ⓘ H


ⓘ H

The original Semitic letter Heth most likely represented the voiceless pharyngeal fricative ħ. The form of the letter probably stood for a fence or posts.

The Greek eta Η in Archaic Greek alphabets still represented /h/ later on it came to represent a long vowel, /ɛː/. In this context, the letter eta is also known as heta to underline this fact. Thus, in the Old Italic alphabets, the letter heta of the Euboean alphabet was adopted with its original sound value /h/.

While Etruscan and Latin had /h/ as a phoneme, almost all Romance languages lost the sound - Romanian later re-borrowed the /h/ phoneme from its neighbouring Slavic languages, and Spanish developed a secondary /h/ from /f, before losing it again; various Spanish dialects have developed as an allophone of /s/ or /x/ in most Spanish-speaking countries, and various dialects of Portuguese use it as an allophone of /ʀ/. H is also used in many spelling systems in digraphs and trigraphs, such as ch, which represents /tʃ/ in Spanish, Galician, Old Portuguese and English, /ʃ/ in French and modern Portuguese, /k/ in Italian, French and English, /x/ in German, Czech, Polish, Slovak, one native word of English and a few loanwords into English, and /ç/ in German.


1. Name in English

For most English speakers, the name for the letter is pronounced as and spelled "aitch" or occasionally "eitch". The pronunciation and the associated spelling "haitch" is often considered to be h-adding and is considered nonstandard in England. It is, however, a feature of Hiberno-English, as well as scattered varieties of Edinburgh, England, and Welsh English.

The perceived name of the letter affects the choice of indefinite article before initialisms beginning with H: for example "an H-bomb" or "a H-bomb". The pronunciation /heɪtʃ/ may be a hypercorrection formed by analogy with the names of the other letters of the alphabet, most of which include the sound they represent.

The haitch pronunciation of h has spread in England, being used by approximately 24% of English people born since 1982, and polls continue to show this pronunciation becoming more common among younger native speakers. Despite this increasing number, the pronunciation without the /h/ sound is still considered to be standard in England, although the pronunciation with /h/ is also attested as a legitimate variant.

Authorities disagree about the history of the letters name. The Oxford English Dictionary says the original name of the letter was for H.


2.1. Use in writing systems English

In English, ⟨h⟩ occurs as a single-letter grapheme, ⟨gh⟩ silent, /ɡ, /k, /p, or /f, ⟨ph⟩ /f, ⟨rh⟩ /r, ⟨sh⟩, ⟨th⟩ or, ⟨wh⟩ /hw/. The letter is silent in a syllable rime, as in ah, ohm, dahlia, cheetah, pooh-poohed, as well as in certain other words mostly of French origin such as hour, honest, herb in American but not British English and vehicle in certain varieties of English. Initial /h/ is often not pronounced in the weak form of some function words including had, has, have, he, her, him, his, and in some varieties of English including most regional dialects of England and Wales it is often omitted in all words see ⟨h⟩-dropping. It was formerly common for an rather than a to be used as the indefinite article before a word beginning with /h/ in an unstressed syllable, as in "an historian", but use of a is now more usual see English articles § Indefinite article. In English, The pronunciation of ⟨h⟩ as /h/ can be analyzed as a voiceless vowel. That is, when the phoneme /h/ precedes a vowel, /h/ may be realized as a voiceless version of the subsequent vowel. For example the word ⟨hit⟩, /hɪt/ is realized as.

In Ukrainian and Belarusian, when written in the Latin alphabet, ⟨h⟩ is also commonly used for /ɦ, which is otherwise written with the Cyrillic letter ⟨г⟩.

In Irish, ⟨h⟩ is not considered an independent letter, except for a very few non-native words, however ⟨h⟩ placed after a consonant is known as a "seimhiu" and indicates lenition of that consonant; ⟨h⟩ began to replace the original form of a seimhiu, a dot placed above the consonant, after the introduction of typewriters.

In most dialects of Polish, both ⟨h⟩ and the digraph ⟨ch⟩ always represent /x/.

In Basque, during the 20th century it was not used in the orthography of the Basque dialects in Spain but it marked an aspiration in the North-Eastern dialects. During the standardization of Basque in the 1970s, the compromise was reached that h would be accepted if it were the first consonant in a syllable. Hence, herri "people" and etorri "to come" were accepted instead of erri Biscayan and ethorri Souletin. Speakers could pronounce the h or not. For the dialects lacking the aspiration, this meant a complication added to the standardized spelling.


2.2. Use in writing systems Other systems

As a phonetic symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet IPA, it is used mainly for the so-called aspirations fricative or trills, and variations of the plain letter are used to represent two sounds: the lowercase form ⟨ h ⟩ represents the voiceless glottal fricative, and the small capital form ⟨ ʜ ⟩ represents the voiceless epiglottal fricative or trill. With a bar, minuscule ⟨ ħ ⟩ is used for a voiceless pharyngeal fricative. Specific to the IPA, a hooked ⟨ ɦ ⟩ is used for a voiced glottal fricative, and a superscript ⟨ ʰ ⟩ is used to represent aspiration.


3.1. Related characters Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

  • Ƕ ƕ: Latin letter hwair, derived from a ligature of the digraph hv, and used to transliterate the Gothic letter which represented the sound
  • IPA-specific symbols related to H: ʜ ꟸ ɦ ʰ ʱ ɥ ᶣ
  • ʰ: Modifier letter small h is used in Indo-European studies
  • ᴴ: Modifier letter H is used in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet
  • Ⱶ ⱶ: Claudian letters
  • ₕ: Subscript small h was used in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet prior to its formal standardization in 1902
  • ʮ and ʯ: Turned H with fishhook and turned H with fishhook and tail are used in Sino-Tibetanist linguistics
  • Ꟶ ꟶ: Reversed half h used in Roman inscriptions from the Roman provinces of Gaul
  • H with diacritics: ĥ ȟ ħ ḩ ⱨ ẖ h ḧ ḫ ꞕ

3.2. Related characters Ancestors, siblings and descendants in other alphabets

  • Η η: Greek letter Eta, from which the following symbols derive
  • : Semitic letter Heth, from which the following symbols derive
  • : Old Italic H, the ancestor of modern Latin H
  • ᚺ, ᚻ: Runic letter haglaz, which is probably a descendant of Old Italic H
  • Һ һ: Cyrillic letter Shha, which derives from Latin H
  • : Gothic letter haal
  • by the aspiration modifier letter ʰ a superscript form of the symbol for the voiceless glottal fricative h For instance, p represents the voiceless
  • Ħ minuscule: ħ is a letter of the Latin alphabet, derived from H with the addition of a bar. It is used in Maltese and in Tunisian Arabic transliteration
  • alphanumeric symbols:
  • true superscripts and subscripts. Thus H ₂O using a subscript character is supposed to be identical to H 2O with subscript markup In reality most
  • sound, though it can be transcribed as ɥ or ɥ both symbols denote a retracted ɥ ɥ centralized ɥ w advanced w or ẅ centralized
  • H minuscule: h is a letter of the Latin alphabet, formed from H with the addition of a dot diacritic. The letter has significance in various writing
  • International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʜ and the equivalent X - SAMPA symbol is H The glyph is homoglyphic with the lowercase Cyrillic
  • ʮ turned h with fishhook is a symbol from extensions to IPA for apical dental rounded syllabic alveolar fricative. That is, it is the z sound in English
  • however, the H symbol is faked by typing a regular key followed by typing a regular H key. Example: Be nice to this fool H H H Hgentleman he s
  • be confused with the IPA symbol ɟ representing a voiced palatal stop. Ⱶ a half H The value of this letter is unclear, but perhaps it represented the
  • International Phonetic Alphabet for this secondary articulation is ᶣ a superscript ɥ the symbol for the labialized palatal approximant. If such sounds