|Voiceless uvular fricative|
The voiceless uvular fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨?⟩, the Greek chi. The sound is represented by ⟨x?⟩ (ex with underdot) in Americanist phonetic notation. It is sometimes transcribed with ⟨x⟩ (or ⟨r⟩, if rhotic) in broad transcription.
There is also a voiceless uvular fricative trill (a simultaneous [?] and ) in some languages, e.g. Hebrew and Wolof as well as in the northern and central varieties of European Spanish. It can be transcribed as ⟨⟩ (a devoiced and raised uvular trill) in IPA. It is found as either the voiceless counterpart of or the sole dorsal fricative in Northern Standard Dutch and regional dialects and languages of the Netherlands (Dutch Low Saxon and West Frisian) spoken above the rivers Rhine, Meuse and Waal (sometimes termed the Rotterdam-Nijmegen Line). A plain fricative that is articulated further front, as either velar or post-palatal is typical of dialects spoken south of the rivers (mainly Brabantian and Limburgish), including Belgian Standard Dutch. In those dialects, the voiceless uvular fricative trill is one of the possible realizations of the phoneme /r/. In fact, more languages claimed to have a voiceless uvular fricative may actually have a fricative trill. Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996) note that there is "a complication in the case of uvular fricatives in that the shape of the vocal tract may be such that the uvula vibrates."
The frication in the fricative trill variant sometimes occurs at the middle or the back of the soft palate (termed velar or mediovelar and post-velar, respectively), rather than the uvula itself. This is the case in Northern Standard Dutch as well as some varieties of Arabic, Limburgish and Madrid Spanish. It may thus be appropriate to call those variants voiceless (post)velar-uvular fricative trill as the trill component is always uvular (velar trills are not physically possible). The corresponding IPA symbol is ⟨?⟩ (a devoiced, raised and advanced uvular trill, where the "advanced" diacritic applies only to the fricative portion of the sound). Thus, in cases where a dialectal variation between voiceless uvular and velar fricatives is claimed the main difference between the two may be the trilling of the uvula as frication can be velar in both cases - compare Northern Dutch acht [t] 'eight' (with a postvelar-uvular fricative trill) with Southern Dutch [?xt] or [?x?t], which features a non-trilled fricative articulated at the middle or front of the soft palate.
For a voiceless pre-uvular fricative (also called post-velar), see voiceless velar fricative.
Features of the voiceless uvular fricative:
|Afrikaans||goed||[?ut]||'good'||Varies between a fricative and a fricative trill when word-initial. See Afrikaans phonology|
|Arabic||||[?ad?ra:?]||'green' (f.)||Fricative trill with velar frication. May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨x⟩. See Arabic phonology|
|Danish||Standard||pres||['p?æs]||'pressure'||Before /r/, aspiration of /p, t, k/ is realized as devoicing of /r/. Usually transcribed in IPA with ⟨?⟩. See Danish phonology.|
|Dutch||Standard Northern||acht||[t]||'eight'||Fricative trill with post-velar frication. May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨x⟩. See Dutch phonology|
|Belgian||brood||[bo:t]||'bread'||Voiced when following a vowel. Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology|
|Dutch Low Saxon||acht||[t]||'eight'||Fricative trill with post-velar frication; voiceless counterpart of . May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨x⟩.|
|English||Scouse||clock||[kl]||'clock'||Possible word-final realization of /k/; varies between a fricative and a fricative trill.|
|Welsh||Amlwch||['aml]||'Amlwch'||Occurs only in loanwords from Welsh; usually transcribed in IPA with ⟨x⟩. See English phonology|
|White South African||gogga||['?]||'insect'||Less commonly velar , occurs only in loanwords from Afrikaans and Khoisan. Usually transcribed in IPA with ⟨x⟩. See English phonology|
|German||Standard||Dach||[da?]||'roof'||Appears only after certain back vowels. See Standard German phonology|
|Chemnitz dialect||Rock||[k?]||'skirt'||In free variation with , , and . Does not occur in coda.|
|Lower Rhine||Wirte||['vt?]||'hosts'||In free variation with between a vowel and a voiceless coronal consonant.|
|Hebrew||||[m?l]||'king'||Varies between a fricative and a fricative trill. See Modern Hebrew phonology|
|Limburgish||Some dialects||waor||[?:]||'was'||Allophone of /r/ that has been variously described as occurring in the syllable coda and word-final. May be only partially devoiced; frication may be uvular or post-velar. The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.|
|Luxembourgish||Zuch||[t?su?]||'train'||See Luxembourgish phonology|
|Portuguese||General Brazilian||marrom||[mä'?õ:]||'brown' (noun)||Some dialects, corresponds to rhotic consonant /?/. See Portuguese phonology|
|Spanish||European||ojo||'eye'||Fricative trill; frication is velar in Madrid. Occurs in northern and central varieties. Most often, it is transcribed with ⟨x⟩ in IPA. See Spanish phonology|
|Ponce dialect||perro||['peo?]||'dog'||This and are the primary realizations of /r/ in this dialect. See Spanish phonology|
|Welsh||chwech||[?we:?]||'six'||See Welsh phonology|
|West Frisian||berch||[b?r?]||'mountain'||Fricative trill with post-velar frication; voiceless counterpart of . Never occurs in word-initial positions. May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨x⟩. See West Frisian phonology|
|Wolof||[example needed]||Fricative trill.|
|Yiddish||? / ikh||[i?]||'I'||See Yiddish phonology|