KAF

כ

VOICELESS ASPIRATED VELAR STOP []

VOICELESS UVULAR FRICATIVE [χ]

OR

Kaf with dagesh is pronounced like English "k". Kaf with rafe, which typically occurs after vowels, is pronounced with the back of the tongue low in the throat as in the "ch" in the name of the composer "Bach". For those familiar with Arabic, it is pronounced like the letter khā ). For kaf with rafe, it is important to allow air to pass through to make a fricative sound.

[kʰ]

כּ

כֿ

[χ]

Hidayat al-Qari

From the second of the places of articulation are heard גֿ and ךֿ rafe. This is the third of the tongue that is adjacent to the pharynx, opposite the (soft) palate. In fact this is not a primary place of articulation, but it functions like one. This is because when gimel and kaf have dagesh, their place of articulation is the middle of the tongue, in its wide part. The primary places of articulation are five in number. The third of the tongue that is the place of articulation of the two (aforementioned) letters with rafe, I mean גֿ and ךֿ, is secondary. So, the total number of places of articulation are six, five primary and one secondary. The middle of the tongue is the place of articulation of five letters, namely גיכרק.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.3.6)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

יֵלְכ֖

[jeːelˈχ]

בֵּרַ֥ךְ

[beːˈʀ̟aːaχ]

הַמַּלְכָּ֣ה

[hammalˈɔː]

כֶּ֛בֶשׂ

ɛːvɛs]

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Khan, Geoffrey. 2020. The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Cambridge: Cambridge and Open Book Publishers. §I.1.11.

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