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Voiceless dental fricative

Voiceless dental fricative
θ
IPA Number130
Encoding
Entity (decimal)θ
Unicode (hex)U+03B8
X-SAMPAT
Braille⠨ (braille pattern dots-46)⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456)
Image
Voiceless dental fricative (vector).svg
Audio sample
source · help

The voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. It is familiar to English speakers as the 'th' in think. Though rather rare as a phoneme in the world's inventory of languages, it is encountered in some of the most widespread and influential (see below). The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨θ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is T. The IPA symbol is the Greek letter theta, which is used for this sound in post-classical Greek, and the sound is thus often referred to as "theta".

The dental non-sibilant fricatives are often called "interdental" because they are often produced with the tongue between the upper and lower teeth, and not just against the back of the upper or lower teeth, as they are with other dental consonants.

This sound and its voiced counterpart are rare phonemes occurring in 4% of languages in a phonological analysis of 2,155 languages. Among the more than 60 languages with over 10 million speakers, only English, various dialects of Arabic, Standard European Spanish, Swahili (in words derived from Arabic), and Greek have the voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative. Speakers of languages and dialects without the sound sometimes have difficulty producing or distinguishing it from similar sounds, especially if they have had no chance to acquire it in childhood, and typically replace it with a voiceless alveolar fricative (/s/) (as in Indonesian), voiceless dental stop (/t/), or a voiceless labiodental fricative (/f/); known respectively as th-alveolarization, th-stopping, and th-fronting.

The sound is known to have disappeared from a number of languages, e.g. from most of the Germanic languages or dialects, where it is retained only in Scots, English, Elfdalian, and Icelandic, but it is alveolar in the last of these. Among non-Germanic Indo-European languages as a whole, the sound was also once much more widespread, but is today preserved in a few languages including the Brythonic languages, Peninsular Spanish, Galician, Venetian, Albanian, few Occitan dialects and Greek. It has likewise disappeared from many Semitic languages, such as Hebrew (excluding Yemenite Hebrew) and many modern varieties of Arabic (excluding Tunisian, Mesopotamian Arabic and various dialects in the Arabian Peninsula).

Features

Features of the voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative:

Occurrence

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Albanianthotë[θɔtə]'says'
ArabicModern StandardثَوْبAbout this sound[θawb] (help·info)'a dress'Represented by ⟨ث⟩. See Arabic phonology.
Eastern Libyaثِلاثة[θɪˈlæːθæ]'three'
Sanaa, Yemenيِثَمَّن[jɪˈθæmːæn]'it is priced'
Iraqثمانْية[θ(ɪ)ˈmæːnjæ]'eight'
Khuzestan, Iranالثانْية[ɪθˈθæːnjæ]'the second one'
Arapahoyoo3on[jɔːθɔn]'five'
Assyrian Neo-Aramaicܒܬ[beθa]'house'Mostly used in the Tyari, Barwari, Tel Keppe, Batnaya and Alqosh dialects; realized as [t] in other varieties.
Avestan𐬑𐬱𐬀𐬚𐬭𐬀‎ xšaθra[xʃaθra]'kingdom'Ancient dead sacred language.
Bashkirдуҫ / duθAbout this sound[duθ] (help·info)'friend'
Berta[θɪ́ŋɑ̀]'to eat'
Burmeseသုံး / thon:[θòʊ̯̃]'three'Commonly realized as an affricate [t̪͡θ].
Cornisheth[ɛθ]'eight'
Emiliano-Romagnolza[ˈfaːθɐ]'face'
EnglishthinAbout this sound[θɪn]'thin'See English phonology
GalicianMost dialectscero[ˈθɛɾo]'zero'Merges with /s/ into [s] in Western dialects. See Galician phonology
Greekθάλασσα[ˈθalasa]'sea'See Modern Greek phonology
Gweno[riθo]'eye'
Gwich’inth[θaɬ]'pants'
Halkomelemθqet[θqet]'tree'
Hännihthän[nihθɑn]'I want'
Harsusi[θəroː]'two'
HebrewIraqiעברית[ʕibˈriːθ]'Hebrew language'See Modern Hebrew phonology
Yemenite[ʕivˈriːθ]
HlaiBasadung[θsio]'one'
ItalianTuscani capitani[iˌhäɸiˈθäːni]'the captains'Intervocalic allophone of /t/. See Italian phonology and Tuscan gorgia
Kabyleafa[θafaθ]'light'(noun)
KarenSgawသၢ[θə˧]'three'
Karukyiθa[jiθa]'one'
Kickapooneθwi[nɛθwi]'three'
Kwama[mɑ̄ˈθíl]'to laugh'
Leoneseceru[θeɾu]'zero'
Lorediakarkar[θar]'four'
MalaySelasa[θəlaθa]'Tuesday'Mostly occurs in Arabic loanwords originally containing this sound, but the writing is not distinguished from the Arabic loanwords with the [s] sound and this sound must be learned separately by the speakers. See Malay phonology.
Massa[faθ]'five'
OccitanGasconmacipon[maθiˈpu]'(male) child'Limited the sub-dialects of the region of Castillonais, in the Ariège department.
Vivaro-Alpinechin[θĩ]'dog'Limited to Vénosc, in the Isère department.
Early Old Frenchamé[aˈmeːθ]'loved, beloved (masculine)'Disappeared by the 12th century. Word-final allophone of /ð/; this example also alternates with feminine améḍe [aˈmeːðə].
Old Persian𐏋 / xšāyaθiya[xʃaːjaθija]'Shah'Ancient extinct language.
SaanichŦES[teθʔəs]'eight'
SardinianNuoresepetha[pɛθa]'meat'
Shark Bay[θar]'four'
Shawneenthwi[nθwɪ]'three'
SiouxNakodaktusa[ktũˈθa]'four'
SpanishSpanish from Spaincazar[käˈθär]'to hunt'Interdental. See Spanish phonology and Seseo. This sound is not contrastive in Latin America, southern Andalusia or the Canary Islands..
Swahilithamini[θɑˈmini]'value'Mostly occurs in Arabic loanwords originally containing this sound.
Tanacrossthiit[θiːtʰ]'embers'
Todaஉஇனபஒ[wɨnboθ]'nine'
Turkmensekiz[θekið]'eight'
TutchoneNortherntho[θo]'pants'
Southernthü[θɨ]
Upland YumanHavasupai[θerap]'five'
Hualapai[θarap]
Yavapai[θerapi]
VenetianEastern dialectsçinque[ˈθiŋkwe]'five'Corresponds to /s/ in other dialects.
Wolayttashiththa[ɕiθθa]'flower'
Welshsaith[saiθ]'seven'
Zhuangsaw[θaːu˨˦]'language'

Voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant

Voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant
s̻̪
s̪̻
Encoding
X-SAMPAs_m_d
Image
Voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant.png

The voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant is the only sibilant fricative in some dialects of Andalusian Spanish. It has no official symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet, though its features would be transcribed ⟨s̻̪⟩ or ⟨s̪̻⟩ (using the ⟨◌̻⟩, the diacritic marking a laminal consonant, and ⟨◌̪⟩, the diacritic marking a dental consonant). It is usually represented by an ad-hoc symbol such as ⟨⟩, ⟨θˢ̣⟩, or ⟨⟩ (advanced diacritic).

Dalbor (1980) describes this sound as follows: "[s̄] is a voiceless, corono-dentoalveolar groove fricative, the so-called s coronal or s plana because of the relatively flat shape of the tongue body.... To this writer, the coronal [s̄], heard throughout Andalusia, should be characterized by such terms as "soft," "fuzzy," or "imprecise," which, as we shall see, brings it quite close to one variety of /θ/ ... Canfield has referred, quite correctly, in our opinion, to this [s̄] as "the lisping coronal-dental," and Amado Alonso remarks how close it is to the post-dental [θ̦], suggesting a combined symbol [θˢ̣] to represent it".

Features

Features of the voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant:

Occurrence

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
SpanishAndalusiancasa[ˈkäs̻̪ä]'house'Present in dialects with ceceo. See Spanish phonology

Other topics

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Voiceless dental fricative, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (view authors).


Date of last edit: 2021-01-28T19:40:05.000Z