A Cross-Linguistic Study of /h/

    Toshiko Isei-Jaakkola
    Department of Phonetics
    University of Helsinki
    Vironkatu 1
    P.O. Box 35, HELSINKI

    Keywords: Feature definition, intensity, duration, Finnish, Japanese, English

       /h/ holds some difficult issues phonologically and phonetically. A number of linguists and phoneticians have attempted to classify and define its features. The phonetics realizations of /h/ depend on languages.
       Here I compare Finnish and Japanese /h/. My first goal is to clarify the similarities and differences of /h/ between two languages. The second goal may possibly contain rhythmic issues.
       First, I present the distributional similarities and differences, and respective phonetic realizations. Secondly, I study the acoustic features such as intensity and duration of /h/, referring to the experimental data. I use English data for comparison. In the third I investigate Finnish coda /h/ in CVhCV structure, which does not exist in Japanese, in order to examine if /h/ can be a mora. For that purpose, I measured the duration. [h] is generally described as a voiceless glottal fricative, based on IPA. Thus, in the third investigation, I observe if Finnish [h] could be a fricative. For that, I observe the zero-crossings.
       Finally, I discuss /h/ issues, related to speech rhythm.