Voiceless glottal fricative
|Voiceless glottal fricative|
The voiceless glottal transition, commonly called a "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 ⟨h⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is h.
Although [h] has been described as a voiceless vowel, because in many languages it lacks the place and manner of articulation of a prototypical consonant, it also lacks the height and backness of a prototypical vowel:
[h and ɦ] have been described as voiceless or breathy voiced counterparts of the vowels that follow them [but] the shape of the vocal tract […] is often simply that of the surrounding sounds. […] Accordingly, in such cases it is more appropriate to regard h and ɦ as segments that have only a laryngeal specification, and are unmarked for all other features. There are other languages [such as Hebrew and Arabic] which show a more definite displacement of the formant frequencies for h, suggesting it has a [glottal] constriction associated with its production.
Features of the "voiceless glottal fricative":
- 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 in the languages they are familiar with, many phoneticians no longer consider [h] to be a fricative. However, the term "fricative" is generally retained for historical reasons.
- It may have a glottal place of articulation. However, it may have no fricative articulation, in which case the term 'glottal' only refers to the nature of its phonation, and does not describe the location of the stricture nor the turbulence. 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 [h], and [h] has sometimes been presented as a voiceless vowel, having the place of articulation of these surrounding vowels.
- Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
- 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 central–lateral 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.
|Adyghe||Shapsug||хыгь||[həɡʲ]||'now'||Corresponds to [x] in other dialects.|
|Arabic||Standard||هائل||[ˈhaːʔɪl]||'enormous'||See Arabic phonology|
|Asturian||guaḥe||[ˈɣwahe̞]||'child'||Mainly present in eastern dialects.|
|Basque||North-Eastern dialects||hirur||[hiɾur]||'three'||Can also be [ɦ].|
|Chechen||хIара / hara||[hɑrɐ]||'this'|
|Chinese||Cantonese||河 ho4||[hɔː]||'river'||See Cantonese phonology|
|Dutch||Standard||Eindhout||[ˈɛi̯nthʌu̯t]||'Eindhout' (Belgian city)||Allophone of /ɦ/ after voiceless consonants. See Dutch phonology|
|Friesland||haat||[haːt]||'hate'||Allophone of /ɦ/ after voiceless consonants and word-initially.|
|Holland||Some dialects. Corresponds to [ɦ] in standard Dutch.|
|English||high||[ˈhaɪ]||'high'||See English phonology|
|Finnish||hammas||[hɑmːɑs]||'tooth'||See Finnish phonology|
|German||Hass||[has]||'hatred'||See German phonology|
|Hawaiian||haka||[haka]||'shelf'||See Hawaiian phonology|
|Hebrew||הר||[haʁ]||'mountain'||See Modern Hebrew phonology|
|Hindi||Standard||हम||[ˈhəm]||'we'||See Hindi-Urdu phonology|
|Hungarian||helyes||[hɛjɛʃ]||'right'||See Hungarian phonology|
|Japanese||すはだ suhada||[su͍hada]||'bare skin'||See Japanese phonology|
|Korean||호랑이 horang-i||[ho̞ɾɐŋi]||'tiger'||See Korean phonology|
|Norwegian||hatt||[hɑtː]||'hat'||See Norwegian phonology|
|Persian||هفت||[hæft]||'seven'||See Persian phonology|
|Portuguese||General Brazilian||rápido||[ˈhapidu]||'fast', 'quick'||Some of the rhotic consonants in most dialects; main rhotic in some. Corresponds to phoneme /ʁ/.|
|Timorese||Mesolect/basilect, /ʁ/ in acrolect. See Portuguese phonology and languages of East Timor|
|Romanian||hăţ||[həts]||'bridle'||See Romanian phonology|
|Spanish||Many dialects||obispo||[o̞ˈβ̞ihpo̞]||'bishop'||Allophone of /s/. See Spanish phonology|
|Some dialects||jaca||[ˈhaka]||'pony'||Corresponds to /x/ in other dialects.|
|Swedish||hatt||[ˈhatː]||'hat'||See Swedish phonology|
|Turkish||halı||[häˈɫɯ]||'carpet'||See Turkish phonology|
|Ubykh||[dwaha]||'prayer'||See Ubykh phonology|
|Urdu||Standard||ہم||[ˈhəm]||'we'||See Hindi-Urdu phonology|
|Vietnamese||hiểu||[hjew˧˩˧]||'understand'||See Vietnamese phonology|
|Welsh||haul||[ˈhaɨl]||'sun'||See Welsh orthography|
See also 
- Barbosa, Plínio A.; Albano, Eleonora C. (2004), "Brazilian Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (2): 227–232, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001756
- Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company
- Hualde, José Ignacio; Ortiz de Urbina, Jon, eds. (2003), A grammar of Basque, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, ISBN 3-11-017683-1
- Kohler, Klaus (1999), "German", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association:A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge University Press, pp. 86–89, ISBN 0-521-63751-1
- Ladefoged, Peter (2005), Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.), Blackwell
- Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8.
- Laufer, Asher (1991), "Phonetic Representation: Glottal Fricatives", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 21 (2): 91–93
- Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373
- Shosted, Ryan K.; Chikovani, Vakhtang (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002659
- Thelwall, Robin (1990), "Illustrations of the IPA: Arabic", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 20 (2): 37–41, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004266
- Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232