Palatal approximant

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This is the Palatal Glide/Approximant. It is also used as a semi-vowel, equivalent to the high front vowels /i/ or /ɪ/. It is often written in diphthongs for this reason. Thus /ai/ or /aɪ/ are similar or the same as /aj/. It is comes from Germanic languages that use j for /j/.

Pulmonic Consonant
IPA: j
Kirshenbaum: j
Place of Articulation: Palatal
Manner of Articulation: Approximant
Phonological features:

[+delayed release]


Germanic Languages



In Anglo-Saxon, the Glide is represented by the symbol Ȝ, ȝ (called yogh /jox/) and/or G, g around a front vowel. Thus, gear is /jæar/. It was even used in the formation of diphthongs, so thus dæg is often pronounced like the modern Australian form /daj/. A common grammatical prefix was ge- /yə-/, used to indicate the past tense.

Middle English

The symbol Ȝ was still used well into the Middle English era, and Y, y was beginning to be pronounced /i/ or /ɪ/. It was also used along with I, i to form some diphthongs. The prefix in Anglo-Saxon merged into y- but was pronounced /i-/ or /ji-/ depending on dialect.

Modern English

In all forms of Modern English, Y, y is used as the glide and occasionally as the diphthong. Thus year /yiɹ/ as a glide, and day /dej/ as the diphthong.

High German

In High German, the symbol used for this symbol is J, j. The word Jäger is pronounced /yegər/. For diphthongs different symbols are used. For /oj/, eu or äu is used, and for /aj/, ei or occasionally ai is used.


Plain や, よ, ゆ (ya, yo, yu) 四, /jon/


Toki Pona

Plain j jelo “yellow”


Plain j jof (fem) and jod (masc) “gross”

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