Voiceless glottal fricative

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Voiceless glottal fricative
h
IPA number 146
Encoding
Entity (decimal) h
Unicode (hex) U+0068
X-SAMPA h
Kirshenbaum h
Braille ⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)
Sound

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.[1]

Features[edit]

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[who?] 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.

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe Shapsug хыгь [həɡʲ] 'now' Corresponds to [x] in other dialects.
Arabic Standard[2] هائل [ˈhaːʔɪl] 'enormous' See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[3] հայերեն About this sound [hɑjɛɾɛn]  'Armenian'
Asturian guae [ˈɣwahe̞] 'child' Mainly present in eastern dialects.
Avar гьа [ha] 'oath'
Basque North-Eastern dialects[4] hirur [hiɾur] 'three' Can also be [ɦ].
Bengali হাওয়া [hawa] 'wind'
Berber aherkus [ahǝrkus] 'shoe'
Chechen хIара / hara [hɑrɐ] 'this'
Chinese Cantonese ho4 [hɔː] 'river' See Cantonese phonology
Dutch Northern Netherlands[5] rood [hoːt] 'red' An extremely rare realization of /r/, occuring only once in Verstraten & Van de Velde (2001) corpus. Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology
Friesland haat [haːt] 'hate' Word-initial allophone of /ɦ/.
Holland Some dialects. Corresponds to [ɦ] in standard Dutch.
Limburg
English high [haɪ̯] 'high' See English phonology and H-dropping
Faroese hon [hoːn] 'she'
Finnish hammas [hɑmːɑs] 'tooth' See Finnish phonology
Georgian[6] ავა [hɑvɑ] 'climate'
German[7] Hass [has] 'hatred' See German phonology
Greek Cypriot[8] μαχαζί [mahaˈzi] 'shop' Allophone of /x/ before /a/.
Hawaiian[9] haka [haka] 'shelf' See Hawaiian phonology
Hebrew הר [haʁ] 'mountain' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindi Standard[2] हम [ˈhəm] 'we' See Hindustani phonology
Hmong hawm [haɨ̰] 'to honor'
Hungarian helyes [hɛjɛʃ] 'right' See Hungarian phonology
Italian Tuscan[10] i capitani [iˌhäɸiˈθäːni] 'the captains' Intervocalic allophone of /k/; it may be an approximant [h̞] instead. See Italian phonology
Japanese すはだ suhada [su͍hada] 'bare skin' See Japanese phonology
Korean 호랑이 horang-i [ho̞ɾɐŋi] 'tiger' See Korean phonology
Kabardian тхылъхэ [tχɪɬhɑ] 'books'
Lao ຫ້າ [haː˧˩] 'five'
Leonese guaje [ˈwahe̞] 'boy'
Malay hari [hari] 'day'
Navajo hastiin [hàsd̥ìːn]
Norwegian hatt [hɑtː] 'hat' See Norwegian phonology
Pashto هو [ho] 'yes'
Persian هفت [hæft] 'seven' See Persian phonology
Pirahã hi [hì] 'he'
Portuguese General Brazilian[11] 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[12] Andalusian hijo [ˈhixo̞] 'son' Corresponds to Old Spanish /h/, which was developed from Latin /f/ but muted in other dialects.
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
Thai ห้า [haː˥˩] 'five'
Turkish halı [häˈɫɯ] 'carpet' See Turkish phonology
Ubykh [dwaha] 'prayer' See Ubykh phonology
Urdu Standard[2] ہم [ˈhəm] 'we' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Vietnamese[13] hiểu [hjew˧˩˧] 'understand' See Vietnamese phonology
Welsh haul [ˈhaɨl] 'sun' See Welsh orthography
West Frisian hoeke [ˈhukə] 'corner'
Yi hxa [ha˧] 'hundred'

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Arvaniti, Amalia (1999), "Cypriot Greek", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 29 (2): 173–178, doi:10.1017/S002510030000654X 
  • 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, Robert A. Jr. (1944). "Italian phonemes and orthography". Italica (American Association of Teachers of Italian) 21 (2): 72–82. doi:10.2307/475860. JSTOR 475860. 
  • 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, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004448 
  • 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 
  • Verstraten, Bart; Van de Velde, Hans (2001), "Socio-geographical variation of /r/ in standard Dutch", in Van de Velde, Hans; van Hout, Roeland, 'r-atics, Brussels: Etudes & Travaux, pp. 45–61, ISSN 0777-3692