Voiceless velar fricative

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Voiceless velar fricative
x
IPA number 140
Encoding
Entity (decimal) x
Unicode (hex) U+0078
X-SAMPA x
Kirshenbaum x
Braille ⠭ (braille pattern dots-1346)
Sound

The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. It was part of the consonant inventory of Old English and can still be found in some dialects of English, most notably in Scottish English loch.

The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is x.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiceless velar 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 velar, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue at the soft palate.
  • 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.

Varieties of [x][edit]

IPA Description
x plain velar fricative
labialised
ejective
xʷʼ ejective labialised
x̜ʷ semi-labialised
x̹ʷ strongly labialised
palatalised
xʲʼ ejective palatalised

Occurrence[edit]

The voiceless velar fricative and its labialized variety are traditionally postulated to have occurred in Proto-Germanic, the ancestor of the Germanic languages, as the reflex of the Proto-Indo-European voiceless palatal and velar stops and the labialized voiceless velar stop. Thus Proto-Indo-European *r̥nom "horn" and *ód "what" became Proto-Germanic *hurnan and *hwat, where *h and *hw were likely to be [x] and [xʷ]. This sound change is part of Grimm's law.

In Modern Greek, the voiceless velar fricative (with its allophone the voiceless palatal fricative [ç], occurring before front vowels) originated from the Ancient Greek voiceless aspirated stop /kʰ/ in a sound change that turned Greek aspirated stops into fricatives.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abaza хьзы [xʲzǝ] 'name'
Adyghe хы About this sound [xə]  'six'
Afrikaans goed [xuˑt] 'well'
Aleut Atkan dialect alax [ɑlɑx] 'two'
Arabic خضراء [xadˤraːʔ] 'green (f)' See Arabic phonology
Assamese অসমীয়া [ɔxɔmija] 'Assamese'
Avar чeхь [tʃex] 'belly'
Azerbaijani x/خوش [xoʃ] 'pleasant'
Breton hor c'hi [or xiː] 'our dog'
Bulgarian тихо tiho About this sound ['tixo]  'quietly'
Chinese Mandarin hé [xɤ˧˥] 'river' See Standard Chinese
Czech chlap [xlap] 'guy' See Czech phonology
Dutch Belgian Dutch[1] acht About this sound [ˈɑxt]  'eight' See Dutch phonology
Northern dialects[2]
English Scottish loch [lɔx] 'loch' See English phonology
Some American speakers yech [jɛx] 'yech'
Esperanto monaĥo [monaxo] 'monk' See Esperanto phonology
Eyak duxł [tʊxɬ] 'traps'
Finnish[3] tuhka [tuxkɑ] 'ash' Allophone of /h/. See Finnish phonology
French jota [xɔta] 'jota' Occurs only in words borrowed from Spanish or Arabic. See French phonology
Georgian[4] ჯო [ˈdʒɔxi] 'stick'
German Kuchen [kuːxən] 'cake' See German phonology
Greek χαρά chará [xaˈra] 'joy' See Modern Greek phonology
Hindi ख़ुशी [xʊʃiː] 'happiness' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Hungarian sahhal [ʃɒxːɒl] 'with a shah' See Hungarian phonology
Irish deoch [dʲɔ̝̈x] 'drink' See Irish phonology
Kabardian дахэ About this sound [daːxa]  'pretty'
Korean 흠집 heumjip [xɯmd͡ʑip̚] 'flaw' Occurs only before /ɯ/. See Korean phonology
Lithuanian choras [ˈxɔrɐs̪] 'chorus'
Lojban xatra [xatra] 'letter'
Macedonian Охрид Ohrid About this sound [ˈɔxrit]  'Ohrid' See Macedonian phonology
Malay akhir [a:xir] 'last' can also be pronounced [h].
Manx aashagh [ˈɛːʒax] 'easy'
Old English wealh [wæɑlx] 'foreigner', 'slave' See Old English phonology
Persian خواهر [xɒːhær] 'sister' See Persian phonology
Polish[5] chleb [xlɛp] 'bread' Also (in great majority of dialects) represented by h. See Polish phonology
Portuguese Fluminense arte [ˈaxtɕi] 'art' In free variation with [χ], [ʁ], [ħ] and [h] before voiceless consonants.
General Brazilian[6] arrasto [ɐ̞ˈxastu] 'I drag' Some dialects, corresponds to rhotic consonant /ʁ/. See Portuguese phonology
Romanian hram [xräm] 'patron of a church' Allophone of /h/. See Romanian phonology
Russian[7] хороший khoroshiy About this sound [xɐˈroʂɨj]  'good' See Russian phonology
Scottish Gaelic[8] drochaid [ˈt̪ɾɔxɪtʲ] 'bridge' See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbo-Croatian храст / hrast [xrâːst] 'oak' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak chlap [xlap] 'guy'
Somali khad [xad] 'ink' See Somali phonology
Spanish[9] ojo [ˈo̞xo̞] 'eye' See Spanish phonology
Swedish Some southern dialects sju [xʉː] 'seven' See Swedish phonology
Xhosa rhoxisa [xɔkǁiːsa] 'to cancel'
Ukrainian хата [ˈxɑ.t̪ɑ] 'house' See Ukrainian phonology
Urdu خوشی [xʊʃiː] 'happiness' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Vietnamese[10] không [xəwŋ͡m˧] 'not' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian ch [tyx] 'dust' Allophone of /χ/, only occurring after close vowels ([i], [y] and [u]).
Yaghan xan [xan] 'here'
Yi he [xɤ˧] 'good'
Yiddish איך ikh [ix] 'I' See Yiddish phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[11] mejor [mɘxoɾ] 'better' Used primarily in loanwords from Spanish

Voiceless prevelar fricative[edit]

The voiceless prevelar fricative is a fricative consonant occurring in Belgian Dutch, where it is written as ch. It is sometimes erroneously called a voiceless palatal fricative. It would however be correct to consider the sound a voiceless post-palatal fricative.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiceless velar 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 prevelar, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue raised between the hard and the soft palate.
  • 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
Dutch Belgian Dutch echt [ɛx̘t̪] 'real' See Dutch phonology

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Verhoeven (2005:243)
  2. ^ van Reenen & Huijs (2000:?)
  3. ^ http://scripta.kotus.fi visk sisallys.php?p=5
  4. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006:255)
  5. ^ Jassem (2003:103)
  6. ^ Barbosa & Albano (2004:5–6)
  7. ^ Padgett (2003:42)
  8. ^ Oftedal, M. (1956) The Gaelic of Leurbost. Oslo. Norsk Tidskrift for Sprogvidenskap.
  9. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:255)
  10. ^ Thompson (1959:458–461)
  11. ^ Merrill (2008:109)

Bibliography[edit]