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Fricative consonant

From Academic Kids

Manners of articulation
Nasal
Plosive
Fricative
Affricate
Lateral
Approximant
Semivowel
Liquid
Flap/Tap
Trill
Ejective
Implosive
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Fricative consonants are produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together (e.g. the upper teeth and lower lip in the case of , or the back of the tongue and the soft palate, as in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach). This turbulent airflow is called "frication." A particular subset of fricatives are the sibilants (sometimes referred to as stridents). When forming a sibilant, one still is forcing air through a narrow channel, but the air is directed over the sharp edge of the teeth. English , , , and are examples of this.

Sibilant fricatives

The sibilants are either alveolar or postalveolar. However, at the postalveolar place of articulation the tongue may be domed, laminal, or apical, and each of these is given a separate symbol and a separate name. (The sub-apicals, or true retroflexes, are not usually distinguished from the apical retroflexes.) The alveolars may also be apical or laminal, but this is indicated with diacritics rather than separate symbols.

Non-sibilant fricatives

Approximants or fricatives

No language distinguishes voiced fricatives from approximants at these places, so the same symbol is used for both. For the pharyngeals and epiglottals, approximants are more numerous than fricatives.

Pseudo-fricatives

The glottal "fricatives" are actually unaccompanied phonation states of the glottis, without any accompanying manner, fricative or otherwise. However, they are called fricatives for historical reasons.

In addition, is usually called a voiceless labial-velar fricative, but it is actually an approximant. Doubly-articulated fricatives do not appear to occur.


See English language#Consonants for a table of fricatives in English.

Ubykh may be the language with the most fricatives, with 26, some of which do not have symbols or diacritics in the IPA. This number actually outstrips the number of all consonants in English (which has 24 consonants).

See also

ja:摩擦音 ko:마찰음 zh:擦音

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