Nh (digraph)
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Nh Digraph

Nh is a digraph of the Latin alphabet, a combination of N and H. Together with ilh and the interpunct, it is a typical feature of Occitan, a language illustrated by medieval troubadours. It is the same sound as the spanish Ñ.

African languages

In some African languages, such as Gogo, nh is a voiceless /n?/.

In the pre-1985 orthography of Guinea for its languages, nh represented a velar , which is currently written ?.

Asian languages

In the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization of Mandarin Chinese, initial nh- indicates an even tone on a syllable beginning in [n], which is otherwise spelled n-.


Early romanizations of Japanese, influenced by Portuguese orthography, sometimes used nh to represent a prepalatal. Today, this is usually written ny.


In Vietnamese, nh represents a palatal word-initially. It was formerly considered a distinct letter, but is no longer. When this digraph occurs word-finally, its phonetic value varies between dialects:

  • In the northern dialect, it represents a velar nasal (?), just as ng does; however, its presence may alter the pronunciation of the preceding vowel. For example, banh is pronounced /ba??/, as opposed to /ba?/ (bang).
  • In the southern dialect, it represents an alveolar nasal (n) and shortens the preceding vowel.

The Vietnamese alphabet inherited this digraph from the Portuguese orthography.

Australian languages

In the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages, nh represents a dental . Due to allophony, it may also represent a palatal .

American languages

In Purépecha and Pipil, it is a velar nasal, [?].

In the Cuoq Orthography in Algonquin, and in the Fiero Orthography in Ojibwe and Odaawaa, it indicates the vowel preceding it is nasalized. While in the Cuoq orthograph it is ⟨nh⟩ in all positions, in the Fiero orthography it is a final form; its non-final form is written as ⟨ny⟩.

European languages


In Occitan, nh represents a palatal .

For n·h, see Interpunct § Occitan.


In Portuguese, nh represents a palatal . Due to allophony, it may represent the nasal approximant [] in most Brazilian, Santomean and Angolan dialects. It is not considered a distinct letter. Portuguese borrowed this digraph from Occitan.[1]


In Galician, there are two diverging norms which give nh differing values.

  • According to the Real Academia Galega norm, nh represents a velar , while ñ represents a palatal .
  • According to the reintegrationist norm, mh represents a velar nasal , while nh represents a palatal .

In neither norm is nh considered a distinct letter.[]


In Welsh, nh is a voiceless alveolar nasal, /n?/.


  1. ^ Jean-Pierre JUGE (2001) Petit précis - Chronologie occitane - Histoire & civilisation, p. 25

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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