Bidental consonant

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Tongue shape

Bidental consonants are consonants pronounced with both the lower and upper teeth. They are normally found only in speech pathology. The Extensions to the IPA symbol is both a superscript and a subscript bridge,  ̪͆.

Besides interdental consonants such as [n̪͆], which involve the tongue, there is at least one confirmed attestation of a true bidental consonant in normal language. The Black Sea sub-dialect of the Shapsug dialect of Adyghe has a voiceless bidental non-sibilant fricative where other dialects have [x], such as хы About this sound [xə]  "six" and дахэ About this sound [daːxa]  "pretty". Therefore it might best be transcribed phonemically as x̪͆. However, there is no frication at the velum. The teeth themselves are the only constriction: "The lips [are] fully open, the teeth clenched and the tongue flat, the air passing between the teeth; the sound is intermediate between [ʃ] and [f]" (L&M 1996:144-145). This can be transcribed phonetically as [h̪͆], since [h] has no place of articulation of its own.

The Extensions to the IPA specify one other purely bidental consonant sound, the bidental percussive ([ʭ]).


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