From what I know, the letter J in Italian only occurs in loanwords and proper names. However, I still see words with I often switched for a J (ex: Jodio instead of Iodio https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/jodio). I also see the letter J in Italian city names such as Jesolo. Why is that when J is not in the Italian alphabet?

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The letter “j” has been used in Italian. If you read Pirandello's works you'll find plenty of examples: noja, migliaja, but, curiously enough, olio (where the “i” has consonantal sound as well).

I believe also Pirandello used “j” for the plural of the nouns in “-io”: odio,odj, but I couldn't find such usage in a book I consulted online. You can see an ngram for “olj”.

The usage wasn't really so widespread and declined. Some words are still written with ”j”, but are mostly proper names of people (Jacopo) or places (Jesolo, Lajatico). Also Jugoslavia, but it was more common Iugoslavia

The chemical element with symbol “I” is commonly written iodio and not jodio. You may still find it, though, but it's considered archaic orthography.

There's actually no need to distinguish betwee the consonantal and vocalic sounds of “i”. The only problem is whether you do elision of the article before a consonantal “i”; but I'm quite certain that only a few people would say “l‘iodio”.


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