Voiceless dental and alveolar plosives

Voiceless alveolar plosive
t
IPA Number 103
Encoding
Entity (decimal) t
Unicode (hex) U+0074
X-SAMPA t
Braille ⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345)
Audio sample
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Voiceless dental plosive
IPA Number 103 408
Encoding
Entity (decimal) t​̪
Unicode (hex) U+0074 U+032A
X-SAMPA t_d
Braille ⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345)⠠ (braille pattern dots-6)⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456)
Audio sample
source · help

The voiceless alveolar, dental and postalveolar plosives (or stops) are types of consonantal sounds used in almost all spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiceless dental, alveolar, and postalveolar plosives is ⟨t⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is t. The voiceless dental plosive can be distinguished with the underbridge diacritic, ⟨⟩ and the postalveolar with a retraction line, ⟨⟩, and the Extensions to the IPA have a double underline diacritic which can be used to explicitly specify an alveolar pronunciation, ⟨⟩.

The [t] sound is a very common sound cross-linguistically;[1] the most common consonant phonemes of the world's languages are [t], [k] and [p]. Most languages have at least a plain [t], and some distinguish more than one variety. Some languages without a [t] are colloquial Samoan (which also lacks an [n]), Abau, and Nǁng of South Africa.[citation needed]

There are only a few languages which distinguishes dental and alveolar stops, Kota, Toda, Venda being a few of them.

Features

Here are features of the voiceless alveolar stop:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a plosive.
  • There are three specific variants of [t]:
    • 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.
    • Denti-alveolar, which means it is articulated with the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, and the tip of the tongue behind upper teeth.
    • Alveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, termed respectively apical and laminal.
  • 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 lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.

Varieties

IPA Description
t plain t
dental t
aspirated t
palatalized t
labialized t
t with no audible release
voiced t
tense t
ejective t

Occurrence

Dental or denti-alveolar

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Aleut[2] tiistax̂ [t̪iːstaχ] 'dough' Laminal denti-alveolar.
Armenian Eastern[3] տուն About this sound[t̪un]  'house' Laminal denti-alveolar.
Assyrian ܬܠܬ̱ܐ ţlo [t̪lɑ] 'three' <ţ> has shifted to <c> for this word in Mandian dialect
Bashkir дүрт / dürt About this sound[dʏʷrt]  'four' Laminal denti-alveolar
Belarusian[4] стагоддзе [s̪t̪äˈɣod̪d̪͡z̪ʲe] 'century' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Belarusian phonology
Basque toki [t̪oki] 'place' Laminal denti-alveolar.
Bengali তুমি [t̪umi] 'you' Laminal denti-alveolar, contrasts with aspirated form. See Bengali phonology
Catalan[5] tothom [t̪uˈt̪ɔm] 'everyone' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Catalan phonology
Chinese Hakka[6] ta3 [t̪ʰa˧] 'he/she' Laminal denti-alveolar, contrasts with an unaspirated form.
Chuvash ут [ut] 'horse'
Dinka[7] th [mɛ̀t̪] 'child' Laminal denti-alveolar, contrasts with alveolar /t/.
Dutch Belgian taal [t̪aːl̪] 'language' Laminal denti-alveolar.
English Dublin[8] thin [t̪ʰɪn] 'thin' Laminal denti-alveolar, corresponds to [θ] in other dialects; in Dublin it may be [t͡θ] instead.[8] See English phonology
Indian
Southern Irish[9]
Ulster[10] train [t̪ɹeːn] 'train' Laminal denti-alveolar. Allophone of /t/ before /r/, in free variation with an alveolar stop.
Esperanto Esperanto [espeˈran̪t̪o] 'Who hopes' See Esperanto phonology
Finnish tutti [ˈt̪ut̪ːi] 'pacifier' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Finnish phonology
French[11] tordu [t̪ɔʁd̪y] 'crooked' Laminal denti-alveolar. See French phonology
Hindustani[12] ती / تین [t̪iːn] 'three' Laminal denti-alveolar. Contrasts with aspirated form. See Hindustani phonology
Indonesian[13] tabir [t̪abir] 'curtain' Laminal denti-alveolar.
Italian[14] tale [ˈt̪ale] 'such' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Italian phonology
Japanese[15] 特別 / tokubetsu [t̪o̞kɯ̟ᵝbe̞t͡sɨᵝ] 'special' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Japanese phonology
Kashubian[16] [example needed] Laminal denti-alveolar.
Kyrgyz[17] туз [t̪us̪] 'salt' Laminal denti-alveolar.
Latvian[18] tabula [ˈt̪äbulä] 'table' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Latvian phonology
Mapudungun[19] a [ˈfɘt̪ɜ] 'husband' Interdental.[19]
Marathi बला [t̪əbˈlaː] 'tabla' Laminal denti-alveolar, contrasts with aspirated form. See Marathi phonology
Nepali ताली [t̪äli] 'clappinɡ' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Nepali phonology
Nunggubuyu[20] darag [t̪aɾaɡ] 'whiskers' Laminal denti-alveolar.
Odia ତାରା/tara [t̪ärä] 'star' Laminal denti-alveolar, contrasts with aspirated form.
Pazeh[21] [mut̪apɛt̪aˈpɛh] 'keep clapping' Dental.
Polish[22] tom About this sound[t̪ɔm]  'volume' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Polish phonology
Portuguese[23] Many dialects montanha [mõˈt̪ɐɲɐ] 'mountain' Laminal denti-alveolar. Likely to have allophones among native speakers, as it may affricate to [], [] and/or [ts] in certain environments. See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi ਤੇਲ / تیل [t̪eːl] 'oil' Laminal denti-alveolar.
Russian[24] толстый [ˈt̪ʷo̞ɫ̪s̪t̪ɨ̞j] 'fat' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Russian phonology
Scottish Gaelic[25] taigh [t̪ʰɤj] 'house'
Serbo-Croatian[26] туга / tuga [t̪ǔːgä] 'sorrow' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovene[27] tip [t̪íːp] 'type' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Slovene phonology
Spanish[28] tango [ˈt̪ãŋɡo̞] 'tango' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Spanish phonology
Swedish[29] tåg [ˈt̪ʰoːɡ] 'train' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Swedish phonology
Temne[30] [example needed] Dental.
Turkish at [ät̪] 'horse' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[31][32] брат [brɑt̪] 'brother' Laminal denti-alveolar. See Ukrainian phonology
Uzbek[33] [example needed] Laminal denti-alveolar. Slightly aspirated before vowels.[33]
Vietnamese[34] tuần [t̪wən˨˩] 'week' Laminal denti-alveolar, contrasts with aspirated form. See Vietnamese phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[35] tant [t̪ant̪] 'so much' Laminal denti-alveolar.

Alveolar

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe тфы About this sound[tfə]  'five'
Arabic Egyptian توكةtōka [ˈtoːkæ] 'barrette' See Egyptian Arabic phonology
Assyrian ܒܝܬܐ bèta [beːta] 'house' Most speakers. In the Tyari, Barwari and Southern dialects θ is used.
Bengali টাকা [t̠aka] 'Taka' True alveolar in eastern dialects, apical post-alveolar in western dialects. Usually transcribed in IPA as [ʈ]. See Bengali phonology.
Czech toto [ˈtoto] 'this' See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[36] dåse [ˈtɔ̽ːsə] 'can' (n.) Usually transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩ or ⟨d⟩. Contrasts with the affricate [t͡s] or aspirated stop [tʰ] (depending on the dialect), which are usually transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩ or ⟨t⟩.[37] See Danish phonology
Dutch[38] taal [taːɫ] 'language' See Dutch phonology
English Most speakers tick About this sound[tʰɪk] 'tick' See English phonology
New York[39] Varies between apical and laminal, with the latter being predominant.[39]
Finnish parta [ˈpɑrtɑ] 'beard' Allophone of the voiceless dental stop. See Finnish phonology
Hebrew תמונה [tmuˈna] 'image' see Modern Hebrew phonology
Hungarian[40] tutaj [ˈtutɒj] 'raft' See Hungarian phonology
Kabardian тхуы About this sound[txʷə]  'five'
Korean 대숲 / daesup [tɛsup̚] 'bamboo forest' See Korean phonology
Kurdish Northern tu [tʰʊ] 'you' See Kurdish phonology
Central تەوێڵ [tʰəweːɫ] 'forehead'
Southern تێوڵ [tʰeːwɨɫ]
Luxembourgish[41] dënn [tən] 'thin' Less often voiced [d]. It is usually transcribed /d/, and it contrasts with voiceless aspirated form, which is usually transcribed /t/.[41] See Luxembourgish phonology
Malay tahun [tähʊn] 'year' See Malay phonology
Maltese tassew [tasˈsew] 'true'
Mapudungun[19] ta [ˈfɘtɜ] 'elderly'
Nunggubuyu[20] darawa [taɾawa] 'greedy'
Nuosu[which?] da [ta˧] 'place' Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms
Portuguese[42] Some dialects troço [ˈtɾɔsu] 'thing' (pejorative) Allophone before alveolar /ɾ/. In other dialects /ɾ/ takes a denti-alveolar allophone instead. See Portuguese phonology
Thai ta [taː˧] 'eye' Contrasts with an aspirated form.
Vietnamese ti [ti] 'flaw' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian tosk [ˈtosk] 'tooth' See West Frisian phonology

Variable

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Arabic Modern Standard تينtīn [tiːn] 'fig' Laminal denti-alveolar or alveolar, depending on the speaker's native dialect. See Arabic phonology
English Broad South African[43] talk [toːk] 'talk' Laminal denti-alveolar for some speakers, alveolar for other speakers.[43][44][45]
Scottish[44] [tʰɔk]
Welsh[45] [tʰɒːk]
German Standard[46] Tochter [ˈtɔxtɐ] 'daughter' Varies between laminal denti-alveolar, laminal alveolar and apical alveolar.[46] See Standard German phonology
Greek[47] τρία tria [ˈtɾiä] 'three' Varies between dental, laminal denti-alveolar and alveolar, depending on the environment.[47] See Modern Greek phonology
Norwegian Urban East[48] dans [t̻ɑns] 'dance' Varies between laminal denti-alveolar and laminal alveolar. It is usually transcribed /d/. It may be partially voiced [], and it contrasts with voiceless aspirated form, which is usually transcribed /t/.[48] See Norwegian phonology
Persian[49] توت [t̪ʰuːt̪ʰ] 'berry' Varies between laminal denti-alveolar and apical alveolar.[49] See Persian phonology
Slovak[50][51] to [t̻ɔ̝] 'that' Varies between laminal denti-alveolar and laminal alveolar.[50][51] See Slovak phonology

See also

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