Allophonic /ħ/

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ɶʙ ɞʛ
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Allophonic /ħ/

Post by ɶʙ ɞʛ »

How common is [ħ] as an allophone of another sound when there is no phonemic /ħ/?

I'd envision it to be most likely as an allophone of /h/ adjacent to low vowels. This appears to be the case in some Finnish dialects, and somehow my English (close to General American) has this as well - hat, hot, hard, hall, high, how are [ħæt̚] [ħat̚] [ħɑɹ̠d] [ħɒʟ̠] [ħai] [ħau].

How common is this kind of allophone overall? Could this kind of change happen randomly, or does it require influence from a substrate? Additionally, can it happen to /ʔ/ as well?
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Omzinesý
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Re: Allophonic /ħ/

Post by Omzinesý »

Finnish /h/ has very many allophones.

I think in front-vocalic environment before a consonant some "throat sound" alternates freely with [ç]. Probably it is described as [ħ] but I'm not sure. My skills of phonetician are not good enough to really recognize the sound.

<vihko> ['ʋiħko] ~ ['ʋiçko] 'notebook'
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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Vlürch
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Re: Allophonic /ħ/

Post by Vlürch »

Yeah, Finnish /h/ is... uh... especially if you start paying attention to the inconsistencies and worst of all semi-inconsistencies, it's baffling. You'll think you know how a given individual pronounces it in which contexts, but then they'll throw a random [h͡xʲʶˤ] at you and you're like "wait what".😂 That's an exaggeration, in case it's not obvious.

For me, the [ħ] allophone of /h/ only happens in contact with /æ/... but not always. I think it's totally random whether it's pharyngeal [ħ] or glottal [h] tbh, but the former being more common. Next to /ɑ/, it might sometimes be pharyngealised uvular [χˤ], but I'm pretty sure usually it's just uvular [χ] for me. I do know some people have pharyngeal [ħ] next to /ɑ/, too. Probably depends on the exact quality of the /ɑ/?

But of course, it's almost always some kind of very soft fricative. If Finns decided to start pronouncing /h/ at the same intensity as Russians pronounce /x/, with all these allophones... oh boy. [xD]

How common an allophonic [ħ] is crosslinguistically, no idea. Probably pretty common, or at least that's what was said on another forum when someone posted about Galician having it and I mentioned Finnish also has it. Wikipedia says Ukrainian has it, too.
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