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Voiced velar fricative

For consonants followed by superscript ˠ, see Velarization.
Voiced velar fricative
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IPA number 141
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The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in various spoken languages. It is not found in English today, but did exist in Old English. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɣ, a Latinized variant of the Greek letter gamma, γ, which has this sound in Modern Greek. It should not be confused with the graphically similar ɤ, the IPA symbol for a close-mid back unrounded vowel. The symbol ɣ is also sometimes used to represent the velar approximant, though that is more accurately written with the lowering diacritic: [ɣ̞] or [ɣ˕]. The IPA also provides a dedicated symbol for a velar approximant, [ɰ], though there can be stylistic reasons to not use it in phonetic transcription.

There is also a voiced post-velar fricative (also called pre-uvular) in some languages. For 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 бгъьы [bɣʲǝ] 'leaf'
Adyghe Адыгэ [aːdəɣa] 'adyghe'
Alekano gamó [ɣɑmɤʔ] 'cucumber'
Aleut agiitalix [aɣiːtalix] 'with'
Angor ranihı [ɾɑniɣə] 'brother'
Angas γür [ɣyr] 'to pick up'
Arabic Modern Standard[1] غريب [ˈɣɑriːb] 'stranger' May be velar, post-velar or uvular, depending on dialect.[2] See Arabic phonology
Some Iraqi dialects[3] رأس [ʁ̟ɑʔs] 'head' Post-velar.[3] Corresponds to [r] in other dialects.[3] See Arabic phonology
Asturian gadañu [ɣaˈd̪ãɲʊ] 'scythe' Allophone of /ɡ/ in almost all positions
Azerbaijani ağac [ɑɣɑd͡ʒ] 'tree'
Basque[4] hego [heɣo] 'wing' Allophone of /ɡ/
Catalan[5] figuera [fiˈɣeɾə] 'fig tree' Allophone of /ɡ/. See Catalan phonology
Chechen гӀала / ġala [ɣaːla] 'town'
Czech bych byl [bɪɣ bɪl] 'I would be' Occurs when 'ch' [[[voiceless velar fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.x]]
] is before voiced consonant.
Danish Older Standard[6][7] talg [ˈtˢalˀɣ] 'tallow' Still used by some older speakers in high register, but most often as an approximant [ɰ].[6] Depending on the environment, it corresponds to [ʊ̯], [ɪ̯] or [j] in young speakers of contemporary Standard Danish.[7] See Danish phonology
Dawsahak  ? [zoɣ] 'war'
Dinka ɣo [ɣo] 'us'
Dutch Some dialects gaan [ɣaːn] 'to go' More common in northern dialects.[8] See Dutch phonology
Standard Netherlandic
Netherlandic liegen [ˈliɣə(n)] 'to lie' Intervocallic allophone of [[[voiceless uvular fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.χ]]
~ [[voiceless velar fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.x]]
], written g. Present in many dialects. See Dutch phonology
Georgian[9] არიბი [ɣɑribi] 'poor' May actually be post-velar or uvular
German[10][11] damalige [ˈdaːmaːlɪɣə] 'then, former' Intervocalic allophone of /g/ in casual speech.[10][11] See German phonology
Ghari cheghe [tʃeɣe] 'five'
Greek γάλα gála [ˈɣala] 'milk' See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati વા [ʋɑ̤̈ɣəɽ̃] 'tigress' See Gujarati phonology
Gweno [ndeɣe] 'bird'
Gwich’in videeghàn [viteːɣân] 'his her chest'
Haitian Creole diri [diɣi] 'rice'
Hän dëgëghor [təkəɣor] 'I am playing'
Hebrew Yemenite מגדּל [miɣdʌl] 'tower' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindi[12] ग़रीब [ɣ̄əriːb] 'poor' Post-velar.[12] See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Icelandic saga [ˈsaːɣaː] 'saga' See Icelandic phonology
Irish dhorn [ɣoːɾˠn̪ˠ] 'fist' See Irish phonology
Istro-Romanian[13] gură [ɣurə][stress?] 'mouth' Corresponds to [g][in which environments?] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Iwaidja [mulaɣa] 'hermit crab'
Japanese[14] はげ hage [haɣe] 'baldness' Allophone of /ɡ/, especially in fast or casual speech. See Japanese phonology
Kabardian гын [ɣən] 'powder'
Lezgian гъел [ɣel] 'sleigh'
Limburgish Weert dialect[15] good [ɣo̟ə̯t] 'good' Pre-velar before and after front vowels;[16] it may also replace /g/ in younger speakers.[16]
Lithuanian humoras [ˈɣʊmɔrɐs̪] 'humour' Preferred over [ɦ]. See Lithuanian phonology
Macedonian Bukovo accent глава [ˈɡɣa(v)a] 'head' Allophone of /l/ instead of usual [ɫ]. See Prilep-Bitola dialect
Berovo accent дувна [ˈduɣna] 'it blew' Corresponds to etymological /x/ of other dialects, before sonorants. See Maleševo-Pirin dialect and Macedonian phonology
Navajo ’aghá [ʔaɣa] 'best'
Ngwe Mmockngie dialect [nøɣə̀] 'sun'
Occitan Gascon digoc [diˈɣuk] 'said (3sg.)'
Pashto غاتر [ɣɑtər] 'mule'
Persian حقیقت [hæɣiːˈɢæt] 'truth' See Persian phonology
Polish niechże [ˈɲeɣʐɛ] 'let [intensified]' (imperative particle) Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants. See Polish phonology
Portuguese European[17] agora [əˈɣɔɾə] 'now' Allophone of /ɡ/, mainly in European Portuguese.[18] In Brazil, this lenition can also occur in some particular contexts. See Portuguese phonology
Some Brazilian dialects[citation needed] amiga [ɐˈmiɣə] 'friend' (f.)
Some Brazilian dialects[19] rmore [ˈmaɣmuɾi] 'marble', 'sill' Allophone of rhotic consonant (voiced equivalent to [x], itself allophone of /ʁ/) between voiced sounds, most often as coda before voiced consonants.
Punjabi ਗ਼ਰੀਬ [ɣəɾiːb] 'poor'
Northern Qiang  ? [ɣnəʂ] 'February'
Romani γoines [ɣoines] 'good'
Russian Southern дорога [dɐˈro̞ɣa] 'road' Corresponds to /ɡ/ in standard
Standard угу [uɣu] 'uh-huh' Usually nasal, /g/ is used when spoken. See Russian phonology
Sardinian Nuorese dialect ghere [ˈsuɣɛrɛ] 'to suck' Allophone of /ɡ/
Scottish Gaelic laghail [ɫ̪ɤɣal] 'lawful' See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbo-Croatian[20] ових би / ovih bi [ǒ̞ʋiɣ bi] 'of these... would' Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants.[20] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Sindhi غم [ɣəmʊ] 'sadness'
Spanish amigo [ˌäˈmiɣo̞] 'friend' Allophone of /ɡ/, see Spanish phonology
Swahili ghali [ɣali] 'expensive'
Swedish Westrobothnian[21] jag [jɑ̝ːɣ] 'I' Allophone of /ɡ/. Occurs between vowels and in word-final positions.
Tajik ғафс [ɣafs] 'thick'
Tamazight aɣilas (aghilas) [aɣilas] 'leopard'
Turkish ağa [aɣa] 'agha' Deleted in most dialects. See Turkish phonology
Tutchone Northern ihghú [ihɣǔ] 'tooth'
Southern ghra [ɣra] 'baby'
Ukrainian голос [ˈɣolos] 'voice, vote' More commonly used than the standardized form [ɦ]. See Ukrainian phonology
Urdu غریب [ɣəriːb] 'poor' See Hindustani phonology
Uzbek[22] ёмғир yomir [ʝɒ̜mˈʁ̟ɨɾ̪] 'rain' Post-velar.[22]
Vietnamese[23] ghế [ɣe˧˥] 'chair' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian drage [ˈdraːɣə] 'to carry' Never occurs in word-initial positions.
Yi we [ɣɤ˧] 'win'

See also


  1. ^ Watson (2002), pp. 17 and 19-20.
  2. ^ Watson (2002), pp. 17, 19-20, 35-36 and 38.
  3. ^ a b c Watson (2002), p. 16.
  4. ^ Hualde (1991), pp. 99–100.
  5. ^ Wheeler (2005), p. 10.
  6. ^ a b Grønnum (2005:123)
  7. ^ a b Basbøll (2005:211–212)
  8. ^ Pieter van Reenen; Nanette Huijs (2000). "De harde en de zachte g, de spelling gh versus g voor voorklinker in het veertiende-eeuwse Middelnederlands." (PDF). Taal en Tongval, 52(Thema nr.), 159–181 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  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 March 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Kachru (2006), p. 20.
  13. ^ Pop (1938), p. 30.
  14. ^ Okada (1991), p. 95.
  15. ^ Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), pp. 108-109.
  16. ^ a b Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 108.
  17. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 92.
  18. ^ Mateus & d'Andrade (2000), p. 11.
  19. ^ Barbosa & Albano (2004), p. 228.
  20. ^ a b Landau et al. (1999:67)
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b Sjoberg (1963), p. 13.
  23. ^ Thompson (1959), pp. 458–461.


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