Voiceless palatal fricative
|Voiceless palatal fricative|
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. The sound occurs, however, as an allophone of /x/ in German, or, in other languages, of /h/ in the vicinity of front vowels.
There is also a voiceless post-palatal fricative (also called pre-velar, fronted velar etc.) in some languages.
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.
|Azerbaijani||Some dialects||çörək||[tʃœˈɾæç]||'bread'||Allophone of /c/|
|Danish||Standard||pjaske||[ˈpçæsɡ̊ə]||'splash'||May be alveolo-palatal [ɕ] instead. Before /j/, aspiration in /pʰ, tˢ, kʰ/ is realized as devoicing and fortition of /j/. Note, however, that the sequence /tˢj/ is normally realized as an affricate [t͡ɕ]. See Danish phonology|
|Dutch||Southern||echt||[ɛx̟t̪]||'real'||Post-palatal; not all dialects. See Hard and soft G in Dutch and Dutch phonology|
|English||British||hue||[çuː] (help·info)||'hue'||Allophone of /hj/. See English phonology|
|Scouse||like||[laɪ̯ç]||'like'||Allophone of /k/; ranges from palatal to uvular, depending on the preceding vowel. See English phonology|
|Finnish||vihko||[ˈʋiçko̞]||'notebook'||Allophone of /h/. See Finnish phonology|
|German||nicht||[nɪçt] (help·info)||'not'||Allophone of /x/. See German phonology|
|Greek||ψυχή||[ps̠iˈç̠i] (help·info)||'soul'||Post-palatal. See Modern Greek phonology|
|Hungarian||kapj||[ˈkɒpç]||'get' (imperative)||Allophone of /j/ between a voiceless obstruent and a word boundary. See Hungarian phonology|
|Icelandic||hérna||[ˈçɛrtn̥a]||'here'||See Icelandic phonology|
|Irish||a Sheáin||[ə çaːnʲ]||'John' (voc.)||See Irish phonology|
|Japanese||人/hito||[çi̥to̞]||'person'||Allophone of /h/ before /i/ and /j/. See Japanese phonology|
|Korean||힘 /him||[çim]||'strength'||Allophone of /h/ word-initially before /i/ and /j/. See Korean phonology|
|Limburgish||Weert dialect||ich||[e̠ç̠]||'I'||Post-palatal; allophone of /x/ before and after front vowels.|
|Norwegian||kjekk||[çek]||'handsome'||See Norwegian phonology|
|Portuguese||Some Brazilian speakers||risonha||[çiˈzõ̞j̃ɐ]||'giggly', 'laughterful' (f.)||Allophone of /ʁ/, particularly before [i] or [ɪ] in onset context. See Portuguese phonology|
|Romanian||Muntenian dialects||fir||[çir]||'thread'||Allophone of /f/ before /i/. Realized as [f] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology|
|Spanish||Chilean||mujer||[muˈçe̞r]||'woman'||Allophone of /x/ before front vowels. See Spanish phonology|
|Uzbek||[example needed]||Post-palatal; weakly fricated. Occurs word-initially and pre-consonantally, otherwise it is post-velar.|
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- Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 108.
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- Palatal phenomena in Spanish phonology Page 113
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