J is the tenth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its normal name in English is jay or, now uncommonly, jy .When used for the palatal approximant, it may be called yod.
In English, ?j? most commonly represents the affricate j. In Old English, the phoneme /d?/ was represented orthographically with ?cg? and ?c??. Under the influence of Old French, which had a similar phoneme deriving from Latin /j/, English scribes began to use ?i? (later ?j?) to represent word-initial /d?/ in Old English (for example, iest and, later jest), while using ?dg? elsewhere (for example, hedge). Later, many other uses of ?i? (later ?j?) were added in loanwords from French and other languages (e.g. adjoin, junta). The first English language book to make a clear distinction between ?i? and ?j? was published in 1633. In loan words such as raj, ?j? may represent j. In some of these, including raj, Azerbaijan, Taj Mahal, and Beijing, the regular pronunciation /d?/ is actually closer to the native pronunciation, making the use of /?/ an instance of a hyperforeignism. Occasionally, ?j? represents the original /j/ sound, as in Hallelujah and fjord (see Yodh for details). In words of Spanish origin, where ?j? represents the voiceless velar fricative (such as jalape?o), English speakers usually approximate with the voiceless glottal fricative /h/.
In English, ?j? is the fourth least frequently used letter in words, being more frequent only than ?z?, ?q?, and ?x?. It is, however, quite common in proper nouns, especially personal names.
The letter J was used as the swash letter I, used for the letter I at the end of Roman numerals when following another I, as in XXIIJ or xxiij instead of XXIII or xxiii for the Roman numeral representing 23. A distinctive usage emerged in Middle High German. Gian Giorgio Trissino (1478–1550) was the first to explicitly distinguish I and J as representing separate sounds, in his ?pistola del Trissino de le lettere nu?vamente aggiunte ne la lingua italiana ("Trissino's epistle about the letters recently added in the Italian language") of 1524. Originally, 'I' and 'J' were different shapes for the same letter, both equally representing /i/, /i?/, and /j/; but, Romance languages developed new sounds (from former /j/ and /?/) that came to be represented as 'I' and 'J'; therefore, English J, acquired from the French J, has a sound value quite different from /j/ (which represents the initial sound in the English word "yet").
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