Voiced Velar Fricative
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Voiced Velar Fricative
Voiced velar fricative
IPA Number141
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɣ
Unicode (hex)U+0263
Braille? (braille pattern dots-46)? (braille pattern dots-1245)

The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound that is used in various spoken languages. It is not found in Modern English but existed in Old English.[1] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨?⟩, a Latinized variant of the Greek letter gamma, ⟨?⟩, which has this sound in Modern Greek. It should not be confused with the graphically-similar ⟨?⟩, the IPA symbol for a close-mid back unrounded vowel, which some writings[2] use for the voiced velar fricative.

The symbol ⟨?⟩ is also sometimes used to represent the velar approximant, which, however, is more accurately written with the lowering diacritic: [] or []. The IPA also provides a dedicated symbol for a velar approximant, [?].

There is also a voiced post-velar fricative, also called pre-uvular, in some languages. For the voiced pre-velar fricative, also called post-palatal, see voiced palatal fricative.


Features of the voiced velar fricative:


Some of the consonants listed as post-velar may actually be trill fricatives.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abaza ??/bg"'? [b] 'leaf'
Adyghe ??/ch"'gy 'tree'
Albanian Arbëresh

Moresian (Pelloponesian) dialects of Arvanitika

gliata [?li?t?] 'tall'
Alekano gamó [m] 'cucumber'
Aleut agiitalix [a?i:talix] 'with'
Angor ranih? [ni] 'brother'
Angas ?ür [?yr] 'to pick up'
Arabic Modern Standard[3] ?/?ar?b [?æ'ri:b] 'stranger' May be velar, post-velar or uvular, depending on dialect.[4] See Arabic phonology
Aromanian ghini ['?i.ni] 'well' Allophone of /?/
Aramaic Eastern pa?r? [pr?] 'body' Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants.
Western [fr?]
Asturian gadañu [?a'd?ã] 'scythe' Allophone of /?/ in almost all positions
Azerbaijani Northern o?ul [o?ul] 'son'
Southern /oghul
Basque[5] hego [he?o] 'wing' Allophone of /?/
Belarusian ? [?alava] 'head'
Catalan[6] agrat [?'t] 'liking' Fricative or approximant. Allophone of /?/. See Catalan phonology
Central Alaskan Yup'ik auga ['au:?a] 'his/her/its blood' Never occurs in word-initial positions.
Chechen / ?ala [?a:la] 'town'
Chinese Xiang /húnán [?unia] 'Hunan (province)'
Czech bych byl [b b?l] 'I would be' Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants. See Czech phonology
Dinka ?o [?o] 'us'
Dogrib weqa [we?a] 'for'
Dutch Standard Belgian[7][8] gaan [?a:n] 'to go' May be post-palatal instead.[8] See Dutch phonology
Southern accents[8]
Georgian[9] ?/?aribi [ribi] 'poor' May actually be post-velar or uvular
German[10][11][failed verification] Austrian damalige ['da:ma:l] 'former' Intervocalic allophone of /?/ in casual speech.[10][11] See Standard German phonology
Ghari cheghe [t?e?e] 'five'
Greek ?/gála ['?ala] 'milk' See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati ??/v?gha? [] 'tigress' See Gujarati phonology
Gweno ndeghe [nde?e] 'bird'
Gwich'in videeghàn [vite:?ân] 'his/her chest'
Haitian Creole diri [di?i] 'rice'
Hän dëgëghor [t?kor] 'I am playing'
Hebrew Yemenite ?/mi?del [mi?d?l] 'tower'
Icelandic saga ['sa:?a] 'saga' See Icelandic phonology
Irish a dhorn [? ?o:n] 'his fist' See Irish phonology
Istro-Romanian[12] gur? ['?ur?] 'mouth' Corresponds to [in which environments?] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Iwaidja [mula?a] 'hermit crab'
Japanese[13] /hage [ha?e] 'baldness' Allophone of /?/, especially in fast or casual speech. See Japanese phonology
Kabardian ?/gyn 'powder'
Lezgian /ghel [?el] 'sleigh'
Limburgish[14][15] gaw [] 'quick' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lishan Didan Urmi Dialect ?/otogh [?ot?o?] 'room' Generally post-velar
Lithuanian humoras ['m?r?s?] 'humor' Preferred over [?]. See Lithuanian phonology
Low German[16] gaan [':n] 'to go' Increasingly replaced with High German [?]
Malay Standard ghaib [?ai?b] 'unseen' Mostly in loanwords from Arabic. Indonesians tend to replace the sound with /?/.
Johor-Riau ramai [?amai?] 'crowded (with people)' /r/ before a vowel was traditionally a [?] but now the alveolar tap [?] is quite common amongst younger speakers possibly due to influence by Standard Malay. See Malay phonology
Kelantan-Pattani [?ama:] in Standard Malay is barely articulated in almost all of the Malay dialects in Malaysia. Usually it is uttered as guttural R at initial and medial position of a word. See Malay phonology
Negeri Sembilan [?amai?]
Pahang [?am:]
Sarawak [?am?:]
Macedonian Berovo accent ?/duvna ['du?na] 'it blew' Corresponds to etymological /x/ of other dialects, before sonorants. See Male?evo-Pirin dialect and Macedonian phonology
Bukovo accent ??/glava ['a(v)a] 'head' Allophone of /l/ instead of usual . See Prilep-Bitola dialect
Mandarin Dongping dialect ?/?n [?än55] 'I'
Navajo 'aghá [?a?a] 'best'
Neapolitan Central Lucanian (Accettura dialect) chiahäte [kja' t?][17] 'wounded' Corresponds to /g/ in Standard Italian. The example "chiahäte" translates to "piagato" in Italian.
Nepali ?? [käd?z] 'paper' Allophone of /?/. See Nepali phonology
Ngwe Mmockngie dialect [nø] 'sun'
Northern Qiang hhnesh [?n] 'February'
Norwegian Urban East[18] å ha [? ':] 'to have' Possible allophone of /h/ between two back vowels; can be voiceless instead.[18] See Norwegian phonology
Occitan Gascon digoc [di'?uk] 'said' (3rd pers. sg.)
Pashto ?/ghutar [t?r] 'mule'
Persian /Bâ? [b?:?] 'garden'
Polish niech?e ['] 'let' (imperative particle) Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants. See Polish phonology
Portuguese European[19][20] agora [?'?] 'now' Allophone of /?/. See Portuguese phonology
Some Brazilian dialects[21] rmore ['ma?mu?i] 'marble', 'sill' Allophone of rhotic consonant (voiced equivalent to [x], itself allophone of /?/) between voiced sounds, most often as coda before voiced consonants.
Punjabi Gurmukhi /?arr?b [ri:b] 'poor'
Shahmukhi ?/?arr?b
Romani ?oines [?oines] 'good'
Russian Southern ???/doroga [d?'ro] 'road' Corresponds to /?/ in standard
Standard ???/ugu [?'?u] 'uh-huh' Usually nasal, /?/ is used when spoken. See Russian phonology
?? / gorokh zhe ['ro? ?e] 'the peas' Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants. [22]
Sakha ???/a?a [a?a] 'father'
Sardinian Nuorese dialect ghere ['sur?] 'to suck' Allophone of /?/
Scottish Gaelic laghail [?al] 'lawful' See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbo-Croatian[23] ovih bi [i? bi] 'of these would' Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants.[23] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
S'gaw Karen /ghei [?ei] 'good'
Sindhi /ghvmu [m?] 'sadness'
Slovene gajba [?ájba] 'crate' Present in the Littoral dialect group
Spanish amigo [a?'mi?o?] 'friend' Ranges from close fricative to approximant.[24] Allophone of /?/, see Spanish phonology
Swahili ghali [?ali] 'expensive'
Swedish Västerbotten Norrland dialects meg [m?:?] 'me' Allophone of /?/. Occurs between vowels and in word-final positions.[25] Here also /?/ in Kalix.
Tadaksahak zog [zo?] 'war'
Tajik ?/?afs [?afs] 'thick'
Tamazight a?ilas (aghilas) [a?ilas] 'leopard'
Tamil Brahmin Tamil (non-standard) [mum] 'face' Not very common
Turkish Non-standard a? [a?at] 'tree' Deleted in most dialects. See Turkish phonology
Tutchone Northern ihghú [ih] 'tooth'
Southern ghra [?ra] 'baby'
Tyap ghan ['?an] 'to hurry'
Ukrainian Allophone of /x/. See Ukrainian phonology
Urdu ?
Uzbek[26] ? / yomg?ir [m'] 'rain' Post-velar.[26]
Vietnamese[27] gh? [?e] 'chair' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian drage ['dra:] 'to carry' Never occurs in word-initial positions.
Yi ?/we [] 'win'
Zhuang Lwg roegbit [l ?o?pi?] 'Wild duckling'

See also


  1. ^ Baker, Peter Stuar (2012). Introduction to Old English (3rd ed.). pp. 15. ISBN 9781444354195. OCLC 778433078 – via Internet Archive. Between voiced sounds dotless g is pronounced [?], a voiced velar spirant. This sound became [w] in Middle English, so English no longer has it.
  2. ^ Such as Booij (1999) and Nowikow (2012).
  3. ^ Watson (2002), pp. 17 and 19-20.
  4. ^ Watson (2002), pp. 17, 19-20, 35-36 and 38.
  5. ^ Hualde (1991), pp. 99-100.
  6. ^ Wheeler (2005), p. 10.
  7. ^ Verhoeven (2005:243)
  8. ^ a b c Collins & Mees (2003:191)
  9. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006), p. 255.
  10. ^ a b Krech et al. (2009:108)
  11. ^ a b Sylvia Moosmüller (2007). "Vowels in Standard Austrian German: An Acoustic-Phonetic and Phonological Analysis" (PDF). p. 6. Retrieved 2013.[failed verification]
  12. ^ Pop (1938), p. 30.
  13. ^ Okada (1999), p. 118.
  14. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:159)
  15. ^ Peters (2006:119)
  16. ^ R.E. Keller, German Dialects. Phonology and Morphology, Manchester 1960
  17. ^ Volpi, Luigi (2011). La lingua dei Masciaioli - Dizionario del dialetto di Accettua cittadina lucana in Prov. di Matera (in Italian). Potenza (Italy): EditricErmes. p. 92. ISBN 88-87687-04. {{cite book}}: Check |isbn= value: length (help)
  18. ^ a b Vanvik (1979), p. 40.
  19. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 92.
  20. ^ Mateus & d'Andrade (2000), p. 11.
  21. ^ Barbosa & Albano (2004), p. 228.
  22. ^ Jones, Daniel & Ward, Dennis (1969) The Phonetics of Russian. Cambridge University Press.
  23. ^ a b Landau et al. (1999:67)
  24. ^ Phonetic studies such as Quilis (1981) have found that Spanish voiced stops may surface as spirants with various degrees of constriction. These allophones are not limited to regular fricative articulations, but range from articulations that involve a near complete oral closure to articulations involving a degree of aperture quite close to vocalization
  25. ^ "685-686 (Nordisk familjebok / 1800-talsutgåvan. 17. V - Väring)". 1893.
  26. ^ a b Sjoberg (1963), p. 13.
  27. ^ Thompson (1959), pp. 458-461.


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  • Booij, Geert (1999), The phonology of Dutch, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-823869-X
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  • Kachru, Yamuna (2006), Hindi, John Benjamins Publishing, ISBN 90-272-3812-X
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External links

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