Voiceless glottal affricate

The voiceless glottal affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represent this sound are ʔ͡h and ʔ͜h, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is ?_h. The tie bar may be omitted, yielding ʔh in the IPA and ?h in X-SAMPA.

Voiceless glottal affricate
IPA Number113 146
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Features of the voiceless glottal affricate:

  • Its manner of articulation is affricate, which means it is produced by first stopping the airflow entirely, then allowing air flow through a constricted channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Chinese Yuxi dialect[1][2] [ʔ͡ho˥˧] 'can, may' Corresponds to /kʰ/ in Standard Chinese.[2][3]
English Received Pronunciation[4] hat [ʔ͡haʔt] 'hat' Possible allophone of /h/, especially in stressed syllables.[4] See English phonology


  1. Yang (1969), pp. 393–394.
  2. Colarusso (2012), p. 2.
  3. Yang (1969), p. 394.
  4. Collins & Mees (2003), p. 148.


  • Colarusso, John (2012), The Typology of the Gutturals (PDF)
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003) [First published 1981], The Phonetics of English and Dutch (PDF) (5th ed.), Leiden: Brill Publishers, ISBN 9004103406
  • Yang, Shifeng (1969), A Report of Investigating Dialects in Yunnan Province [雲南方言調查報告]
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