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H
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H

                 


Latin alphabet
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E F G H I J
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H is the eighth letter of the latin alphabet. In reference, it is spelled aitch (or sometimes haitch by speakers of dialects—primarily Irish and Australian—which pronounce an h in the name of the letter itself). The English name aitch /eItS/ or haitch /heItS/ derives from Old French /atS/ > Middle English /a:tS/. /heItS/ is thus a spelling pronunciation based on the sound usually associated with the English letter.

The Semitic letter ח (Ħęt) probably represented the phoneme /X/ (pharyngeal voiceless fricative) (IPA [ħ]). The form of the letter probably stood for a fence. Early Greek H stood for /h/, but later on Η or η (Ęta>/ita/) stood for /E:/. In Modern Greek this phoneme fell together with /i/, similar to the English development where EA /E:/ and EE /e:/ came to be both pronounced /i:/ . In Etruscan and Latin, the sound value /h/ was maintained, but all Romance languages lost the sound - only Romanian borrowed the /h/ phoneme from its neighbouring Slavic languages and Castilian /x/ developed [h] allophones in some Spanish-speaking countries. In German, h is typically used as a vowel lengthener as well as the letter for the phoneme /h/. This may be because /h/ was sometimes lost between vowels in German, but it may also have to do with the fact that Romance lost /h/. Hence, h is used in many spelling systems in digraphs and trigraphs like ch in Spanish, English /tS/, French /S/ from /tS/, Italian /k/, German /x/ etc.

Hotel represents the letter H in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

Meanings for H

See also: ĥ, ħ, Eta

Two-letter combinations starting with H: