Heng (letter)
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Heng Letter
? ?
Capital and lowercase letter Heng
Writing systemLatin script
Language of originUnified Northern Alphabet
  • ? ?

Heng is a letter of the Latin alphabet, originating as a typographic ligature of h and ?. It is used for a voiceless y-like sound, such as in Dania transcription.

? ?

Heng ('? ?') is primarily used in modern Latin alphabets for various Indigenous Languages of the Caucasus to represent the glottal stop [?]. Additionally, the digraphs '?u ?u', '?ý ?ý', and ' ' are used in some of the languages to represent [], [], and [] respectively[].

'? ?' is used some modern Latin typography for nearly all of the Northeast Caucasian and Northwest Caucasian languages (aside from Abkhaz), as well as Mingrelian and Svan of the Kartvelian family. '?u ?u' is used in some Latin transcriptions of Adyghe and Kabardian of the Northwest Caucasian family, '?ý ?ý' is used only in the Abzakh dialect of Adyghe, and ' ' is used in phonologically precise Latin transcriptions to show the more common realisation of the epiglottal stop in Chechen of the Northeast Caucasian family (which is written '? ?' when realised as an actual epiglottal stop)[].

It was used word-finally in early transcriptions of Mayan languages, where it may have represented a uvular fricative.

It is sometimes used to write Judeo-Tat.

It has been occasionally used by phonologists to represent a hypothetical phoneme in English, which includes both [h] and [?] as its allophones, to illustrate the limited usefulness of minimal pairs to distinguish phonemes. Normally /h/ and /?/ are considered separate phonemes in English, even though a minimal pair for them cannot be constructed, due to their complementary distribution.[1]

It is also used in Bantu linguistics to indicate a voiced alveolar lateral fricative ([?]).

Both LATIN CAPITAL LETTER HENG (HTML Ꜧ) and LATIN SMALL LETTER HENG (HTML ꜧ) are encoded in Unicode block Latin Extended-D.


A variant form, ɧ LATIN SMALL LETTER HENG WITH HOOK, is encoded as part of the IPA Extensions Block. It is used to represent the voiceless palatal-velar fricative in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Incondent with Shha

It represents using the shha with a hook


The Teuthonista phonetic transcription system uses MODIFIER LETTER SMALL HENG.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Hornsby, David (2014). Linguistics: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself. ISBN 9781444180343.
  2. ^ Everson, Michael; Dicklberger, Alois; Pentzlin, Karl; Wandl-Vogt, Eveline (2011-06-02). "L2/11-202: Revised proposal to encode "Teuthonista" phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF).
  • Chao, Yuen Ren (1934). "The non-uniqueness of phonemic solutions of phonetic systems". Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica. 4 (4): 363-397.
  • Pullum, Geoffrey K.; Ladusaw, William A. (1996). Phonetic Symbol Guide. University of Chicago Press. p. 77.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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