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Voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate

Voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate
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The voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represent this sound are t͡θ, t͜θ, t̪͡θ, and t̟͡θ.


Features of the voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate:

  • Its manner of articulation is affricate, which means it is produced by first stopping the airflow entirely, then allowing air flow through a constricted channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is dental, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the upper teeth, termed respectively apical and laminal. Note that most stops and liquids described as dental are actually denti-alveolar.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the intercostal muscles and abdominal muscles, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Burmese[1] သုံး / thon: [t̪͡θóʊ̯̃] 'three' Common realization of /θ/.[1]
Chinese Yinan Mandarin[2] [t̪͡θɑ̃˥] 'grip' Corresponds to /t͡s/ in other varieties.
Chipewyan[3] ddhéth [t̪͡θɛ́θ] 'hide' Contrasts unaspirated, aspirated and ejective affricates.[3]
English Dublin[4] think [t̪͡θɪŋk] 'think' Corresponds to [θ] in other dialects; may be [] instead.[4]
Maori[5] Possible realization of /θ/.[5] See New Zealand English phonology
New York[6] Corresponds to [θ] in other dialects, may be a stop [] or a fricative [θ] instead.[6]
Received Pronunciation eighth [eɪt̪θ] 'eighth'
tenth [tɛnt̪θ] 'tenth' The [n] may become dentalised [n̪].
Slave Slave proper eníddhę [ɛ̀nít̪͡θɛ̃̀] 'we want' Corresponds to /p/ or /kʷ/ in other varieties of Slave.

See also


  1. ^ a b Watkins (2001), p. 292.
  2. ^ Shao Yanmei (2010), p. 9.
  3. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 91.
  4. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003), p. 302.
  5. ^ a b Warren & Bauer (2004), p. 618.
  6. ^ a b Labov (1966), pp. 36–37.


  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003) [First published 1981], The Phonetics of English and Dutch (5th ed.), Leiden: Brill Publishers, ISBN 9004103406
  • Labov, William (1966), The Social Stratification of English in New York City (PDF) (2nd ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-24, retrieved 2014-06-27
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19815-6.
  • Warren, Paul; Bauer, Laurie (2004), "Maori English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, vol. 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 614–624, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Watkins, Justin W. (2001), "Illustrations of the IPA: Burmese" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 31 (2): 291–295, doi:10.1017/S0025100301002122, S2CID 232344700
  • Shao Yanmei; Liu Changfeng; Shao Mingwu (2010). 沂南方言志. 齐鲁书社. ISBN 978-7-5333-2223-6.
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Voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate
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