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I've been told that the first syllable of abiciō is long by position, because it's actually an underlying *abjiciō, which causes it to be syllabified as *ab-ji-ci-ō before the *ji simplifies to i. So the first syllable has a coda consonant, despite the next syllable being headless.

This makes some sense, and explains Catullus XXV.9:

ho̱c tu̱ qua̱mlu̯be̯t a̱bi̯c' e̱le̯va̱que̯
You can ignore this and laugh it off as much as you like

(The first syllable of abice here has to be long to fit the meter.)

But I've never heard of these "invisible yods" before. Are they a real thing? And if so, are there other notable ones I should be aware of, apart from the compounds of jaciō?

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I've been told that the first syllable of abiciō is long by position, because it's actually an underlying *abjiciō, which causes it to be syllabified as *ab-ji-ci-ō before the *ji simplifies to i. So the first syllable has a coda consonant, despite the next syllable being headless.

That's different from the account that I've heard. According to Alex B.'s answer here, which cites Allen 1978 and Leumann 1977, the spelling "abicio" was used along with heavy scansion of the first syllable in Classical Latin because of orthographic, not phonological, simplification of double letter I. The pronunciation in this case would start with /ab.ji/, a VC syllable followed by a CV syllable. A page away, Allen discusses a possibly related orthographic phenomenon, the avoidance of double letter I as a representation of phonologically geminate intervocalic /jj/.

I don't know of any examples apart from the compounds of jaciō.

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