Irkan wrote:Oh, yes. I'm sorry if that led to misinterpretation. What I meant is that /y/ was no longer a phoneme represented by the orthography (I think it was already lost in Vulgar Latin, correct me if I'm wrong). So the letter stood there without a real purpose, thus being able to take care of the phoneme /j/.
I would question whether /y/ was ever a valid phoneme in Vulgar Latin. There's a misconception that Vulgar Latin descended from Classical Latin, but in fact Classical Latin was an artificial construct, with Vulgar Latin developing at the same time among the populace.
Irkan wrote:Anyway, <y> representing the phoneme [ʝ] is only a regional feature. I wouldn't say this happens in Moder Spanish, because in many regions, <y> may represent [ʒ], [ɟ͡ʝ], [ʃ] or the old [j]. The sound the letter represents may also vary depending on the environment, like after a nasal. So, in conlucion, I would say (and that's my inexpert opinion) that <y> represents /j/ and [ʝ] but not /ʝ/.
/ʝ/ is the underlying phoneme. I wasn't making any reference to its phonetic or dialectal realizations.
N'hésite pas à corriger mes erreurs.