Voiceless fricatives produced in the postalveolar region include the voiceless palato-alveolar fricative [?], the voiceless postalveolar non-sibilant fricative [?], the voiceless retroflex fricative [?], and the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative [?]. This article discusses the first two.
|Voiceless palato-alveolar fricative|
A voiceless palato-alveolar fricative or voiceless domed postalveolar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in many languages, including English. In English, it is usually spelled ⟨sh⟩, as in ship.
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨?⟩, the letter esh introduced by Isaac Pitman (not to be confused with the integral symbol ⟨?⟩). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
An alternative symbol is ⟨?⟩, an s with a caron or há?ek, which is used in the Americanist phonetic notation and the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet, as well as in the scientific and ISO 9 transliterations of Cyrillic. It originated with the Czech orthography of Jan Hus and was adopted in Gaj's Latin alphabet and other Latin alphabets of Slavic languages. It also features in the orthographies of many Baltic, Finno-Lappic, North American and African languages.
Features of the voiceless palato-alveolar fricative:
|Arabic||Modern Standard||'sun'||See Arabic phonology|
|Bengali||??||[b]||'all'||See Bengali phonology|
|Bulgarian||?||[ju'na?ki]||'heroically'||See Bulgarian phonology|
|Catalan||xocolata||[?uku'lat?]||'chocolate'||See Catalan phonology|
|Czech||ka?e||['ka]||'mash'||See Czech phonology|
|Dutch||sjabloon||'template'||May be [s?] or [?] instead. See Dutch phonology|
|English||a sheep||'a sheep'||See English phonology|
|Esperanto||?elko||['?elko]||'suspenders'||See Esperanto phonology|
|Faroese||sjúkrahús||[ukrah?us]||'hospital'||See Faroese phonology|
|French||cher||'expensive'||See French phonology|
|Finnish||?ekki||[?ek:i]||'check'||See Finnish phonology|
|Galician||viaxe||['bja?e]||'trip'||See Galician phonology|
|German||Standard||schön||[ø?:n]||'beautiful'||Laminal or apico-laminal and strongly labialized. See Standard German phonology|
|Greek||Cypriot||??||[?'?:im]||'ugliness'||Contrasts with /?/ and /?:/|
|Hebrew||?||'peace'||See Modern Hebrew phonology|
|Hindi||??||[k]||'doubt'||See Hindustani phonology|
|Hungarian||segítség||['i:t:e:?]||'help'||See Hungarian phonology|
|Irish||sí||[?i:]||'she'||See Irish phonology|
|Italian||Marked accents of Emilia-Romagna||sali||['?ä:li]||'you go up'||Apical non-labialized; may be [s] or [?] instead. It corresponds to [s] in standard Italian. See Italian phonology|
|Standard||fasce||['fä?:e]||'bands'||See Italian phonology|
|Kabardian||?||[d]||'donkey'||Contrasts with a labialized form|
|Kashubian||nasz||see Kashubian language.|
|Latvian||?alle||['?al:e]||'scarf'||See Latvian phonology|
|Limburgish||Maastrichtian||sjat||[t]||'darling'||Laminal post-alveolar with an unclear amount of palatalization.|
|Lithuanian||?arvas||['r?v?s]||'armor'||See Lithuanian phonology|
|Macedonian||?||[?t?]||'what'||See Macedonian phonology|
|Maltese||xjismek||[?ismek]||'what is your name'|
|Marathi||?||['b'd]||'word'||See Marathi phonology|
|Occitan||Auvergnat||maissant||[me']||'bad'||See Occitan phonology|
|Persian||[:h]||'king'||See Persian phonology|
|Polish||Gmina Istebna||siano||['?än]||'hay'||/?/ and /?/ merge into [?] in these dialects. In standard Polish, /?/ is commonly used to transcribe what actually is a laminal voiceless retroflex sibilant|
|Portuguese||xamã||['m]||'shaman'||Also described as alveolo-palatal [?]. See Portuguese phonology|
|Romanian||?efi||[?ef?]||'bosses'||See Romanian phonology|
|Scottish Gaelic||seinn||[?ei?]||'sing'||See Scottish Gaelic phonology|
|Silesian||Gmina Istebna||[example needed]||These dialects merge /?/ and /?/ into [?]|
|Slovene||?ola||['?ó:lä]||'school'||See Slovene phonology|
|Somali||shan||[?an]||'five'||See Somali phonology|
|Spanish||Chilean||echador||'boastful'||Corresponds to [t] in other dialects. See Spanish phonology|
|Rioplatense||ayer||[ä'?e]||'yesterday'||May be voiced [?] instead. See Spanish phonology and yeísmo|
|Tagalog||siya||[?a]||'he/she'||See Tagalog phonology|
|Turkish||güne?||[?y'ne]||'sun'||See Turkish phonology|
|Ukrainian||?||['x?]||'chess'||See Ukrainian phonology|
|Urdu||[k'ri:a:]||'thank you'||See Hindustani phonology|
|Welsh||Standard||siarad||[':rad]||'speak'||See Welsh phonology|
|West Frisian||sjippe||['p?]||'soap'||See West Frisian phonology|
|Yiddish||?||[v?snaftl?x?]||'scientific'||See Yiddish phonology|
In various languages, including English and French, it may have simultaneous labialization, i.e. , although this is usually not transcribed.
Classical Latin did not have [?], though it does occur in most Romance languages. For example, ⟨ch⟩ in French chanteur "singer" is pronounced /?/. Chanteur is descended from Latin cantare, where ⟨c⟩ was pronounced /k/. The ⟨sc⟩ in Latin scientia "science" was pronounced /sk/, but has shifted to /?/ in Italian scienza.
Similarly, Proto-Germanic had neither [?] nor [?], yet many of its descendants do. In most cases, this [?] or [?] descends from a Proto-Germanic /sk/. For instance, Proto-Germanic *skip? ("hollow object, water-borne vessel larger than a boat") was pronounced /'ski.p/. The English word "ship" /p/ has been pronounced without the /sk/ the longest, the word being descended from Old English "scip" /?ip/, which already also had the [?], though the Old English spelling etymologically indicated that the old /sk/ had once been present.
This change took longer to catch on in West Germanic languages other than Old English, though it eventually did. The second West Germanic language to undergo this sound shift was Old High German. In fact, it has been argued that Old High German's /sk/ was actually already [s?k], because a single [s] had already shifted to [s?]. Furthermore, by Middle High German, that /s?k/ had shifted to [?]. After High German, the shift most likely then occurred in Low Saxon. After Low Saxon, Middle Dutch began the shift, but it stopped shifting once it reached /sx/, and has kept that pronunciation since. Then, most likely through influence from German and Low Saxon, North Frisian experienced the shift.
Then, Swedish quite swiftly underwent the shift, which resulted in the very uncommon [?] phoneme, which, aside from Swedish, is only used in Colognian, a variety of High German, though not as a replacement for the standard High German /?/ but a coronalized /ç/. However, the exact realization of Swedish /?/ varies considerably among dialects; for instance, in Northern dialects it tends to be realized as [?]. See sj-sound for more details. Finally, the last to undergo the shift was Norwegian, in which the result of the shift was [?].
The voiceless postalveolar non-sibilant fricative is a consonantal sound. As the International Phonetic Alphabet does not have separate symbols for the post-alveolar consonants (the same symbol is used for all coronal places of articulation that aren't palatalized), this sound is usually transcribed ⟨?⟩ (retracted constricted voiceless [?]). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
|English||Irish||tree||[t?i:]||'tree'||Realization of /r/ after word-initial /t/, unless it is preceded by /s/ within the same syllable. See English phonology|
|Received Pronunciation||crew||[ku?]||'crew'||Only partially devoiced. It is a realization of /r/ after the word-initial fortis plosives /p, k/, unless they are preceded by /s/ within the same syllable. See English phonology|