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Voiced velar fricative

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Title: Voiced velar fricative  
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Subject: Modern Hebrew phonology, Egyptian Arabic phonology, Guttural R, G, List of consonants
Collection: Fricative Consonants
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Voiced velar fricative

Voiced velar fricative
IPA number 141
Entity (decimal) ɣ
Unicode (hex) U+0263
Kirshenbaum Q
Braille ⠨ (braille pattern dots-46) ⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245)

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 1
  • Occurrence 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • External links 6


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 [bɣʲə] 'leaf'
Adyghe чъыгы     tree
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' Allophone of /x/. See Czech phonology
Danish Older Standard[6][7] talg [ˈtˢalˀɣ] 'tallow' More often 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 Netherlandic liegen [ˈliɣə(n)] 'to lie' Intervocallic allophone of [χ ~ x], written g. See Dutch phonology
Some dialects gaan [ɣaːn] 'to go' More common in northern dialects.[8] See Dutch phonology
[9] არიბი [ɣɑribi] 'poor' May actually be post-velar or uvular
German[10][11] damalige [ˈdaːmaːlɪɣə] 'former' Intervocalic allophone of /g/ in casual speech.[10][11] See German phonology
Ghari cheghe [tʃeɣe] 'five'
Greek γάλα/gála [ˈɣɐlɐ] '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 מִגְדָּל [miɣdal] '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] 'mouth' Corresponds to [g] 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     'powder'
Lezgian гъел [ɣel] 'sleigh'
Limburgish[15][16][17][18] gaw [ɣɑ̟β̞] 'quick' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lithuanian humoras [ˈɣʊmɔrɐs̪] 'humour' Preferred over [ɦ]. See Lithuanian phonology
Malay Kelantan dialect راماي/ramai [ɣamaː] 'crowded (with people)' /r/ 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
Terengganu dialect
Negeri Sembilan dialect [ɣamai̯]
Pahang dialect [ɣamɛ̃ː]
Sarawak dialect [ɣamɛː]
Macedonian Berovo accent дувна [ˈduɣna] 'it blew' Corresponds to etymological /x/ of other dialects, before sonorants. See Maleševo-Pirin dialect and Macedonian phonology
Bukovo accent глава [ˈɡɣa(v)a] 'head' Allophone of /l/ instead of usual [ɫ]. See Prilep-Bitola dialect
Navajo ’aghá [ʔaɣa] 'best'
Ngwe Mmockngie dialect [nøɣə̀] 'sun'
Northern Qiang ? [ɣnəʂ] 'February'
Occitan Gascon digoc [diˈɣuk] 'said (3sg.)'
Pashto غاتر [ɣɑtər] 'mule'
Persian حقیقت [hæɣiːˈɣæt] 'truth' See Persian phonology
Polish niechże [ˈɲeɣʐɛ] 'let [intensified]' (imperative particle) Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants. See Polish phonology
Portuguese European[19][20] agora [əˈɣɔɾə] 'now' Allophone of /ɡ/. See Portuguese phonology
Some Brazilian dialects[21] 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'
Ripuarian Colognian ? [ˈnɔɣ‿ən] 'another one' Allophone of word-final /x/; occurs only immediately before a word that starts with a vowel. See Colognian phonology
Kerkrade dialect[22] vroage [ˈvʁoə̯ɣə] Occurs only after back vowels.[22]
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[23] ових би / ovih bi [ǒ̞ʋiɣ bi] 'of these... would' Allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants.[23] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Sindhi غم [ɣəmʊ] 'sadness'
Spanish amigo [ˌäˈmiɣo̞] 'friend' Allophone of /ɡ/, see Spanish phonology
Swahili ghali [ɣali] 'expensive'
Swedish Westrobothnian[24] 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[25] ёмғир/yomir [ʝɒ̜mˈʁ̟ɨɾ̪] 'rain' Post-velar.[25]
Vietnamese[26] 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. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:159)
  16. ^ Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:110)
  17. ^ Peters (2006:119)
  18. ^ Verhoeven (2007:221)
  19. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 92.
  20. ^ Mateus & d'Andrade (2000), p. 11.
  21. ^ Barbosa & Albano (2004), p. 228.
  22. ^ a b Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997:17)
  23. ^ a b Landau et al. (1999:67)
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b Sjoberg (1963), p. 13.
  26. ^ Thompson (1959), pp. 458–461.


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  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94,  
  • Grønnum, Nina (2005), Fonetik og fonologi, Almen og Dansk (3rd ed.), Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag,  
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos; Aarts, Flor (1999), "The dialect of Maastricht" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association (University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies) 29: 155–166,  
  • Heijmans, Linda; Gussenhoven, Carlos (1998), "The Dutch dialect of Weert" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association 28: 107–112,  
  • Hualde, José Ignacio (1991), Basque phonology, New York: Routledge 
  • Krech, Eva Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz-Christian (2009), Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch, Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter,  
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  • Peters, Jörg (2006), "The dialect of Hasselt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (1): 117–124,  
  • Pop, Sever (1938), Micul Atlas Linguistic Român, Muzeul Limbii Române Cluj 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Chikovani, Vakhtang (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264,  
  • Sjoberg, Andrée F. (1963), Uzbek Structural Grammar 
  • Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997) [1987], Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (2nd ed.), Kerkrade: Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer,  
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language 35 (3): 454–476,  
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37 (2): 219–225,  
  • Watson, Janet C. E. (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic, New York: Oxford University Press 
  • Wheeler, Max W (2005), The Phonology Of Catalan, Oxford: Oxford University Press,  

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