Ĥ

Ĥ

Ĥ, or ĥ is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing a voiceless velar fricative IPA| [x] or voiceless uvular fricative IPA| [χ] .

In the case of the minuscule, some fonts place the circumflex over the riser of the base letter h, others over the shoulder, and others centred above the entire letter.

:

Reported demise

Ĥ was always the least used Esperanto letter/sound (though it usually has more dictionary entries than ĵ), and most of its uses are in Greek etyms, where it replaced chi. Since the latter sounds [k] in most languages, soon appeared “neologism” equivalents with "ĥ" replaced by "k", such as "teĥniko" → "tekniko", "ĥemio" → "kemio", etc. (Other ĥ-replacements followed unusual patterns, such as "Ĥino" → "Ĉino".)

These additions and replacements come very early and were fully installed by WWI and since then the imminent demise of ĥ is a frequent topic, although it never really happened. There are very few modern ĥ-replacements, notably "koruso", for "ĥoro" ("chorus"). Some ĥ-words for which a replacement (old or new) exists are however usually preferred, such as "ĥaoso".

Several words commonly use ĥ, particularly those of non-Greek etymology ("ĥano", "ĥoto", "Liĥtenŝtejno", etc.) or those in which there is another word that uses "k" in that context. (For example, "eĥo" ("echo"), "ĉeĥo" ("Czech") or "ĥoro" ("chorus") are distinguished from "eko" ("beginning"), "ĉeko" ("bank check") and "koro" ("heart").

ee also

* Ĉ
* Ĝ
* Ĵ
* Ŝ
* Ŭ


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