Voiceless pharyngeal fricative
ħ
IPA Number144
Encoding
Entity (decimal)ħ
Unicode (hex)U+0127
X-SAMPAX\
Braille
⠖ (braille pattern dots-235)
⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)
Audio sample

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⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is X\. In the transcription of Arabic, Berber and Hebrew as well as a few other scripts, it is often written ⟨Ḥ⟩, ⟨ḥ⟩.

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

Features

Features of the voiceless pharyngeal fricative:

Occurrence

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, (kh'akh"vy) [ħaqʷə] 'stone'
Abkhaz ҳара (khara) [ħaˈra] 'we' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe тхьэ (tkh'ė) [tħa]  'god'
Agul мухI (mukh') [muħ] 'barn'
Arabic[2] ح‍ال (al) [ħaːl]  'situation' See Arabic phonology
Essaouira[3] شلوح (šlū) [ʃluːħ] 'chleuh'
Archi хIал (kh'al) [ħal] 'state'
Assyrian Western ܡܫܝܚܐ (mšìa) [mʃiːħɔ] 'Christ' Corresponds with [x] in most other dialects.
Avar xIебецI (kh'ebets') [ħeˈbetsʼ] 'earwax'
Azerbaijani əhdaş [æħd̪ɑʃ] 'instrument'
Chechen ач () [ħatʃ]  'plum'
English Some speakers, mostly of Received Pronunciation[4] hat [ħæʔt] 'hat' Glottal [h] for other speakers.[4] See English phonology
French[citation needed] Some speakers faire [feː(ă)ħ] 'to do/ to make'
Galician[5] Some dialects gato [ˈħatʊ] 'cat' Corresponds to /ɡ/ in other dialects. See gheada
Hebrew Mizrahi חַשְׁמַל (chashemal) [ħaʃˈmal]  'electricity' See Modern Hebrew phonology.
Kabardian кхъухь (kkh"ukh') [q͡χʷəħ]  'ship'
Kabyle ⴻⴼⴼⴰⴼ
aeffaf
احفاف
[aħəfːaf] 'hairdresser'
Kurdish Most speakers ol [ħol]  'environment' Corresponds to /h/ in some Kurdish dialects
Maltese Standard wieħed [wiħːet] 'one'
Nuu-chah-nulth ʔaap-ii [ʔaːpˈħiː] 'friendly'
Sioux Nakota haxdanahâ [haħdanahã] 'yesterday'
Somali xood [ħoːd]  'cane' See Somali phonology
Ukrainian[6] нігті (nigti) [ˈnʲiħtʲi] 'fingernails' Allophone of /ʕ/ (which may be transcribed /ɦ/) before voiceless consonants;[6] can be fronted to [x] in some "weak positions".[6] See Ukrainian phonology

See also

Notes

References

  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003) [First published 1981], The Phonetics of English and Dutch (5th ed.), Leiden: Brill Publishers, ISBN 9004103406
  • Danyenko, Andrii; Vakulenko, Serhii (1995), Ukrainian, Lincom Europa, ISBN 9783929075083
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996), The sounds of the World's Languages, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-19815-6
  • Regueira, Xose (1996). "Galician". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 26 (2): 119–122. doi:10.1017/s0025100300006162.
  • Watson, Janet (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic, New York: Oxford University Press
  • Francisco, Felipe Benjamin (2019). O dialeto árabe de Essaouira: documentação e descrição de uma variedade do sul do Marrocos (PhD). São Paulo: University of São Paulo. doi:10.11606/T.8.2019.tde-29102019-180034. S2CID 214469852.