Voiceless pharyngeal fricative

Voiceless pharyngeal fricative
IPA number 144
Entity (decimal) ħ
Unicode (hex) U+0127
Kirshenbaum H
Braille ⠖ (braille pattern dots-235)⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)
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The voiceless pharyngeal fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is an h-bar, ħ. In the transcription of Arabic and other scripts, it is often written , .

Typically characterized as a fricative in the upper pharynx, it is often a whispered [h].


Features of the voiceless pharyngeal fricative:


This sound is the most commonly cited realization of the Semitic letter hēth, which occurs in all dialects of Arabic, Classical Syriac, as well as Biblical and Tiberian Hebrew but only a minority of speakers of modern Hebrew. It has also been reconstructed as appearing in Ancient Egyptian, a related Afro-Asiatic language. Modern non-Oriental Hebrew has merged the voiceless pharyngeal fricative with the voiceless velar (or uvular) fricative. However, phonetic studies have shown that the so-called voiceless pharyngeal fricatives of Semitic languages are often neither pharyngeal (but rather epiglottal) nor fricatives (but rather approximants).[1]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abaza хIахъвы [ħaqʷǝ] 'stone'
Abkhaz ҳара [ħaˈra] 'we' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe тхьэ  [tħa]  'god'
Agul ? [muħ] 'barn'
Arabic Standard[2] حال  [ħaːl]  'situation' See Arabic phonology
Tunisian weħid [wɛħːɪd] 'one'
Archi хIал [ħaːl] 'good'
Avar xIебецI [ħeˈbetsʼ] 'earwax'
Berber Kabyle ⴰⵃⴻⴼⴼⴰⴼ
[aħəfːaf] 'hairdresser'
Chechen ач /  [ħatʃ]  'plum'
English Some speakers, mostly of Received Pronunciation[3] hat [ħaʔt] 'hat' Glottal [h] for other speakers.[3] See English phonology
Finnish hti [tæħti] 'star' Allophone of /h/ in complementary distribution.
Galician[4] Some dialects ghato [ˈħatʊ] 'cat' Corresponds to /ɡ/ in other dialects. See gheada
Hebrew חַשְׁמַל  [ħaʃˈmal]  'electricity' Oriental dialects only. See Modern Hebrew phonology
Kabardian кхъухь  [q͡χʷəħ]  'ship'
Kurdish Some speakers hol  [ħol]  'environment' Corresponds to /h/ in most Kurdish dialects
Maltese Standard wieħed [wiħːet] 'one'
Nuu-chah-nulth ʔaap-ii [ʔaːpˈħiː] 'friendly'
Sioux Nakota [haħdanahã] 'yesterday'
Somali xood  [ħoːd]  'cane' See Somali phonology
Syriac Chaldean Neo-Aramaic ܡܫܝܼܚܵܐ [mʃiːħa] 'christ' Corresponds with [x] in other Syriac varieties such as Assyrian Neo-Aramaic.
Ukrainian[5] нігті [ˈnʲiħtʲi] 'fingernails' Allophone of /ʕ/ (which may be transcribed /ɦ/) before voiceless consonants;[5] can be fronted to [x] in some "weak positions".[5] See Ukrainian phonology

See also



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