Where does the long ‘ ij ‘ come from? Are we the only ones to use this letter?

To my knowledge, the “Lange ij” is now only in Dutch.
With this letter (actually a combination of letters) we see an interesting development of the Dutch language.

I live on the other side of the IJssel and near us lies the village Wijhe.
People in the area, however, talk about IEssel and Wie-E, and we have the Diekdagen (embankment days) or: The IJ sound is pronounced here as an IE sound.
Here the history of the letter is also visible, namely a long I-sound.If you want to write phonetically, this is II, and that is not very readable in scripture where you do not put the dots.

What you see is a development in the language in which the writing with a different speed changed as the speech.Certainly in the west of the Netherlands the words with an ij are pronounced as egg, where this in the east often still has the IE-sound. Because of this development it is very difficult for people living in the west of the country to establish the relationship between the IE-sound, the IJ-writing method and the probably (truer-liek) previously present II scripture.

The reason why II is very plausible is that there are words that have made a similar change.Think of words that were written in the past with the “AE”, like Waerde and Jaeren. This is an art solution to write a tricky sound (a long a) in a scripture that does not actually know this. Over time, this has changed into value and Jaaren, with the last years eventually becoming.

One wanted to capture the speech of people in Scripture, used the II for a longer pronounced I, in which the dots were not yet used.This resulted in a lack of clarity, making it easy to use a clearer ligature, the IJ without dots. In The course of time, the dots have come.
The spoken language developed, especially in the west of the Netherlands, which means that the connection with the IP sound is slowly being lost.Only in a few words, such as special, is the IE sound still before (“Biewithout”).
The great example of this change is that it poses very interesting questions.

On the English Quora, a writer like Oscar Tay is very well able to describe these kinds of developments in beautiful terms.Highly recommended if you want to know something about the development of languages.

The long 虂 ij was originally in early written Dutch a long or double I-we see that still in “has he” that in spoken language loose as “has-ie“-but usually the standard ruling is changed to [茞i in corpse or [蕪 in Difficult In dialect words, in words such as dike, pain or nail , the IJ is often still considered to be [I: pronounced.https://educatie-en-school.infon…
In The Dutch originated Afrikaans, it has become a Y (my, Hy, Skryf, Wyse etc.) or I (difficult lick, etc.).The IJ is not used there.
In other languages, the combination of IJ (for example in the Spanish word hijo de son, or the Portuguese feijoada bean dish) is a combination of a syllable ending with-I followed by a syllable that Starts with J-and not a single letter like the typical Dutch ij.

In my knowledge, only Dutch uses the “IJ” as a diftong.Of course, the letter combination does occur in other languages, but not as we use them.

Where the IJ comes from, someone else will be able to explain better.

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