Voiceless palatal fricative

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Voiceless palatal fricative
ç
IPA number 138
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ç
Unicode (hex) U+00E7
X-SAMPA C
Kirshenbaum C
Braille ⠖ (braille pattern dots-235) ⠉ (braille pattern dots-14)
Sound

The voiceless palatal fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ç. The symbol ç is the letter c with a cedilla, as used to spell French and Portuguese words such as façade and ação. However, the sound represented by the letter ç in French, Portuguese and English orthography is not a voiceless palatal fricative but /s/, the voiceless alveolar fricative.

Palatal fricatives are relatively rare phonemes, and only 5% of the world's languages have /ç/ as a phoneme.[1] The sound occurs, however, as an allophone of /x/ in German, or, in other languages, of /h/ in the vicinity of front vowels.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiceless palatal fricative:

  • 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.
  • Its place of articulation is palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to 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.

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Azerbaijani[2] Some dialects çörək [tʃœˈɾæç] 'bread' Allophone of /c/
Berber Kabyle il [çil] 'to measure'
English British English[3][4] hue About this sound [çuː]  'hue' Allophone of /hj/. See English phonology
Finnish vihko [ˈʋiçko̞] 'notebook' Allophone of /h/. See Finnish phonology
German nicht About this sound [nɪçt]  'not' Allophone of /x/. See German phonology
Haida xíl [çɪ́l] 'leaf'
Hungarian[5] kapj [ˈkɒpç] 'get' (imperative) Allophone of /j/ between a voiceless obstruent and a word boundary. See Hungarian phonology
Icelandic hérna [çjɛrtna] 'here' See Icelandic phonology
Irish a Sheáin [ə çaːnʲ] 'John' (voc.) See Irish phonology
Japanese[6] hito [çi̥to̞] 'person' Allophone of /h/ before /i/ and /j/. See Japanese phonology
Korean him [çim] 'strength' Allophone of /h/ word-initially before /i/ and /j/. See Korean phonology
Norwegian kjekk [çek] 'handsome' See Norwegian phonology
Pashto Ghilji and Wardak dialects[7] پښه [pça] 'foot'
Scottish Gaelic[8] eich [eç] 'horses'
Spanish Chilean[9] mujer [muˈçe̞r] 'woman' Allophone of /x/ before front vowels. See Spanish phonology
Walloon texhe [tɛç] 'to knit'
Xârâcùù[10] sègè[citation needed] [çɛɡɛ] 'stone'
Voiceless pre-velar fricative
ç̄

The voiceless pre-velar fricative or voiceless post-palatal fricative is a fricative consonant occurring in Belgian Dutch, where it is written as ch, or less often g.

Features

Features of the voiceless pre-velar fricative:

  • 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.
  • Its place of articulation is pre-velar, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue raised between the hard and the soft 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.

Occurrence

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Dutch Southern echt [ɛx̟t̪] 'real' Not all dialects. See Hard and soft G in Dutch and Dutch phonology
English Scouse[11] cloak [kl̥ɛʉ̯x̟] 'cloak' Allophone of /k/; may be fronted or backer instead, depending on the preceeding vowel. See English phonology
Greek[12] ψυχή About this sound [ps̠iˈç̄i]  'soul' See Modern Greek phonology
Limburgish Weert dialect[13] ich [ë̞ç̄] 'I' Allophone of /x/ before and after front vowels.[13]
Uzbek[14] [example needed] Lightly fricated.[14] Occurs word-initially and pre-consonantally, otherwise it's post-velar.[14]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Arvaniti, Amalia (2007), "Greek Phonetics: The State of the Art", Journal of Greek Linguistics 8: 97–208, doi:10.1075/jgl.8.08arv 
  • Damirchizadeh, A (1972), Modern Azerbaijani Language: Phonetics, Orthoepy and Orthography, Maarif Publ 
  • Heijmans, Linda; Gussenhoven, Carlos (1998), "The Dutch dialect of Weert", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 28: 107–112, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006307 
  • Henderson, Michael M. T. (1983), "Four Varieties of Pashto", Journal of the American Oriental Society (American Oriental Society) 103 (3): 595–597, JSTOR 602038 
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996), The sounds of the World's Languages, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-19815-6 
  • Oftedal, M. (1956), The Gaelic of Leurbost, Oslo: Norsk Tidskrift for Sprogvidenskap 
  • Okada, Hideo (1991), "Japanese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 21 (2): 94–97, doi:10.1017/S002510030000445X 
  • Roach, Peter (2009), English Phonetics and Phonology: A Practical Course 1 (4th ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-71740-3 
  • Siptár, Péter; Törkenczy, Miklós (2007), The Phonology of Hungarian, The Phonology of the World's Languages, Oxford University Press 
  • Sjoberg, Andrée F. (1963), Uzbek Structural Grammar 
  • Tryon, Darrell T. (1995), Comparative Austronesian Dictionary, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, ISBN 3-11-012729-6 
  • Watson, Kevin (2007), "Liverpool English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37 (3): 351–360, doi:10.1017/s0025100307003180