Voiced glottal fricative

Voiced glottal fricative
IPA Number147
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɦ
Unicode (hex)U+0266
Braille⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)

The voiced glottal fricative, sometimes called breathy-voiced glottal transition, 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 ⟨ɦ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is h\.

In many languages, [ɦ] has no place or manner of articulation. Thus, it has been described as a breathy-voiced counterpart of the following vowel from a phonetic point of view. However, its characteristics are also influenced by the preceding vowels and whatever other sounds surround it. Therefore, it can be described as a segment whose only consistent feature is its breathy voice phonation in such languages.[1] It may have real glottal constriction in a number of languages (such as Finnish[2]), making it a fricative.

Lamé contrasts voiceless and voiced glottal fricatives.[3]

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