Spectrographic Characteristics of Turkish /h/


/h/ is described differently by different researchers. While some argue that /h/ is a glottal fricative, others argue that it is the voiceless counterpart of the following vowel, yet others argue that /h/ is a glide or an approximant. However, de- tailed acoustic studies focusing on /h/ are very limited. This study aims to describe the spectrographic characteristics of /h/ in Turkish. Test words consisted of 48 monosyllabic and disyllabic words containing /h/ which was followed by eight Turkish vowels. Totally 1440 tokens were analyzed. After segmentation, /h/ was classified based on its spectrographic characteristics: 1) segment exhibiting formants, 2) segment exhibiting frication (but no formants) with energy in lower frequencies and 3) segment exhibiting almost no energy. In order to find out if there is a significant difference among these three categories, Chi-square test was applied. The spectrographic characteristics of /h/ in Turkish suggest that it is more like the voiceless version of the surrounding vowels, significantly when it is in syllable initial position and the preceding vowel when in syllable final position.

Share and Cite:

E. Ertan, "Spectrographic Characteristics of Turkish /h/," Open Journal of Acoustics, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 97-102. doi: 10.4236/oja.2013.34015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] http://www.langsci.ucl.ac.uk/ipa/ipachart.html
[2] P. A. Keating, “Underspecification in Phonetics,” Phonology, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1988, pp. 275-292.
[3] N. Chomsky and M. Halle, “The Sound Pattern of English,” Harper & Row, New York, 1968.
[4] G. Fant, “Speech Acoustics and Phonetics,” Springer, Dordrecht, 2005.
[5] L. J. Brinton, “The Structure of Modern English: A Linguistic Introduction,” John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 2000.
[6] A. Jongman, R. Wayland and S. Wong, “Acoustic characteristics of English fricatives,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 3, No. 108, 2000, pp. 1252-1263.
[7] P. J. Roach, “English Phonetics and Phonology: A Practical Course,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983.
[8] P. Ladefoged, “A Course in Phonetics,” Brace Jovanovich, New York, Harcourt, 1975.
[9] S. L. Nissen and R. A. Fox, “Acoustic and Spectral Characteristics of Young Children’s Fricative Productions: A Developmental Perspective,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 118, No. 4, 2005, pp. 2570-2578.
[10] P. Ladefoged and I. Madiesson, “The Sounds of the World’s Languages,” Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 1996.
[11] P. Ladefoged, “Phonetic Data Analysis: An Introduction to Instrumental Phonetic Fieldwork,” Blackwells, Oxford, 2003.
[12] P. Lieberman, “Speech Physiology and Acoustic Phonetics: An Introduction,” Macmillan Publishing, New York, 1977.
[13] G. J. Borden, K. S. Harris and L. J. Raphael, “Speech Science Primer: Physiology, Acoustics, and Perception of Speech,” 3rd Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2003.
[14] A. Laufer, “Phonetic Representation: Glottal Fricatives,” Journal of the International Phonetic Association, Vol. 21, No. 2, 1991, pp. 91-93.
[15] R. Baken and F. Orlikoff, “Clinical Measurement of Speech and Voice,” 2nd Edition, Singular Publishing, San Diego, 2000.
[16] M. R. Schroeder, “Computer Speech: Recognition, Compression, Synthesis, Springer Series in Information Sciences,” 2nd Edition, 2004.
[17] P. Strevens, “Spectra of Fricative Noise in Human Speech,” Lang Speech, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1960, pp. 32-49.
[18] J. M. Pickett, “The Sounds of Speech Communication: A Primer of Acoustic Phonetics and Speech Perception,” University Park Press, Baltimore-Austin, 1999.
[19] K. Johnson, “Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics,” Blackwell, Oxford, 2003.
[20] The International Phonetic Association, “A Guide to the Use of International Phonetic Alphabet,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999.
[21] S. S. Topbas, “Türkce Sesletim Sesbilgisi Testi,” Milli Egitim Bakanligi. TDK Yayinlari, Ankara, 2005.
[22] H. Kopkalli-Yavuz, “The Sound Inventory of Turkish: Consonants and Vowels,” In: S. Topbas and M. Yavas, Eds., Communication Disorders in Turkish, 2010.
[23] G. L. Lewis, “Turkish Grammar,” Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1967.
[24] E. Sezer, “An Autosegmental Analysis of Compensatory Lengthening in Turkish,” In: L. Wetzels and E. Sezer, Eds., Studies Compensatory Lengthening, Foris, Reverton, 1986.
[25] J. Mielke, “Turkish /h/ Deletion: Evidence for the Interplay of Speech Perception and Phonology,” ZASPiL, Vol. 28, 2002, pp. 55-72.
[26] N. Selen, “Soyleyis Sesbilimi, Akustik Sesbilim ve Türkiye Türkcesi,” TDK Yayinlari, Ankara, 1979.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.