Lateral voiceless alveolar fricative

Voiceless alveolar fricative

The voiceless 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 is s, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is s. The IPA symbol [s] is not normally used for dental or postalveolar sibilants unless modified by a diacritic ([s̪] and [s̠] respectively).
  • The IPA symbol for the alveolar non-sibilant fricative is derived by means of diacritics; it can be θ̠ or ɹ̝̊, or it can be [θ͇], using the alveolar diacritic from the Extended IPA.

Coronal fricatives
Dental Alveolar Postalveolar
retroflex palato-
sibilant ʂ ʃ ɕ
non-sibilant θ θ̠/θ͇/ɹ̝̊ ɻ̝̊

Voiceless alveolar sibilant

The voiceless alveolar sibilant is one of the most common consonants. If a language has fricatives, it will most likely have an [s]. However, [s] is absent from Australian Aboriginal languages, where fricatives are rare, and the few languages that have developed fricatives do not have sibilants.


Features of the voiceless alveolar sibilant:


In the following transcriptions, diacritics may be used to distinguish between apical [s̺] and laminal [s̻].
Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Arabic Modern Standard جلس [ˈdʒalisɐ] 'to sit' See Arabic phonology
Basque zu [s̻u] 'you'
su [s̺u] 'fire'
Burmese ? 'I am eating now'
Catalan sis [s̺is̺] 'six' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Mandarin 三/sān 'three' See Standard Mandarin
Czech svět 'world' See Czech phonology
Dutch steen [sten] 'stone' See Dutch phonology
English sand 'sand' See English phonology
Faroese sandur 'sand'
Finnish sinä [sinæ] 'you (sg.) See Finnish phonology
French façade [fasad] 'front' See French phonology
Galician tres [tɾes̺] 'three'
Georgian ამი [ˈsɑmi] 'three'
German Biss 'bite' See German phonology
Greek Athens dialect σαν 'as' See Modern Greek phonology
Hindi साल 'year' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Hungarian sziget 'island' See Hungarian phonology
Italian sali [ˈsali] 'you go up' See Italian phonology
Japanese 複数形/fukusūkē [ɸɯkɯsɯːkeː] 'plural' See Japanese phonology
Korean 소/so 'ox' See Korean phonology
Norwegian sand 'sand' See Norwegian phonology
Occitan Gascon dos [dys̺] 'two'
Languedocien [dus̺]
Limousin maichent [mejˈsẽ] 'bad'
Polish sum 'catfish' See Polish phonology
Portuguese caço [ˈkasu] 'I hunt' See Portuguese phonology
Russian волосы [ˈvoləsɨ] 'hair' Contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Spanish Latin American saltador [s̻al̪t̪aˈð̞o̞ɾ] 'jumper' See Spanish phonology and seseo.
Peninsular [s̺al̪t̪aˈð̞o̞ɾ]
Turkish su [su] 'water' See Turkish phonology
Vietnamese se 'be almost dry' Variety: [ʂɛ]. See Vietnamese phonology

Voiceless alveolar non-sibilant fricative


The features of the voiceless alveolar non-sibilant fricative are identical to those above, except that,

  • Its manner of articulation is simple fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence, but without the grooved tongue and directed airflow, or the high frequencies, of a sibilant.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
English Scouse attain [əˈθ̠eɪn] 'attain' Allophone of /t/ See English phonology
Icelandic þakið 'roof' See Icelandic phonology

See also



Search another word or see Lateral voiceless alveolar fricativeon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature