Voiceless epiglottal trill

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Voiceless pharyngeal trill
(voiceless epiglottal fricative)
IPA number 172
Entity (decimal) ʜ
Unicode (hex) U+029C
Braille ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)

The voiceless epiglottal or pharyngeal trill, also analyzed as a fricative,[1] is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʜ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is H\.


Features of the voiceless epiglottal trill/fricative:

  • Its manner of articulation is trill, which means it is produced by directing air over the articulator so that it vibrates.
  • Its place of articulation is epiglottal, which means it is articulated with the aryepiglottic folds against the epiglottis.
  • 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 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.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Agul[2] [mɛʜ] 'whey'
Arabic[3] Iraqi[4] [example needed] Corresponds to /ħ/ (ح) in Standard Arabic. See Arabic phonology
Dahalo [ʜaːɗo] 'arrow'
Haida ants [ʜʌnts] 'shadow'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Esling (2010) "Phonetic Notation", in Hardcastle, Laver & Gibbon (eds) The Handbook of Phonetic Sciences, 2nd ed., p 695.
  2. ^ Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:167–168)
  3. ^ Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:167–168)
  4. ^ Zeki Hassan, John Esling, Scott Moisik, & lise Crevier-Buchman (2011) "Aryepiglottic trilled variants of /ʕ, ħ/ in Iraqi Arabic". Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (pp. 831–834), Hong Kong.