why h is voiceless vowel phonetically

Voiceless glottal fricative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Voiceless glottal fricative **

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For consonants followed by the superscript Ê°, see Aspirated consonant.

Voiceless glottal fricative
IPA number 146
Entity (decimal) h
Unicode (hex) U+0068
Kirshenbaum h
Braille ⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)
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The *voiceless glottal fricative*, sometimes called *voiceless glottal
transition*, and sometimes called the *aspirate*,^[1]^[2] is a type of
sound used in some spoken languages that 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


The Lamé language^[/clarification needed/] contrasts voiceless and
voiced glottal fricatives.^[4]



Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_glottal_fricative

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