Voiced glottal fricative

Voiced glottal fricative
IPA number 147
Entity (decimal) ɦ
Unicode (hex) U+0266
Kirshenbaum h<?>
Braille ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)
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The breathy-voiced glottal transition, commonly called a voiced glottal fricative, is a type of sound used in some spoken languages which patterns like a fricative or approximant consonant phonologically, but often lacks the usual phonetic characteristics of a consonant. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɦ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is h\.

In many languages, [ɦ] has no place or manner of articulation. For this reason, it has been described as a breathy-voiced counterpart of the following vowel from a phonetic point of view. However, its characteristics are also influenced by the preceding vowels and whatever other sounds surround it, so it can be described as a segment whose only consistent feature is its breathy voice phonation, in such languages.[1] It may have real glottal constriction in a number of languages (such as Finnish[2]), making it a fricative.

Lamé contrasts voiceless and voiced glottal fricatives.[3]


Features of the voiced glottal fricative:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Basque Northeastern dialects[4] hemen [ɦemen] 'here' Can be voiceless [h] instead.
Chinese Wu 閒話 [ɦɛɦʊ] 'language'
Czech hora [ˈɦora] 'mountain' See Czech phonology
Danish[3] Mon det har regnet? [mɔ̽n d̥e̝ ɦɑ̈ ˈʁ̞ɑ̈jnð̩] 'I wonder if it has rained?' Common allophone of /h/ between vowels.[3] See Danish phonology
Dutch[5] haat [ɦaːt] 'hate' See Dutch phonology
English Australian[6] behind [bəˈɦɑe̯nd] 'behind' Possible allophone of /h/ between voiced sounds.[6][7] See Australian English phonology and English phonology
Received Pronunciation[7] [bɪˈɦaɪ̯nd]
Broad South African hand [ˈɦɛn̪t̪] 'hand' Some speakers, only before a stressed vowel.
Finnish raha [rɑɦɑ] 'money' Allophone of /h/ between voiced sounds. See Finnish phonology
Hebrew מהר  [mäɦe̞ʁ]  'fast' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindustani हूँ / ہوں [ɦu᷉] 'am' See Hindustani phonology
Kalabari[8] hóín [ɦóĩ́] 'introduction'
Korean 방학 banghak [pɐŋɦɐk̚] 'vacation' Occurs as an allophone of /h/ between voiced sounds. See Korean phonology
Limburgish Some dialects[9][10] hart [ɦɑ̽ʀ̝t] 'heart' Voiceless [h] in other dialects. The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lithuanian humoras [ˈɦʊmɔrɐs̪] 'humour' Often pronounced instead of [ɣ]. See Lithuanian phonology
PolishPodhale dialect hydrant [ˈɦɘ̟d̪rän̪t̪] 'fire hydrant' Contrasts with /x/. Standard Polish possesses only /x/. See Polish phonology
Kresy dialect
Portuguese Many Brazilian dialects esse rapaz [ˈesi ɦaˈpajs] 'this youth' (m.) Allophone of /ʁ/. [h, ɦ] are marginal sounds to many speakers, particularly out of Brazil. See Portuguese phonology and guttural R
Many speakers hashi [ɦɐˈʃi] 'chopsticks'
Colloquial Brazilian[11][12] mesmo [ˈmeɦmu] 'same' Corresponds to either /s/ or /ʃ/ (depending on dialect) in the syllable coda. Might also be deleted.
Punjabi ਹਵਾ [ɦə̀ʋä̌ː] 'air'
Romanian Transylvanian dialects[13] haină [ˈɦainə] 'coat' Corresponds to [h] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Silesian hangrys [ˈɦaŋɡrɨs] 'gooseberry'
Slovak hora  [ˈɦo̞ɾa]  'mountain'
Slovene Littoral dialects hora [ˈɦɔra] 'mountain' This is a general feature of all Slovene dialects west of the Škofja LokaPlanina line. Corresponds to [ɡ] in other dialects.
Rovte dialects
Ukrainian голос [ˈɦɔlɔs] 'voice' Also described as [ʕ]. See Ukrainian phonology
Zulu ihhashi [iːˈɦaːʃi] 'horse'

See also



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