Ch (Digraph)

The combination of letters Ch is in German and some other languages ​​(eg Polish ) is a digraph, which is used for unvoiced fricatives; in other languages ​​it is also used for affricates or other consonants (eg, English, Spanish, Italian). In some alphabets, as in the Slovak alphabet, the digraph considered as a separate letter.

The digraph is represented in Morse code with ---- but is not coded as a separate character in Unicode, as it is today generally no longer is a ligature. In contrast, a fracture set ch ligature must be set. This shows among other things in the off- set ( a very common in the fracture rate markup method ) because the ch- ligature is not locked.

German pronunciation

  • After dark vowels ( a, o, u or au) as a velar voiceless fricative (background palate sound) x, if it is not part of the diminutive suffix - chen. Examples: also [ aux ], Book [ bu ː x], hole [ lɔx ] by [ na ː x] (in words from the Greek, even if vowel and fricative originally belong to two different word elements: indigenous, hypochondriac; occasionally comes at the acquisition of words from other languages ​​[ x] even before the letters in words, for example, from Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian also written with ch: chutzpah ).
  • In all other positions in which ch is pronounced as a fricative ( for bright vowels and consonants after, word-initially before vowels and bright at the beginning of the suffix -chen), as voiceless palatal fricative ( front palate sound) ç. Examples: I [ ɪç ], milk [ mɪlç ], chemistry [ çe'mi ː ], Autochem [' aʊtoçən ].

(In some southern German varieties such as Swiss German, however, each ch is pronounced in the cases mentioned as [ x]. )

In German, so it comes exclusively on the preceding vowel, the following plays for the decision [ ç / x] (in contrast to χ in Greek ) does not matter. (Shown in words from the Greek, as in the following, however, different with the decision [k ] or [k ], va. )

In addition, the German ch is a case for the sound [k ], which is used only in certain cases. ch is [k ] spoken

  • Regularly in conjunction with a following s: growing, drawbar,
  • Word-initially before dark vowels (a, o, u) and before consonants: choir, chlorine, chronic ( in technical terms or scholarly debate also comes in these positions in words of Greek origin, the pronunciation with [ ç ] before: Charisma, chthonic ) general word-initially in southern Germany varieties instead of [ ç ] (chemistry, China) and in word-initial German geographical proper names (Chiemsee, Chemnitz, Cham )
  • In particular, non-integrated foreign word spellings, especially from Italian Chianti, Pinocchio.

The pronunciation as [k ] ( and not as a fricative [ ç / x] ) depends on the meaning and structure of a word (morphological structure): see grow ( grow ) vs. wake up ( to watch ); Choirs [ 'ko ː ʁə ], derived from the choir.

In addition, eligible for ch also debates as sh [ ʃ ] and ch [ tʃ ] before:

  • Such as [ ʃ ] as colloquial or varietätenspezifische variant of [ ç ] in word-initial (chemistry, China )
  • In not (fully) integrated foreign word writes primarily from the French and Portuguese (as [ ʃ ]: Champignon, Charlotte, search) in English and Spanish (as [ tʃ ]: Chip, chat, macho ).

Pronunciation in other languages

In the alphabets of the following languages, the Ch is a separate letter and each has a different phonetic significance.

  • Chamorro: [ ts ]
  • Igbo: [ tʃ ]
  • Guaraní: [ ʃ ]
  • Breton: [ ʃ ]
  • Cornish: tʃ
  • Welsh: [ x]
  • Quechua: [ tʃ ]
  • Polish: [x ], [ ɣ ]
  • Slovak: [x ], [ ɣ ]
  • Sorbian Upper Sorbian: the root Elan sound [ k ʰ ], otherwise [ x]
  • Lower: [ x]

The pronunciation of the Ch in other languages ​​is as follows:

  • English: [ tʃ ] with exceptions
  • [k ] in words of Greek origin
  • [ ʃ ] in French loanwords
  • [ ʃ ] with exceptions
  • [k ] in words of Greek origin