Voiceless dental fricative

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Voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative
θ
IPA number130
Encoding
Entity (decimal)θ
Unicode (hex)U+03B8
X-SAMPAT
KirshenbaumT
Braille⠨ (braille pattern dots-46) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456)
Sound
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Voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative[edit]

Voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative
θ
IPA number130
Encoding
Entity (decimal)θ
Unicode (hex)U+03B8
X-SAMPAT
KirshenbaumT
Braille⠨ (braille pattern dots-46) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456)
Sound
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.

The voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some oral languages. It is familiar to English speakers as the 'th' in thing. 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 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.

Among the more than 60 languages with over 10 million speakers, only English, Standard Arabic, European standard Spanish, Burmese, 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/), voiceless dental stop (/t/), or a voiceless labiodental fricative (/f/; known respectively as th-alveolarization, th-stopping,[1] and th-fronting[2]).

Among Turkic languages, Bashkir and Turkmen have voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative.

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 English and Icelandic.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative:

Occurrence[edit]

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Albanianthotë[θɔtə]'to say'
ArabicStandard[3]ثابت[ˈθaːbit]'firm'See Arabic phonology. Represented by <ث>.
Amami[θeda]'sun'
Arapahoyoo3on[jɔːθɔn]'bee'
Bashkirуҫал[uθɑɫ]'angry'
BerberKabylefa[faθ]'to cut'
Berta[θɪ́ŋɑ̀]'to eat'
Burmeseသုံး thon:[θòʊ̃]'three'
Cornisheth[ɛθ]'eight'
Emiliano-Romagnolo
[citation needed]
faza[ˈfaːθɐ]'face'
Englishthin[θɪn]'thin'See English phonology
GalicianMost dialectscero[ˈθɛɾʊ][4]'zero'Descends from early /ts/ and /dz/.
Greekθάλασσα[ˈθalasa]'sea'See Modern Greek phonology
Gweno[riθo]'eye'
Gwich’inth[θaɬ]'pants'
Hännihthän[nihθɑn]'I want'
Harsusi[θəroː]'two'
HebrewIraqiעברית[ʕibˈriːθ]'Hebrew language'See Modern Hebrew phonology
Yemenite[ʕivˈriːθ]
HlaiBasadung[θsio]'one'
Icelandicþing[θiŋk]'parliament'See Icelandic phonology
ItalianTuscan[5]i capitani[iˌhäɸiˈθäːni]'the captains'Intervocalic allophone of /t/; it may be an approximant [θ̞] instead. See Italian phonology
KarenSgaw[θø˧]'three'
Karuk[jiθa]'one'
Kickapoo[nɛθwi]'three'
Kwama[mɑ̄ˈθíl]'to laugh'
Leoneseceru[θeɾu]'zero'
Lorediakarkar[θar]'four'
Massa[faθ]'five'
SaanichŦES[teθʔəs]'eight'
SardinianNuoresepetha[pɛθa]'meat'
Shark Bay[θar]'four'
Shawneenthwi[nθwɪ]'three'
SiouxNakota?[ktũˈθa]'four'
SpanishCastilian[6]cazar[käˈθär]'to hunt'See Spanish phonology and ceceo
Swahilithamini[θɑmini]'value'
Tanacrossthiit[θiːtʰ]'embers'
Todaஉஇனபஒ[wɨnboθ]'nine'
Turkmensekiz[θekið]'eight'
TutchoneNortherntho[θo]'pants'
Southernthü[θɨ]
Upland YumanHavasupai[θerap]'five'
Hualapai[θarap]
Yavapai[θerapi]
Welaytashiththa[ɕiθθa]'flower'
Welshsaith[saiθ]'seven'
Zhuangsaw[θaːu˨˦]'language'

Voiceless corono-dentoalveolar sibilant[edit]

Voiceless corono-dentoalveolar sibilant
θ

The voiceless corono-dentoalveolar sibilant is the only sibilant fricative in some dialects of Andalusian Spanish. It doesn't have an official symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet, and is usually represented by an ad-hoc symbol such as or θ.

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 ] to represent it."

Features[edit]

Features of the voiceless corono-dentoalveolar sibilant:

Occurrence[edit]

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
SpanishAndalusian[7]casa[ˈka̠s̄a̠]'house'Present in dialects with ceceo. See Spanish phonology

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]