Gheada

Gheada in the Galician language is the debuccalization of the phonemes /g/ (voiced velar stop) and /ɣ/ (voiced velar fricative) resulting in one of the following variations:

  • /ħ/ voiceless pharyngeal fricative
  • /h/ voiceless glottal fricative like the "h" in English "house"

At times, the sound is also articulated as /x/ voiceless velar fricative like in some Peninsular Spanish pronunciations of "jamón".

A predominant linguistic phenomenon, gheada is attested throughout the western half of Spain's Galician-speaking region: in the provinces of A Coruña, Pontevedra, the westernmost part of Lugo, and the western half of Ourense. In the last two provinces, however, gheada is diminishing.

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