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H - is the eighth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

The original Semitic letter Heth most likely represented the voiceless pharyngeal fricative. The form of the letter probably stood for a fence or posts.

The Greek eta 'h' in Archaic Greek alphabets still represented /h/ (later on it came to represent a long vowel). In this context, the letter eta is also known as heta to underline this fact. Thus, in the Old Italic alphabets, the letter heta of the Euboean alphabet was adopted with its original sound value /h/.

While Etruscan and Latin had /h/ as a phoneme, almost all Romance languages lost the sound—Romanian later re-borrowed the /h/ phoneme from its neighbouring Slavic languages, and Spanish developed a secondary /h/ from /f/, before losing it again; various Spanish dialects have developed [h] as an allophone of /s/ or /x/ in most Spanish-speaking countries, and various dialects of Portuguese use it as an allophone of /h/. 'H' is also used in many spelling systems in digraphs and trigraphs, such as 'ch', which represents h in Spanish, Galician, Old Portuguese and English, /h/ in French and modern Portuguese, /k/ in Italian, French and English, /x/ in German, Czech, Polish, Slovak, one native word of English and a few loanwords into English, and h in German.

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