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|Voiceless palatal fricative|
The voiceless palatal fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ç⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
C. It is the non-sibilant equivalent of the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative.
The symbol ç is the letter c with a cedilla, as used to spell French and Portuguese words such as façade and ação. However, the sound represented by the letter ç in French and Portuguese orthography is not a voiceless palatal fricative but /s/, the voiceless alveolar fricative.
Palatal fricatives are relatively rare phonemes, and only 5% of the world's languages have /ç/ as a phoneme. The sound occurs, however, as an allophone of /x/ in German, or, in other languages, of /h/ in the vicinity of front vowels.
There is also the voiceless post-palatal fricative in some languages, which is articulated slightly more back compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical voiceless palatal fricative, though not as back as the prototypical voiceless velar fricative. The International Phonetic Alphabet does not have a separate symbol for that sound, though it can be transcribed as ⟨ç̠⟩, ⟨ç˗⟩ (both symbols denote a retracted ⟨ç⟩) or ⟨x̟⟩ (advanced ⟨x⟩). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are
Especially in broad transcription, the voiceless post-palatal fricative may be transcribed as a palatalized voiceless velar fricative (⟨xʲ⟩ in the IPA,
x_j in X-SAMPA).
Features of the voiceless palatal fricative:
|Azerbaijani||Some dialects||çörək||[tʃœˈɾæç]||'bread'||Allophone of /c/.|
|Danish||Standard||pjaske||[ˈpça̝sɡ̊ə]||'splash'||May be alveolo-palatal [ɕ] instead. Before /j/, aspiration of /p, t, k/ is realized as devoicing and fortition of /j/. Note, however, that the sequence /tj/ is normally realized as an affricate [t͡ɕ]. See Danish phonology|
|Dutch||Standard Northern||wiegje||[ˈʋiçjə]||'crib'||Allophone of /x/ before /j/ for some speakers. See Dutch phonology|
|English||Australian||hue||[çʉː]||'hue'||Phonetic realization of the sequence /hj/. See Australian English phonology and English phonology|
|Scouse||like||[laɪ̯ç]||'like'||Allophone of /k/; ranges from palatal to uvular, depending on the preceding vowel. See English phonology|
|German||nicht||[nɪçt] (help·info)||'not'||Traditionally allophone of /x/, but phonemic for some speakers who have both /aːx/ and /aːç/ (< /aʁç/). See Standard German phonology.|
|Hmong||White (Dawb)||xya||[ça]||'seven'||Corresponds to alveolo-palatal /ɕ/ in Dananshan dialect|
|Hungarian||kapj||[ˈkɒpç]||'get' (imperative)||Allophone of /j/ between a voiceless obstruent and a word boundary. See Hungarian phonology|
|Icelandic||hérna||[ˈçɛrtn̥a]||'here'||See Icelandic phonology|
|Irish||a Sheáin||[ə çaːnʲ]||'John' (voc.)||See Irish phonology|
|Japanese||人/hito||[çi̥to̞]||'person'||Allophone of /h/ before /i/ and /j/. See Japanese phonology|
|Korean||힘 /him||[çim]||'strength'||Allophone of /h/ word-initially before /i/ and /j/. See Korean phonology|
|Norwegian||Urban East||kjekk||[çe̞kː]||'handsome'||Often alveolo-palatal [ɕ] instead; younger speakers in Bergen, Stavanger and Oslo merge it with /ʂ/. See Norwegian phonology|
|Romanian||Muntenian dialects||fir||[çir]||'thread'||Allophone of /f/ before /i/. Realized as [f] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology|
|Russian||Standard||твёрдый/tvjordyj||[ˈt̪ʋʲɵrd̪ɨ̞ç] (help·info)||'hard'||Possible realization of /j/. See Russian phonology|
|Spanish||Chilean||mujer||[muˈçe̞ɾ]||'woman'||Allophone of /x/ before front vowels. See Spanish phonology|
|Welsh||hiaith||[çaɪ̯θ]||'language'||Occurs in words where /h/ comes before /j/ due to h-prothesis of the original word, i.e. jaɪ̯θ iaith 'language' becomes ei hiaith 'her language', resulting in /j/ i → /ç/ hi.|
|Belarusian||[example needed]||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨xʲ⟩. See Belarusian phonology|
|Dutch||Standard Belgian||acht||[ɑx̟t]||'eight'||May be velar [x] instead. See Dutch phonology|
|Greek||ψυχή/psychí||[ps̠iˈç̠i] (help·info)||'soul'||See Modern Greek phonology|
|Limburgish||Weert dialect||ich||[ɪ̞x̟]||'I'||Allophone of /x/ before and after front vowels.|
|Lithuanian||[example needed]||Very rare; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨xʲ⟩. See Lithuanian phonology|
|Russian||Standard||хинди/hindi||[ˈx̟indʲɪ]||'Hindi'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨xʲ⟩. See Russian phonology|
|Spanish||mujer||[muˈx̟e̞ɾ]||'woman'||Allophone of /x/ before front vowels. See Spanish phonology|
|Ukrainian||хід/khid||[x̟id̪]||'course'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨xʲ⟩. See Ukrainian phonology|
|Uzbek||[example needed]||Weakly fricated; occurs word-initially and pre-consonantally, otherwise it is post-velar [x̠].|