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The voiced dental fricative is a
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 ...
sound used in some
spoken language A spoken language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. La ...
s. It is familiar to English-speakers as the ''th'' sound in ''father''. Its 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 ...
is
eth Eth (, uppercase Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that ...

eth
, or and was taken from the Old English and Icelandic letter eth, which could stand for either a voiced or unvoiced (inter)dental non-sibilant fricative. Such 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
(as in
Received Pronunciation Received Pronunciation (often abbreviated as RP) is the accentAccent may refer to: Speech and language * Accent (sociolinguistics), way of pronunciation particular to a speaker or group of speakers * Accent (phonetics), prominence given to ...
), and not just against the back of the upper 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. The letter is sometimes used to represent the dental
approximant Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough nor with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives Fricatives are conso ...
, a similar sound, which no language is known to contrast with a dental non-sibilant fricative, but the approximant is more clearly written with the lowering diacritic: . Very rarely used variant transcriptions of the dental approximant include (retracted ), (advanced ) and ( ). It has been proposed that either a turned ⟨⟩ or reversed ⟨⟩ be used as a dedicated symbol for the dental approximant, but despite occasional usage, this has not gained general acceptance. The fricative and its unvoiced counterpart are rare
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
s. Almost all languages of Europe and Asia, such as
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
,
French
French
,
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
,
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
, and
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
, lack the sound. Native speakers of languages without the sound often have difficulty enunciating or distinguishing it, and they replace it with a
voiced alveolar 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 ...

voiced alveolar sibilant
, a
voiced dental stop The voiced 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 , pronounced ...
or
voiced alveolar stop The voiced 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 , pronounced ...
, or a
voiced labiodental fricative The voiced 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 with ...

voiced 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 ...
. As for Europe, there seems to be a great arc where the sound (and/or its unvoiced variant) is present. Most of Mainland Europe lacks the sound. However, some "periphery" languages as Gascon,
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
,
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
,
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 ...
,
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 ...
,
Kven Kven may refer to: * Kven people Kven may refer to: * Kven people, a Finnic ethnic group of Norway * Kven language, the Finnic language spoken by them * something from, or associated with, ancient Kvenland * Kven Sea * KVEN, a defunct American ...

Kven
,
Northern Sami Northern or North Sami ( ; se, davvisámegiella ; fi, pohjoissaame ; no, nordsamisk; sv, nordsamiska; disapproved exonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term u ...
,
Inari Sami Inari Sami (, "the Inarian language", or , "the Inari (Aanaar) Sámi language") is a Sami languages, Sami language spoken by the Inari Sami people, Inari Sami of Finland. It has approximately 300 speakers, the majority of whom are middle-aged or o ...
,
Skolt Sami Skolt Sami ( , "the Sámi language", or , "the Eastern Sámi language", if a distinction needs to be made between it and the other Sami languages) is a Uralic languages, Uralic, Sami languages, Sami language that is spoken by the Skolts, with a ...
, Ume Sami,
Mari Mari may refer to: Places *Mari, Paraíba, Brazil, a city *Mari, Cyprus, a village *Mari, Greece, a village, site of ancient town of Marius (Laconia), Marius *Mari, Iran (disambiguation), places in Iran *Mari, Punjab, a village and a union counci ...

Mari
,
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 ...
,
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
,
SardinianSardinian refers to anything related to the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean island of Sardinia. More specifically it can refer to: *Sardinian people *History of Sardinia *Sardinian language *Sardinian literature *Music of Sardinia *Cuisine of Sardin ...
, some dialects of
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
and most speakers of
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
have the sound in their consonant inventories, as phonemes or
allophone In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of e ...
s. Within
Turkic languages The Turkic languages are a language family of at least 35 documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples of Eurasia from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe to Central Asia, East Asia, North Asia (Siberia), and Western Asia. The Turkic langu ...

Turkic languages
, Bashkir and Turkmen have both voiced and voiceless dental non-sibilant fricatives among their consonants. Among
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
, they are used in
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 ...
, albeit not by all speakers of modern Arabic dialects, and in some dialects of
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 ...
and Assyrian.


Features

Features of the voiced 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

In the following transcriptions, the undertack diacritic may be used to indicate an
approximant Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough nor with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives Fricatives are conso ...
. Danish is actually a velarized
alveolar approximant The voiced alveolar approximant 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 with ...

alveolar approximant
.


See also

*
Voiced alveolar non-sibilant fricative The voiced alveolar fricatives are consonantal sounds. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents these sounds depends on whether a sibilant or non-sibilant fricative is being described. * The symbol for the alveolar sibilant ...

Voiced alveolar non-sibilant fricative
* *
Index of phonetics articles A * Acoustic phonetics Acoustic phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians— ...


Notes


References

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


External links

* {{IPA navigation Dental consonants Fricative consonants Approximant consonants English th Pulmonic consonants Voiced oral consonants Central consonants