, mainly of Scottish English, it still is (pronEng|dʒaɪ).
J was originally an alternative version of
I. Its minuscule, j, was used in the Middle Agesas a swash character to end some Roman numeralsin place of "i". There was an emerging distinctive use in Middle High German. [ [http://germazope.uni-trier.de/Projects/WBB/woerterbuecher/lexer/selectarticle?lemid=LJ00001 Mittelhochdeutsches Handwörterbuch von Matthias Lexer (1878)] ] Gian Giorgio Trissino( 1478- 1550) was the first to explicitly distinguish I and J as representing separate sounds, in his "Ɛpistola del Trissino de le lettere nuωvamente aggiunte ne la lingua italiana" ("Trissino's epistle about the letters recently added in the Italian language") of 1524[ [http://hal9000.cisi.unito.it/wf/BIBLIOTECH/Umanistica/Biblioteca2/Libri-anti1/Libri-anti/image230.pdf Ɛpistola del Trissino de le lettere nuωvamente aggiunte ne la lingua italiana, photographic reproduction by Turin Univerisity] , page 5 of PDF file; publishing date in on the last page.] . Originally, both I and J represented IPA|/i/, IPA|/iː/, and IPA|/j/; but Romance languagesdeveloped new sounds (from former IPA|/j/ and IPA|/g/) that came to be represented as I and J; therefore, English J (from French J) has a sound value quite different from IPA|/j/.
Germanic languagesexcept English, Scots and Luxembourgish use "J" for IPA|/j/. This is also true of Albanian, and those Uralic and Slavic languagesthat use the Latin alphabet, such as Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Polish, Czech, and Slovak. Some languages in these families, such as Serbian, also adopted J into the Cyrillic alphabet for the same purpose. Because of this standard, the minuscule letter was chosen to be used in the IPA as the phonetic symbol for the sound.
Linguists from Germany and Central Europe also took up this letter in transliterations from those Slavic languages which use the Cyrillic alphabet. Specifically, the "Е" in Russian is sometimes transliterated "je" (with the "Ё" becoming "jo"); the "Я" is transliterated as "ja"; and the character "Ю" is transliterated "ju" - whereas the linguists from America and the English speaking world use "y" in place of "j" because of English, French, and Spanish use of Y for IPA|/j/. European linguists also use "j" for the character Й so that e.g. "-ий", a common adjective ending, is transliterated as "-ij". In English transliterations, that ending may be rendered as "-iy" or "-ii". Language students have to learn to find their way among the different possibilities indicated, either by the "j" or by the "y".
In modern standard Italian spelling, only
Latinwords or those of foreign languages have J. Until the 19th century, J was used instead of I in diphthongs, as a replacement for final "-ii", and in vowel groups (as in "Savoja"); this rule was quite strict for official writing. And J is also used for rendering words in dialect, where it stands for IPA|/j/, e.g. Romanesque "ajo" for standard "aglio" (garlic). The Italian Novelist Luigi Pirandelloutilised J in vowel groups in his works.
In Spanish J stands for IPA|/x ~ h/ (which developed from an earlier affricate IPA|/dʒ/), similar to the English "H" sound. However, the actual phonetic realization depends on dialect. When followed by an 'A' or an 'O' however, it assumes a guttural sound (fricative uvular /χ/), probably a remainder of
Hebrew also influenced the English J, which in a few cases is used in place of the more normal Y. The classic example is
Hallelujahwhich is pronounced the same as "Halleluyah". See the Hebrew yud for more details.
Some German typefaces of the fraktur or
schwabachertypes, obsolete since the end of the Second World War, do not necessarily distinguish between the capital I and J. The same character, a 'J' with a top serifof the tildeform, was sometimes used for both. The minuscule i and j, however, were distinguished.
Thomas Hardy's novel " Tess Of The D'Urbervilles", Tess's mother writes letters to Angel Clareusing "J" as the first person singular pronoun. Although the novel is set in the 19th century, this practice apparently remained in some rural areas.
Denmark, Germany, Norway, Swedenand Albania, this letter is often written with a long serifon top, but only to the left of the character.
J is used relatively infrequently in the
English Language, though it is more commonly used than Q, Xor Z. It is also not used frequently in the Native American languages; Gwich'in, Hän, Kaska, Tagish, Tlingit, Navajo, Northern and Southern Tutchone.
The dot above the lowercase "i" and "j" is known as a
"J" is the only letter that does not appear in the
Periodic Table of the Elements(although "Jl" was once symbol for joliotium, and "J" alone has been used for iodine[ Chemical element#Specific_chemical_elements] ). "Q" is only used in temporary systematic chemical symbols.
Codes for computing
Unicodethe capital J is codepoint U+004A and the lowercase j is U+006A. Unicode also has a dotless variant, Unicode|ȷ (U+0237) for use with combining diacritics.
ASCIIcode for capital J is 74 and for lowercase j is 106; or in binary 01001010 and 01101010, respectively.
EBCDICcode for capital J is 209 and for lowercase j is 145.
numeric character references in HTMLand XMLare "&#74;" and "&#106;" for upper and lower case respectively.
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