J and I

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Dr Mjau, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Dr Mjau New Member

    Have detected the situation, that in Wiki and other sources a new orthography comes out - instead J - I.
    I don`t know much Latin but in previous times people wrote jus/jura/Juppiter and now I see ius/Iuppiter and so on.
    Is this a new trend or return to classic writing, what are grounds for this and will this trend prevail in future?
    I should be grateful if somebody could give me some information about the topic.
  2. asanga Member

    The Romans only had I for i and j and V for u and v, so it conforms to classical spelling. The use of j and v may have become more popular in the 20th century, but spelling the semi-vowels with i and u never disappeared completely, so I wouldn't call it a return. It seems to be up to the personal preference of the editor, or the style guide of the publisher.
  3. Dr Mjau New Member

    Thank you, asanga.
    So, it comes out, as I understand, that the original latin spelling was "I".
    I made a look into the topic and it seems that "J" was introduced in Old French and from there came in all european languages.
    But it makes me curious,
    1) why I was substituted by J,
    2) why original spelling was lost,
    3) and why I is coming back.
    Though you wrote about editors and publishers, the fact is, that J was always written in overwhelming majority of classic author`s editions, dictionaries and textbooks.
    And now I see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ius an incomprehensible mixture of spellings.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  4. djmc Senior Member

    English - United Kingdom
    The norm in standard editions of classical texts (Oxford classical texts, Teubner, Budé) seems to use I for both, but to distinguish between U and V. This seems to have been the case since the nineteenth century.
  5. asanga Member

    Yes, I should have mentioned that the mixed system of i and u/v seems to be most common. Thanks to google books, it's easy to find many editions which only use i & u. They mostly date from the 16th--18th century. Just search for common words like uix, uerum, uirtus, etc.

    As for your questions:

    1 & 2) I suspect j & v were substituted because the traditional pronunciation of Latin in many European countries did not pronounce them as semivowels (Latin /j/ = French /ʒ/, Spanish /ʝ/, English /dʒ/, Latin /w/ = /v/ in most European languages), so it made sense to distinguish consonants and vowels more clearly than in classical Latin.

    3) The comeback may be related to the increased use of restored classical pronunciation. If it's spelled arma uirumque cano, or in nomine iesu, a modern reader will be more likely to pronounce /w/ and /j/ than /v/ and /dʒ/.
  6. Dr Mjau New Member

    Thank you, friends.
    I`m sorry I have no competence to take part in a discussion like this.
    I have looked into my dictionary, it is written, that I and J had the same shape but I meant vowel(syllabic) and J meant semivowel(non-syllabic), so iaceo must be sought under jaceo, iam - jam, ieiunus - jejunus, iocus - jocus, ius - jus, conicio - conjicio etc.

    But in many languages it remains /j/ - all Germanic(except English), Baltic, Uralic and Slavic.
    I understand it can be a stupid question but why Romance languages change the pronunciation and others not?
  7. asanga Member

    There's evidence intervocalic -i- already changed to an affricate in Vulgar Latin. Väänänen's Introduction au latin vulgaire cites Pompeiian inscriptions aiutor, aiutoris for adiutor, adiutoris. Maybe the Romance languages continued local pronunciations of Latin, whereas non-Romance languages applied the pronunciation rules of their own spelling systems.
  8. Dr Mjau New Member

    Maybe. I must add to consideration the case with italian pronunciations.
    I wish to add that Latin in non-Romance countries was not used so wide and did not intermix so deep with national languages. So their pronunciations could remain more stabile in the classic variant.
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    This is a delusion. Latin was very widely used in all provinces of the Western Church, from Ireland to Hungary.
  10. Dr Mjau New Member

    That`s right. But it was used among clergy and educated people and it makes a big difference.

Share This Page