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The voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative is a type of
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...
al sound used in some
spoken language A spoken language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self an ...
s. 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 The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
that represents this sound is , and the equivalent
X-SAMPA The Extended Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (X-SAMPA) is a variant of SAMPA __NOTOC__ The Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (SAMPA) is a computer-readable phonetic script using 7-bit printable American Standard Code for In ...
symbol is T. The IPA symbol is the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
letter
theta Theta (, ; uppercase Θ or ϴ, lowercase θ or ϑ; grc, ''thē̂ta'' ; Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeo ...

theta
, which is used for this sound in post-classical
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, and the sound is thus often referred to as "theta". The dental non-sibilant fricatives are often called "
interdental Interdental consonants are produced by placing the tip of the tongue between the upper and lower front teeth. That differs from dental consonant Dental may refer to: * Having to do with teeth * Dentistry, a medical profession dealing with teeth * ...
" because they are often produced with the tongue between the upper and lower
teeth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcified Calcification is the accumulation of calcium salts in a Tissue (biology), body tissue. It normally occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be deposited abnormally in soft tissue,Miller, J. ...

teeth
, and not just against the back of the upper or lower teeth, as they are with other
dental consonant A dental consonant is a consonant place of articulation, articulated with the tongue against the upper teeth, such as , , and in some languages. Dentals are usually from sounds in which contact is made with the tongue and the Gingiva, gum rid ...

dental consonant
s. This sound and its
voiced counterpart
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 English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, various
dialects of Arabic The varieties (or dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of Linguistics, linguistic phenomena: * ...
, Standard Peninsular
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
,
Swahili Swahili may refer to: * Swahili language, a Bantu language official in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and widely spoken in the African Great Lakes * Swahili people, an ethnic group in East Africa * Swahili culture, the culture of the Swahili people * Sw ...
(in words derived from Arabic), and
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
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 A voiceless alveolar fricative is a type of fricative consonant Fricatives are consonants manner of articulation, produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two Place of articulation, articulators close together. These may be ...

voiceless alveolar fricative
() (as in
Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native Indonesians, diverse groups of local inhabitants of the archipelago ** Indonesian w ...

Indonesian
),
voiceless dental stop The voiceless alveolar, dental and postalveolar plosives (or stops) are types of consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounc ...

voiceless dental stop
(), or a
voiceless labiodental fricative The voiceless labiodental fricative is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced w ...

voiceless labiodental fricative
(); known respectively as th-alveolarization,
th-stopping ''Th''-stopping is the realization of the dental fricatives Fricatives are consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced ...
, and
th-fronting ''Th''-fronting is the pronunciation of the English "th" as "f" or "v". When ''th''-fronting is applied, becomes (for example, ''three'' is pronounced as ''free'') and becomes (for example, ''bathe'' is pronounced as ''bave''). (Here "fronti ...
. The sound is known to have disappeared from a number of languages, e.g. from most of the
Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian su ...

Germanic languages
or dialects, where it is retained only in Scots,
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
,
Elfdalian Elfdalian or Övdalian ( or , pronounced in Elfdalian, or in Swedish) is a North Germanic language variety spoken by up to 3,000 people who live or have grown up in the locality of Älvdalen ('), which is located in the southeastern part of ...
, and
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
, but it is
alveolar Alveolus (pl. alveoli, adj. alveolar) is a general anatomical term for a concave cavity or pit. Alveolus may refer to: In anatomy and zoology in general * Pulmonary alveolus A pulmonary alveolus (plural: alveoli, from Latin ''alveolus'', "littl ...

alveolar
in the last of these. Among non-Germanic
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
as a whole, the sound was also once much more widespread, but is today preserved in a few languages including the
Brythonic languages Brittonic or Brythonic may refer to: *Common Brittonic, or Brythonic, the Celtic language anciently spoken in Great Britain *Brittonic languages, a branch of the Celtic languages descended from Common Brittonic *Celtic Britons, Britons (Celtic peo ...
,
Peninsular Spanish Peninsular Spanish ( es, español peninsular), also known as the Spanish of Spain ( es, español de España, links=no), European Spanish ( es, español europeo, links=no) and Iberian Spanish ( es, español ibérico, links=no), is the set of varie ...
,
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
, Venetian,
Albanian Albanian may refer to: *Pertaining to Albania in Southeast Europe; in particular: **Albanians, an ethnic group native to the Balkans **Albanian language **Albanian culture **Demographics of Albania, includes other ethnic groups within the country ...

Albanian
, some
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
dialects and
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
. It has likewise disappeared from many
Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication u ...

Semitic languages
, such as
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
(excluding
Yemenite Hebrew Yemenite Hebrew ( ''ʿivrith Teymonith''), also referred to as Temani Hebrew, is the pronunciation system for Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic lang ...
) and many modern
varieties of Arabic The varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in univer ...
(excluding Tunisian,
Mesopotamian Arabic Mesopotamian Arabic, also known as Iraqi Arabic, ( ar, عراقية) is a continuum of mutually-intelligible varieties of Arabic The varieties (or dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , ...
and various dialects in the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
, as well as
Modern Standard Arabic Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or Modern Written Arabic (shortened to MWA), terms used mostly by Western linguists, is the variety of standardized Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standa ...
).


Features

Features of the voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative: It does not have the grooved tongue and directed airflow, or the high frequencies, of a
sibilant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. Th ...
.


Occurrence


Voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant

The voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant is the only sibilant fricative in some dialects of
Andalusian Spanish The Andalusian dialects of Spanish (Spanish: ''andaluz'' ; Andalusian: ) are spoken in Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade aut ...
. It has no official symbol in the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
, though its features would be transcribed or (using the , the diacritic marking a
laminal consonant A laminal consonant is a phone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficient ...
, and , the diacritic marking a
dental consonant A dental consonant is a consonant place of articulation, articulated with the tongue against the upper teeth, such as , , and in some languages. Dentals are usually from sounds in which contact is made with the tongue and the Gingiva, gum rid ...

dental consonant
). It is usually represented by an ad-hoc symbol such as , , or ( advanced diacritic). describes this sound as follows: " 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 , 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 ... Canfield has referred, quite correctly, in our opinion, to this as "the lisping coronal-dental," and Amado Alonso remarks how close it is to the post-dental , suggesting a combined symbol to represent it".


Features

Features of the voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant: *Its
place of articulation In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...
is
denti-alveolar In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ph ...
, which means it is articulated with a flat tongue against the
alveolar ridge A sagittal or side view image of a human head. The upper alveolar ridge is located between numbers 4 and 5. The alveolar ridge (; also known as the alveolar margin) is one of the two jaw ridges, extensions of the mandible or maxilla, either on the ...
and upper teeth. *It is normally laminal, which means it is pronounced with the blade of the tongue.


Occurrence


See also

*
Voiced dental fricative The voiced dental fricative is a consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front o ...

Voiced dental fricative
*
Voiceless alveolar non-sibilant fricative A voiceless alveolar fricative is a type of fricative consonant Fricatives are consonants manner of articulation, produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two Place of articulation, articulators close together. These may be ...

Voiceless alveolar non-sibilant fricative
*
Voiced dental sibilant The voiced alveolar fricatives are consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of ...
*
Voiceless alveolar retracted sibilant A voiceless alveolar fricative is a type of fricative consonant pronounced with the tip or tongue blade, blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge (gum line) just behind the teeth. This refers to a class of sounds, not a single sound. There ...
* Sibilant consonant#Possible combinations *
Pronunciation of English thPronunciation is the way in which a word or a language is spoken. This may refer to generally agreed-upon sequences of sounds used in speaking a given word or language in a specific dialect ("correct pronunciation") or simply the way a particular in ...
* Index of phonetics topics


Notes


References

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

*
Discrimination of Unvoiced Fricatives using Machine Learning Methods
{{IPA navigation Dental consonants Fricative consonants English th Pulmonic consonants Voiceless oral consonants Central consonants