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voiceless velar fricative: Wikis


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IPA – number 140
IPA – text x
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Entity x
Kirshenbaum x
Sound sample

The voiceless velar fricative, informally known as the hard ch, is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is x, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is x. The [x] sound was part of the consonant inventory of Old English and can still be found in some dialects of English, most notably in Scottish English.



Features of the voiceless velar fricative:

Varieties of [x]

IPA Description
x plain velar fricative
x’ ejective
xʷ’ ejective labialised
x̜ʷ semi-labialised
x̹ʷ strongly labialised
xʲ’ ejective palatalised


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Afrikaans goed [xuˑt]'well'
Aleut Atkan dialect alax [ɑlɑx]'two'
Angor hombo [xombo] 'to walk'
Arabic خضراء [xadˤraːʔ]'green (f)' See Arabic phonology
Assamese অসমীয়া [ɔxɔmija]'Assamese'
Avar чeхь [tʃex] 'belly'
Azerbaijani x [xoʃ] 'pleasant'
Bulgarian тихо [tixɔ]'quietly'
Chinese Mandarin /hé [xɤ˧˥]'river' See Standard Mandarin
Croatian Hrvatski [xř̩ʋaːtskiː] 'Croatian'
Czech chlap [xlap] 'guy' See Czech phonology
DutchBelgian Dutch[1] acht [ɑxt] 'eight' More common in northern dialects. See Dutch phonology
Northern dialects[2]
English Scottish loch [lɔx] 'loch' See English phonology
Esperanto monaĥo [monaxo] 'monk' See Esperanto phonology
Eyak duxł [tʊxɬ] 'traps'
Georgian[3] ჯო [ˈdʒɔxi] 'stick'
German Kuchen [kuːxən] 'cake' See German phonology
Greek χαρά [xaˈra] 'joy' See Modern Greek phonology
Hungarian sahhal [ʃɒxːɒl] 'with a shah' See Hungarian phonology
Irish deoch [dʲɔ̝̈x] 'drink' See Irish phonology
Lithuanian choras [xoras] 'chorus'
Lojban xatra [xatra] 'letter'
Persian خواهر [xa:hær]'sister' See Persian phonology
Polish[4] chleb [xlɛp] 'bread' Also (in great majority of dialects) represented by . See Polish phonology
Portuguese Brazilian rabo [ˈxabʊ]'tail' See Portuguese phonology
Russian[5] хвост [xvost] 'tail' See Russian phonology
Scottish Gaelic drochaid [troxadʒ] 'bridge' See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbian храст/hrast [xrast] 'oak'
Slovak chlap [xlap] 'guy'
Somali khad[xad] 'ink' See Somali phonology
Spanish[6] ojo [ˈo̞xo̞] 'eye' See Spanish phonology
Xhosa rhoxisa [xɔkǁiːsa] 'to cancel'
Vietnamese khê [xe] 'to be burnt' See Vietnamese phonology
Welsh carchar [kaɾxaɾ] 'jail' See Welsh phonology
Yaghan xan [xan] 'here'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[7] mejor [mɘxoɾ] 'better'Used primarily in loanwords from Spanish

See also

  • List of phonetics topics



  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (1): 103-107 
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255-259 
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquipan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107-114 
  • Padgett, Jaye (2003), "Contrast and Post-Velar Fronting in Russian", Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 21 (1): 39-87 
  • van Reenen, Pieter; Huijs, Nanette (2000), "De harde en de zachte g, de spelling gh versus g voor voorklinker in het veertiende-eeuwse Middelnederlands" (in Dutch), Taal en Tongval 52: 159-181, 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Vakhtang, Chikovani (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255-264 
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 243-247 


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