Voiceless uvular fricative

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Voiceless uvular fricative
χ
IPA number 142
Encoding
Entity (decimal) χ
Unicode (hex) U+03C7
X-SAMPA X
Kirshenbaum X
Braille ⠨ (braille pattern dots-46) ⠯ (braille pattern dots-12346)
Sound

The voiceless uvular fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is χ, or in broad transcription x although the latter technically represents a velar pronunciation. The sound is represented by (ex with underdot) in Americanist phonetic notation.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiceless uvular fricative:

  • Its manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is uvular, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the uvula.
  • 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.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • 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
Abkhaz хпа [χpa] 'three' Contrasts with labialized and palatalized forms. See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe пхъэ About this sound [pχa]  'wood'
Archi хол [χol] 'arm'
Afrikaans goed [χut] 'good' Some dialects.
Aleut Atkan dialect hati [hɑtiχ] 'ten'
Arabic Standard خبز [χʊbz] 'bread' See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[1] խոտ About this sound [χot]  ‘grass’
Avar орх [orχ] 'to lift' Contrasts with a tense form
Bashkir хат [χɑt] 'letter'
Berber Kabyle axxam [aχχam] 'house'
Chilcotin ? [ʔælaχ] 'I made it'
Dutch Netherlandic Scheveningen About this sound [ˈsχeɪ̯vənɪŋə(n)]  'Scheveningen' Many central and western dialects. Corresponds to /ɣ/ and /x/ in standard Netherlandic Dutch. See Dutch phonology
The Hague standaard [ˈstɑndaːχt] 'standard' Traditional allophone of /ʀ/, occurring after vowels before consonants.
Eyak da. [daːχ] 'and'
French proche [pχɔʃ] 'nearby' Allophone of /ʁ/ before or after voiceless obstruent. See French phonology
German Lower Rhine[2] Wirte [ˈvɪχtə] 'hosts' In free variation with [ɐ] between a vowel and a voiceless coronal consonant.
Standard[3] Dach [daχ] 'roof' Appears only after certain back vowels. See German phonology
Swiss mich [mɪχ] 'me' (acc.) Some speakers, for others it's velar [x]. Swiss German makes no distinction between /x/ and /ç/.
Haida ḵ'aláaan [qʼʌlɑ́χʌn] 'fence'
Hebrew אוכל [ʔoχel] 'food' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Kabardian хъарзынэ [χaːrzəna] 'well'
Klallam saʔqʷaʔ [sχaʔqʷaʔ] 'salmon backbone'
Lakota ȟóta [ˈχota] 'gray'
Lezgian хат [χatʰ] 'bead' Contrasts with a labialized form
Ongota [χibiɾi] 'bat'
Oowekyala [tsʼkʼʷχttɬkt͡s] 'the invisible one here with me will be short'
Nez Perce [ˈχəχɑˑt͡s] 'grizzly bear'
Portuguese Fluminense anarquia [ɐ̃nɐ̞χˈki.ɐ] 'anarchy' In free variation with [x], [ʁ ~ ʀ], [ħ] and [h] before voiceless consonants.
General Brazilian[4] marrom [mɐ̞ˈχõː] 'the color brown' Some dialects, corresponds to rhotic consonant /ʁ/. See Portuguese phonology
Saanich wexes [wəχəs] 'small frogs' Contrasts with a labialized form
Scots nicht [nɪχt][citation needed] 'night'
Seri xeecoj [χɛːkox] 'wolf' Contrasts with a labialized form
Spanish Castilian[5] jugar [χuˈɣ̞äɾ] 'to play' Allophone of /x/ before back vowels and [w]. See Spanish phonology
Some speakers hijo [ˈiχo̞] 'son' Some speakers use the uvular pronunciation in all or most positions.
Swedish Southern sjuk [χʉːk] 'sick' Dialectal. See Swedish phonology
Tlingit tlaxh [tɬʰɐχ] 'very' Contrasts with labialized, ejective and labialized ejective form
Ubykh [asfəpχa] 'I need to eat it' Ubykh has ten different uvular fricatives. See Ubykh phonology
Uyghur یاخشی yaxshi [jɑχʃi] 'good'
Uzbek[6] [example needed] Post-velar.[6] Occurs in environments different than word-initially and pre-consonantally, otherwise it's pre-velar.
Welsh carchar [ˈkarχar] 'jail' See Welsh phonology
West Frisian berch [bɛrχ] 'mountain' Never occurs in word-initial positions.
Yiddish בוך [bʊχ] 'book' See Yiddish phonology

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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 
  • Hall, Tracy Alan (1993), "The phonology of German /ʀ/", Phonology 10 (1): 83–105, doi:10.1017/S0952675700001743 
  • Hess, Wolfgang (2001), "Funktionale Phonetik und Phonologie", Grundlagen der Phonetik, Bonn: Institut für Kommunikationsforschung und Phonetik, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität 
  • Kohler, Klaus (1990), "Comment on German", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 20 (02): 44–46, doi:10.1017/S002510030000428X 
  • 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 
  • Sjoberg, Andrée F. (1963), Uzbek Structural Grammar