consonant H – coolinarism
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consonant H

consonant H

H is the 8th letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet, is classed among the consonants, and is formed with the mouth organs in the same position as that of the succeeding vowel. The Semitic letter ‘ח’ ‘ê’ most likely represented the voiceless pharyngeal fricative ħ. The form of the letter probably stands for a fence or posts,

The Greek eta ‘Η’ in the Archaic period still represented /h/ (later on it came to represent a long vowel, /ɛː/). Thus, in the Old Italic alphabets the letter heta of the Euboean alphabet was adopted with its original sound value /h/.
Etruscan and Latin had /h/ as a phoneme but almost all Romance languages lost the sound, Romanian later re-borrowed the /h/ phoneme from its neighbouring Slavic languages,

In most dialects of English, the name for the letter is pronounced /ˈeɪtʃ/ and spelled ‘aitch’ In Northern Ireland it is a shibboleth as Protestant schools teach aitch and Catholics haitch. In the Republic of Ireland, the letter h is generally pronounced as ‘haitch’. In Australia, this has also been attributed to Catholic school teaching and is estimated to be in use by 60% of the population,The perceived name of the letter affects the choice of indefinite article before initialisms beginning with H:
‘an H-bomb’ or ‘a H-bomb’


Authorities disagree about the history of the letter’s name. The Oxford English Dictionary says the original name of the letter was ˈaha’ in Latin; this became ˈaka’ in Vulgar Latin, passed into English via Old French,


  • In the German language, the name of the letter is pronounced /haː/
  • In French, the name of the letter is pronounced /aʃ/
  • In Italian, ‘h’ has no phonological value
  • The Russian language has no /h/ sound and there is no letter to represent this sound
  • Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Finnish, use ‘h’ as a breathy voiced glottal fricative
  • Spanish and Portuguese, ‘h’ is a silent letter with no pronunciation
reference: International Encyclopedia of Linguistics


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