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Ḥet or H̱et (also spelled Khet, Kheth, Chet, Cheth, Het, or Heth) is the eighth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Ḥēt , Hebrew Ḥēt ח‬, Aramaic Ḥēth , Syriac Ḥēṯ ܚ, and Arabic Ḥā' ح. Heth originally represented a voiceless fricative, either pharyngeal /ħ/, or velar /x/ (the two Proto-Semitic phonemes having merged in Canaanite[citation needed]). In Arabic, two corresponding letters were created for both phonemic sounds: unmodified ḥāʾ ح represents /ħ/, while ḫāʾ خ represents /x/. The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Eta Η, Etruscan , Latin H and Cyrillic И. While H is a consonant in the Latin alphabet, the Greek and Cyrillic equivalents represent vowel sounds.

Contents

1 Origins 2 Arabic ḥāʾ

2.1 Pronunciation

3 Hebrew Ḥet

3.1 Pronunciation 3.2 Variations 3.3 Significance

4 Character encodings 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Origins[edit] The letter shape ultimately goes back to a hieroglyph for "courtyard",

Possibly named ḥasir in the Middle Bronze Age alphabets. The Modern Hebrew word for courtyard is Hatzer (חצר). While the name goes rather back to ḫayt, the name reconstructed for a letter derived from a hieroglyph for "thread",[citation needed]

In Arabic "thread" is خيط [xajtˤ] or [xeːtˤ]. The corresponding South Arabian letters are ḥ and ḫ, corresponding to Ge'ez Ḥauṭ ሐ and Ḫarm ኀ. Arabic ḥāʾ[edit] See also: خ The letter is named حاء ḥāʾ and is the sixth letter of the alphabet. Its shape varies depending on its position in the word:

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial

Glyph form: ح‬ ـح‬ ـحـ‬ حـ‬

This form is used to denote two letters, the second being خ ḫāʾ. Pronunciation[edit] In Arabic, ḥāʾ is similar to the English [h], but it is much "raspier",[1] IPA: [ħ]~[ʜ]. In Persian, it is [h], like ⟨ﻫ⟩ and the English h. Hebrew Ḥet[edit]

Orthographic variants

Various print fonts Cursive Hebrew Rashi script

Serif Sans-serif Monospaced

ח ח ח

Hebrew spelling: חֵית‬ Pronunciation[edit] In Modern Israeli Hebrew (and Ashkenazi Hebrew, although not under strict pronunciation), the letter Ḥet (חֵית‬) usually has the sound value of a voiceless uvular fricative (/χ/), as the historical phonemes of the letters Ḥet ח (/ħ/) and Khaf כ (/x/) merged, both becoming the voiceless uvular fricative (/χ/). In more rare phonologies, it is pronounced as a voiceless pharyngeal fricative (/ħ/) and is still among Mizrahim (especially among the older generation and popular Mizrahi singers, mostly Yemenies), in accordance with oriental Jewish traditions. The ability to pronounce the Arabic letter ḥāʾ (ح) correctly as a voiceless pharyngeal fricative /ħ/ is often used as a shibboleth to distinguish Arabic-speakers from non-Arabic-speakers; in particular, pronunciation of the letter as /x/ is seen as a hallmark of Ashkenazi Jews and Greek Jews. Ḥet is one of the few Hebrew consonants that can take a vowel at the end of a word. This occurs when patach gnuva comes under the Ḥet at the end of the word. The combination is then pronounced /-aχ/ rather than /-χa/. For example: פתוח (/ˌpaˈtuaχ/), and תפוח (/ˌtaˈpuaχ/). Variations[edit] Ḥet, along with Aleph, Ayin, Resh, and He, cannot receive a dagesh. As pharyngeal fricatives are difficult for most English speakers to pronounce, loanwords are usually Anglicized to have /h/. Thus challah (חלה), pronounced by native Hebrew speakers as /χala/ or /ħala/ is pronounced /halə/ by most English speakers, who cannot often perceive the difference between [h] and [ħ]. Significance[edit] In gematria, Ḥet represents the number eight. In chat rooms, online forums, and social networking the letter Ḥet repeated (חחחחחחחחחח) denotes laughter, just as in english, in the saying 'Haha'. Character encodings[edit]

Character ח ح ܚ ࠇ

Unicode name HEBREW LETTER HET ARABIC LETTER HAH SYRIAC LETTER HETH SAMARITAN LETTER HIT

Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex

Unicode 1495 U+05D7 1581 U+062D 1818 U+071A 2055 U+0807

UTF-8 215 151 D7 97 216 173 D8 AD 220 154 DC 9A 224 160 135 E0 A0 87

Numeric character reference ח ח ح ح ܚ ܚ ࠇ ࠇ

Character 𐎈 𐡇 𐤇

Unicode name UGARITIC LETTER HOTA IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER HETH PHOENICIAN LETTER HET

Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex

Unicode 66440 U+10388 67655 U+10847 67847 U+10907

UTF-8 240 144 142 136 F0 90 8E 88 240 144 161 135 F0 90 A1 87 240 144 164 135 F0 90 A4 87

UTF-16 55296 57224 D800 DF88 55298 56391 D802 DC47 55298 56583 D802 DD07

Numeric character reference 𐎈 𐎈 𐡇 𐡇 𐤇 𐤇

See also[edit]

Ħ, ħ : Latin letter H with stroke

References[edit]

^ Bouchentouf, Amine (2006). Arabic for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc. p. 15. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to ח.

v t e

Arabic language

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Alphabet

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Arabic numerals Eastern numerals Arabic Braille

Algerian

Diacritics

i‘jām Tashkil Harakat Tanwin Shaddah

Hamza Tāʾ marbūṭah

Letters

ʾAlif Bāʾ Tāʾ

Tāʾ marbūṭah

Ṯāʾ Ǧīm Ḥāʾ Ḫāʾ Dāl Ḏāl Rāʾ Zāy Sīn Šīn Ṣād Ḍād Ṭāʾ Ẓāʾ ʿAyn Ġayn Fāʾ Qāf Kāf Lām Mīm Nūn Hāʾ

Tāʾ marbūṭah

Wāw Yāʾ Hamza

Notable varieties

Ancient

Proto-Arabic Old Arabic Ancient North Arabian Old South Arabian

Standardized

Classical Modern Standard Maltese[a]

Regional

Nilo-Egyptian Levantine Maghrebi

Pre-Hilalian dialects Hilalian dialects Moroccan Darija Tunisian Arabic Sa'idi Arabic

Mesopotamian Peninsular

Yemeni Arabic Tihamiyya Arabic

Sudanese Chadian Modern South Arabian

Ethnic / religious

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Juba Arabic Nubi language Babalia Creole Arabic Maridi Arabic Maltese

Academic

Literature Names

Linguistics

Phonology Sun and moon letters ʾIʿrāb (inflection) Grammar Triliteral root Mater lectionis IPA Quranic Arabic Corpus

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Technical

Arabic keyboard Arabic script in Unicode ISO/IEC 8859-6 Windows-1256 MS-DOS codepages

708 709 710 711 720 864

MacArabic encoding

aSociolinguistically not Arabic

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Hebrew language

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Orthography

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Scripts

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Alphabet

Alef Bet Gimel Dalet Hei Vav Zayin Het Tet Yud Kaf Lamed Mem Nun Samech Ayin Pei Tsadi Kuf Reish Shin Taw

Niqqud

Tiberian Babylonian Palestinian Samaritan

Shva Hiriq Tzere Segol Patach Kamatz Holam Kubutz and Shuruk Dagesh Mappiq Maqaf Rafe Sin/Shin Dot

Spelling

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Punctuation

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Academic

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Reference works

Brown–Driver–Briggs Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament

v t e

The Northwest Semitic abjad

ʾ

b

g

d

h

w

z

y

k

l

m

n

s

ʿ

p

q

r

š

t

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 200 300 400

History Phoenician

Paleo-Hebrew

Heb

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