Voiced alveolar fricative

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The voiced alveolar fricatives are consonantal sounds. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents these sounds depends on whether a sibilant or non-sibilant fricative is being described.

  • The symbol for the alveolar sibilant is z, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is z. The IPA letter z is not normally used for dental or postalveolar sibilants unless modified by a diacritic ( and respectively).
  • The IPA symbol for the alveolar non-sibilant fricative is derived by means of diacritics; it can be ð̠ or ɹ̝.
Voiced coronal fricatives
Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar
retracted retroflex palato-
alveolar
alveolo
-palatal
sibilant ʐ ʒ ʑ
non-sibilant ð ð̠/ð͇/ɹ̝ ɻ̝

Voiced alveolar sibilant[edit]

Voiced alveolar sibilant
z
IPA number 133
Encoding
Entity (decimal) z
Unicode (hex) U+007A
X-SAMPA z
Kirshenbaum z
Braille ⠵ (braille pattern dots-1356)
Sound

The voiced alveolar sibilant is common across European languages but is relatively uncommon cross-linguistically compared to the voiceless variant. Only about 28% of the world's languages contain a voiced dental or alveolar sibilant. Moreover, 85% of the languages with some form of [z] are languages of Europe, Africa or Western Asia.

In the eastern half of Asia, the Pacific and the Americas, [z] is very rare as a phoneme. The presence of [z] in a given language always implies the presence of a voiceless [s].[citation needed]

Features[edit]

Features of the voiced alveolar fricative:

Occurrence[edit]

In the following transcriptions, diacritics may be used to distinguish between apical [z̺] and laminal [z̻].

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe зы About this sound [ˈzə]  'one'
Albanian zjarr [zjar] 'fire'
Arabic Standard[1] زائِر [ˈzaːʔir] 'visitor' See Arabic phonology
Breton iliz [iliz] 'church'
Chechen зурма / zurma [zuɾma] 'music'
Dutch Standard[2] zee [zeː] 'sea' See Dutch phonology
Friesland ezel [ˈeɪ̯zəɫ] 'donkey' It is always devoiced if word initially. See Dutch phonology
English size [saɪ̯z] 'size' Absent from some Scottish and Asian dialects. See English phonology
Georgian[3] არი [ˈzɑɾi] 'bell'
German Standard[4] sauber [ˈzäʊ̯bɐ] 'clean' Voiceless in southern varieties; may be post-dental instead. See German phonology
Greek Athens dialect[5] ζάλη záli [ˈz̻ali] 'dizziness' See Modern Greek phonology
Hebrew זאב [zeʔˈev] 'wolf' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindi ज़मीन [zəmiːn] 'land' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Hungarian zálog [ˈzaːloɡ] 'pledge' See Hungarian phonology
Japanese[6] 全部 zenbu [zembɯ] 'everything' See Japanese phonology
Kabardian зы About this sound [ˈzə]  'one'
Kala Lagaw Ya zilamiz [zilʌmiz] 'go'
Kashmiri ज़ानुन, زانُن [zaːnun] 'to know'
Malay zaman [zaman] 'age, period'
Maltese żelu [zelu] 'zeal'
Marathi [zər] 'if' See Marathi phonology.
Mirandese daprendizaige [dɐpɾẽdiˈz̻ajʒ(ɯ̟)] 'learning' Mirandese and neighboring Portuguese dialects were the only surviving oral tradition to preserve all seven mediaeval Ibero-Romance sibilants: ch //, x /ʃ/, g/j /ʒ/, c/ç //, z /z̻/, s/-ss- //, -s- /z̺/
Occitan Limousin jòune [ˈzɒwne] 'young' See Occitan phonology
Portuguese[7] casa [ˈkazɐ] 'house' See Portuguese phonology
Spanish Andalusian comunismo [ko̞muˈnizmo̞] 'Communism' Allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants, when it is not debuccalized to [h ~ ɦ]. Present in dialects which realize /s/ as a non-retracted alveolar fricative. Before /d/ it's always dental [z̪].
Latin American
Mexican zapato [zäˈpät̪o̞] 'shoe' Some northern dialects. Corresponds to /s/ in other Mexican dialects, and to /θ/ in Peninsular Spanish. See Spanish phonology
Slovak zima [ˈzɪma] 'winter'
Swahili lazima [lɑzimɑ] 'must'
Turkish z [ɡœz] 'eye' See Turkish phonology
Urdu زمین [zəmiːn] 'land' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Yi ssy [zɿ˧] 'generation'
Yiddish zien [zin] 'son'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[8] guanaz [ɡʷanaz]

Voiced alveolar fronted sibilant[edit]

Voiced alveolar fronted sibilant

The voiced alveolar fronted sibilant (commonly termed the voiced dental sibilant) is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. In the International Phonetic Alphabet it's commonly represented as , a combination of the letter for the voiced alveolar sibilant and a diacritic indicating dental articulation. However, since this consonant is articulated behind the teeth, not against them, a notation (a combination of the letter for the voiced alveolar sibilant and a diacritic indicating fronted articulation) would be more appropriate. This article uses for simplicity.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiced alveolar fronted sibilant:

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Armenian Eastern[9] զարդ About this sound [z̪ɑɾt̪ʰ]  'decoration'
Belarussian[10] база [ˈbäz̪ä] 'base' Contrasts with palatalized form. See Belarusian phonology
Bulgarian[11] езеро [ˈɛz̪ɛro] 'lake' Contrasts with palatalized form.
Chinese Suzhou dialect[12] [example needed]
Czech[13] zima [ˈz̪ɪmä] 'winter' See Czech phonology
French[14] zèbre [z̪ɛbʁ] 'zebra' See French phonology
German Austrian sauber [ˈz̪ɑo̯bɐ] 'clean' Often voiceless; may differ from /s/ entirely by strength and duration.
Standard[4] [ˈz̪äʊ̯bɐ] Voiceless in southern varieties; may be alveolar non-fronted instead. See German phonology
Italian[15] caso [ˈkäz̪o] 'case' See Italian phonology
Kashubian[16] [example needed]
Kyrgyz[17] заң [z̪äŋ] 'law'
Latvian[18] zars [z̪ärs̪] 'branch' See Latvian phonology
Macedonian[19] зошто [ˈz̪o̞ʃt̪o̞] 'why' See Macedonian phonology
Polish[20] zero About this sound [ˈz̪ɛrɔ]  'zero' See Polish phonology
Romanian[21] zar [z̪är] 'dice' See Romanian phonology
Russian[22] заезжать zaezžat' About this sound [z̪əɪˈʑʑætʲ]  'to pick up' Contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[23] зима / zima [z̪ǐːmä] 'winter' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Ukrainian[24] зуб [z̪ub] 'tooth' See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbian[25] koza [ˈkoz̪ä] 'goat'
Uzbek[26] [example needed]
Vietnamese Hanoi[27] da [z̪äː] 'skin' See Vietnamese phonology

Voiced alveolar retracted sibilant[edit]

Voiced alveolar retracted sibilant
Encoding
Entity (decimal) z​̺
Unicode (hex) U+007A U+033A

The voiced alveolar retracted sibilant, [z̺], is a fricative which is articulated with the tip of the tongue (apex) against the alveolar ridge. It is the sibilant found in dialects of central and northern Portuguese, several dialects of European Spanish, Antioqueño Spanish, Catalan, Gascon, Languedocien Occitan, and Modern Greek. Often to speakers of languages or dialects which do not have an alveolar retracted sibilant, they are said to have a "whistling" quality.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiced alveolar retracted sibilant:

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Catalan[28][29] zel [ˈz̺ɛɫ] 'zeal' See Catalan phonology
Dutch Some speakers zee [z̠eː] 'sea' Not retracted for other speakers.
Galician mesmo [ˈme̞z̺mo̞] 'same' Allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants. Before /d/ it's pronounced dentally [z̺].
Greek[30] μάζα za [ˈmɐz̠ɐ] 'mass' See Modern Greek phonology
Maldivian zaraafaa [z̺aˈraːfaː] 'giraffe'
Mirandese eisistir [e̞jz̺is̺ˈtiɾ] 'to exist' Mirandese and neighboring Portuguese dialects were the only surviving oral tradition to preserve all seven mediaeval Ibero-Romance sibilants: ch //, x /ʃ/, g/j /ʒ/, c/ç //, z /z̻/, s/-ss- //, -s- /z̺/
Occitan Gascon casèrna [kaz̺ɛrno] 'barracks' See Occitan phonology
Languedocien ser [bez̺e] 'to see'
Portuguese European, inland northern [example needed] Contrasts with non-retracted /z/. See Portuguese phonology
European, coastal northern [example needed] Merges with non-retracted /z/. See Portuguese phonology
Spanish Castilian mismo [ˈmiz̺mo̞] 'same' Allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants. Before /d/ it's pronounced dentally [z̺]. See Spanish phonology
Paisa Region
West Frisian[31] sizze [ˈs̺ɪz̺ə] 'to say' Apical.[31] It never occurs in word-initial positions.

Voiced alveolar non-sibilant fricative[edit]

Voiced alveolar non-sibilant fricative
ð̠
ɹ̝
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ð​̠
Unicode (hex) U+00F0 U+0320

The voiced alveolar non-sibilant fricative is a consonantal sound. As the International Phonetic Alphabet does not have separate symbols for the alveolar consonants (the same symbol is used for all coronal places of articulation that aren't palatalized), it can represent this sound as in a number of ways including ð̠ or ð͇ (retracted or alveolarized ð, respectively), or ɹ̝ (constricted ɹ).

Features[edit]

  • Its manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence. However, it does not have the grooved tongue and directed airflow, or the high frequencies, of a sibilant.
  • Its place of articulation is 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 voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • 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.

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
English Scouse maid [ˈmeɪð̠] 'maid' Allophone of /d/ See English phonology

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

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