Ĥ

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Ĥ, or ĥ is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing a voiceless velar fricative [x] or voiceless uvular fricative [χ]. Its name in Esperanto is ĥo (pronounced /xo/).

It is also used in the revised Demers/Blanchet/St Onge orthography for Chinook Jargon.[1]

In the case of the minuscule, some fonts place the circumflex centred above the entire base letter h, others over the riser of the letter, and others over the shoulder.

H-circumflex.png
ĥ in the fonts Code2000, Sylfaen, Pragmatica Esperanto

Ĥ is the eleventh letter of the Esperanto alphabet. Although it is written as hx and hh respectively in the x-system and h-system workarounds, it is normally written as H with a circumflex: ĥ.

Reported demise[edit]

Ĥ was always the least used Esperanto letter (though it usually has more dictionary entries than ĵ), and most of its uses are in Greek etyms, where it represented chi. Since the latter is pronounced [k] in most languages, neologistic equivalents soon appeared in which "ĥ" was replaced by "k", such as teĥniko tekniko ("technology") and ĥemio kemio ("chemistry"). Some other ĥ-replacements followed unusual patterns, such as ĥino ĉino ("Chinese [person]").

These additions and replacements came very early and were in general use by World War I. Since then the imminent demise of ĥ has been often discussed, but has never really happened. There are very few modern ĥ-replacements, notably koruso for ĥoro ("chorus"). Some ĥ-words are preferred to existing replacements (old or new), such as ĥaoso vs. kaoso ("chaos").

Several words commonly use ĥ, particularly those of non-Greek etymology (ĥano ("khan"), ĥoto ("jota"), Liĥtenŝtejno ("Liechtenstein"), etc.) or those in which there is another word that uses "k" in that context. The latter include:

  • eĥo ("echo") ≠ eko ("beginning")
  • ĉeĥo ("Czech") ≠ ĉeko ("bank check")
  • ĥoro ("chorus") ≠ koro ("heart") ≠ horo ("hour")

Other uses[edit]

An Italian italo disco singer from the 1980s had the ĥ in his stage name "Cĥato".[2]

In quantum mechanics, Ĥ is sometimes used to represent the Hamiltonian operator, especially in the Wheeler–DeWitt equation.

Computing code[edit]

Character Ĥ ĥ
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER H WITH CIRCUMFLEX LATIN SMALL LETTER H WITH CIRCUMFLEX
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 292 U+0124 293 U+0125
UTF-8 196 164 C4 A4 196 165 C4 A5
Numeric character reference Ĥ Ĥ ĥ ĥ

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lang, George (2009). Making Wawa: The Genesis of Chinook Jargon. UBC Press. p. 216. ISBN 978-0774815277. 
  2. ^ "Chato – No No No". Discogs.  Although the circumflex isn't in the text of the webpage, it is used in his stage name as shown on the record jacket: CĤATO.