Voiced glottal fricative

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Voiced glottal fricative
ɦ
IPA number 147
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ɦ
Unicode (hex) U+0266
X-SAMPA h\
Kirshenbaum h<?>
Braille ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236) ⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)
Sound

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.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiced glottal fricative:

  • Its phonation type is breathy voiced, or murmured, which means the vocal cords are loosely vibrating, with more air escaping than in a modally voiced sound.
  • In some languages, it has the constricted manner of articulation of a fricative. However, in many if not most it is a transitional state of the glottis with no manner of articulation other than its phonation type. Because there is no other constriction to produce friction in the vocal tract, most phoneticians no longer consider [ɦ] to be a fricative. True fricatives may have a murmured phonation in addition to producing friction elsewhere. However, the term "fricative" is generally retained for the historical reasons.
  • It may have a glottal place of articulation. However, it may have no fricative articulation, making the term glottal mean that it is articulated by the vocal folds, but this is the nature of its phonation rather than a separate articulation. All consonants except for the glottals, and all vowels, have an individual place of articulation in addition to the state of the glottis. As with all other consonants, surrounding vowels influence the pronunciation [ɦ], and accordingly [ɦ] has only the place of articulation of these surrounding vowels.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Basque Northeastern dialects[3] hemen [ɦemen] 'here' Can also be [h].
Chinese Wu 閒話 [ɦɛɦʊ] 'language'
Czech hora [ˈɦora] 'mountain' See Czech phonology
Dutch[4] haat [ɦaːt] 'hate' See Dutch phonology
English Received Pronunciation[5] behind [bɪˈɦaɪnd] 'behind' Some speakers, only between vowels. See English phonology
South African hand [ˈɦænd] 'hand' Some broad 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[6] hóín [ɦóĩ́] 'introduction'
Korean 방학 banghak [pɐŋɦɐk̚] 'vacation' Occurs only after /ŋ/. See Korean phonology
Lithuanian humoras [ˈɦʊmɔrɐs̪] 'humour' Often pronounced instead of [ɣ]. See Lithuanian phonology
Polish Podhale dialect hydrant [ˈɦɘ̟d̪rän̪t̪] 'fire hydrant' Contrasts with /x/. Standard Polish possesses only /x/. See Polish phonology
Kresy dialect
Portuguese Fluminense rapaz [ɦəˈpaɕ] 'male youth' Allophone of /ʁ/ (in all positions) and, much as [h] and [∅] (zero), of /S/ (coda sibilant phoneme), especially across more palatalizing dialects and/or innovative registers. See Portuguese phonology and guttural R
Sulista hashi [ɦɐˈɕi] 'chopsticks'
Brazilian[7][8] mesmo [ˈmeɦmu] 'same', 'even'
Punjabi ਹਵਾ [ɦəˈʋäː] 'air'
Silesian hangrys [ˈɦaŋɡrɨs] 'gooseberry'
Slovak hora About this sound [ˈɦo̞ɾa]  'mountain'
Slovene Littoral dialect group 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 dialect group
Zulu ihhashi [iːˈɦaːʃi] 'horse'

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]