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Voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative
|Voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative|
The voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some oral languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɕ⟩ ("c", plus the curl also found in its voiced counterpart ⟨ʑ⟩). It is the sibilant equivalent of the voiceless palatal fricative, and as such it can be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ç˖⟩.
In British Received Pronunciation, /j/ after syllable-initial /p, t, k/ (as in Tuesday) is realized as a devoiced palatal fricative. The amount of devoicing is variable, but the fully voiceless variant tends to be alveolo-palatal [ɕ] in the /tj/ sequence: [ˈt̺ʲɕuːzdeɪ]. It is a fricative, rather than a fricative element of an affricate because the preceding plosive remains alveolar, rather than becoming alveolo-palatal, as in Dutch.
The corresponding affricate can be written with ⟨t̠ʲ͡ɕ⟩ or ⟨c̟͡ɕ⟩ in narrow IPA, though ⟨tɕ⟩ is normally used in both cases. In the case of English, the sequence can be specified as ⟨t̺ɕ⟩ as /t/ is normally apical (although somewhat palatalized in that sequence), whereas alveolo-palatal consonants are laminal by definition.
An increasing number of British speakers merge this sequence with the voiceless palato-alveolar affricate /tʃ/: [ˈtʃuːzdeɪ] (see yod-coalescence), mirroring Cockney, Australian English and New Zealand English. On the other hand, there is an opposite tendency in Canadian accents that have preserved /tj/, where the sequence tends to merge with the plain /t/ instead: [ˈt̺ʰuːzdeɪ] (see yod-dropping), mirroring General American which does not allow /j/ to follow alveolar consonants in stressed syllables.
Features of the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative:
- Its manner of articulation is sibilant fricative, which means it is generally produced by channeling air flow along a groove in the back of the tongue up to the place of articulation, at which point it is focused against the sharp edge of the nearly clenched teeth, causing high-frequency turbulence.
- Its place of articulation is alveolo-palatal. This means that:
- Its place of articulation is postalveolar, meaning that the tongue contacts the roof of the mouth in the area behind the alveolar ridge (the gum line).
- Its tongue shape is laminal, meaning that it is the tongue blade that contacts the roof of the mouth.
- It is heavily palatalized, meaning that the middle of the tongue is bowed and raised towards the hard palate.
- 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.
|Catalan||Eastern||caixa||[ˈkäɕə]||'box'||See Catalan phonology|
|Chinese||Some Hokkien dialects||心/sin||[ɕín]||'heart'||Allophone of /s/ before /i/.|
|Mandarin||西安/Xī'ān||[ɕí.án]||'Xi'an'||Contrasts with /ʂ/ and /s/. See Mandarin phonology|
|Chuvash||çиçĕм/şişĕm||[ˈɕiɕ̬əm]||'lightning'||Contrasts with /ʂ/ and /s/.|
|Danish||sjæl||[ˈɕeːˀl]||'soul'||See Danish phonology|
|Dutch||Some speakers||sjabloon||[ɕäˈbloːn]||'template'||May be [ʃ] or [sʲ] instead. See Dutch phonology|
|English||Cardiff||human||[ˈɕumːən]||'human'||Phonetic realization of /hj/. More front and more strongly fricated than RP [ç]. Broad varieties drop the /h/: [ˈjumːən]. See English phonology|
|Conservative Received Pronunciation||tuesday||[ˈt̺ʲɕuːzdeɪ]||'tuesday'||Allophone of /j/ after syllable-initial /t/ (which is alveolar in this sequence), may be only partially devoiced. /tj/ is often realized as an affricate [tʃ] in British English. Mute in General American: [ˈt̺ʰuːzdeɪ]. Typically transcribed with ⟨j⟩ in broad IPA. See English phonology, yod-coalescence and yod-dropping|
|Some Canadian English|
|Ghanaian||ship||[ɕip]||'ship'||Educated speakers may use [ʃ], to which this phone corresponds in other dialects.|
|Japanese||塩/shio||[ɕi.o]||'salt'||See Japanese phonology|
|Luxembourgish||liicht||[liːɕt]||'light'||Allophone of /χ/ after phonologically front vowels; some speakers merge it with [ʃ]. See Luxembourgish phonology|
|Norwegian||Urban East||kjekk||[ɕe̞kː]||'handsome'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ç⟩; less often realized as palatal [ç]. Younger speakers in Bergen, Stavanger and Oslo merge it with /ʂ/. See Norwegian phonology|
|Polish||śruba||[ˈɕrubä]||'screw'||Contrasts with /ʂ/ and /s/. See Polish phonology|
|Portuguese||mexendo||[meˈɕẽd̪u]||'moving'||Also described as palato-alveolar [ʃ]. See Portuguese phonology|
|Romanian||Transylvanian dialects||ce||[ɕɛ]||'what'||Realized as [tʃ] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology|
|Russian||счастье/schast'e||[ˈɕːæsʲtʲjə]||'happiness'||Also represented by ⟨щ⟩. Contrasts with /ʂ/, /s/, and /sʲ/. See Russian phonology|
|Sema||ashi||[à̠ɕì]||'meat'||Possible allophone of /ʃ/ before /i, e/.|
|Serbo-Croatian||Croatian||miš će||[mîɕ t͡ɕe̞]||'the mouse will'||Allophone of /ʃ/ before /t͡ɕ, d͡ʑ/. See Serbo-Croatian phonology|
|Some speakers of Montenegrin||с́утра/śutra||[ɕût̪ra̠]||'tomorrow'||Phonemically /sj/ or, in some cases, /s/.|
|Swedish||Finland||sjok||[ɕuːk]||'chunk'||Allophone of /ɧ/.|
|Sweden||kjol||[ɕuːl]||'skirt'||See Swedish phonology|
|Tibetan||Lhasa dialect||བཞི་/bzhi||[ɕi˨˧]||'four'||Contrasts with /ʂ/.|
|Xumi||Lower||[RPd͡ʑi ɕɐ][clarification needed]||'one hundred'|
|Upper||[RPd͡ʑi ɕɜ][clarification needed]|
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