Decoding the letter J

From Teflpedia

joke /dʒəʊk/

The letter J, lower case j (pronounced /dʒeɪ/) normally represents IPA phoneme /dʒ/. For examples see IPA phoneme /dʒ/.

As /ʒ/[edit]

All English words that have IPA phoneme /ʒ/ spelled as "j" are of foreign origin, mainly French.

  • bijou /ˈbiːʒuː/, déjà vu /ˌdeɪʒɑː ˈvuː/, force majeure /ˌfɔːrs mæˈʒɜːr/, je ne sais quoi /ˌʒə nə seɪ ˈkwɑː/, jeté /ʒəˈteɪ/ (a ballet term), joie de vivre /ˌʒwʌ də ˈviːvrə/

From Persian: Taj Mahal /ˈtɑːʒ məˈhɑːl/

From Portuguese: Rio de Janeiro /ˈriːoʊ deɪ ʒəˈnɛəroʊ/

As /j/[edit]

IPA phoneme /j/ is called the yod, and it is a semivowel.

  • fjord /ˈfjɔːrd/, hallelujah /ˌhælɪˈluːjə/

Spanish loan words[edit]

The letter "j" is pronounced [x] in Spanish. In Spanish loanwords it is pronounced in different ways in English, normally /h/.

  • jalapeño: /ˌhæləˈpeɪnjəʊ,BrE ˌhɑːləˈpeɪnjəʊAmE/
  • junta: /ˈdʒʌntə,BrE ˈhʊntəAmE/
  • San Jose (California): /ˌsæn hoʊˈzeɪ/
Silent J
  • Juan: /wɑːn/
  • marijuana: /ˌmærəˈwɑːnə/. This word comes from Spanish marihuana [mariˈwana]. The spelling has a J in English but not in Spanish. Spanish has the alternate spelling mariguana.[1]

References[edit]

  1. Diccionario de la Lengua Española, marihuana.

See also[edit]