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Fricative consonant

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Fricative consonants are produced by air flowing through a narrow channel made by the approximation of two articulating organs (e.g. the tip of the tongue and the upper teeth, as in the pronunciation of English initial "th" in thick, or the back of the tongue and the soft palate, as in the case of German [x], the final consonant of Bach). Turbulent airflow produces a characteristic noise called "friction". Fricatives may be voiceless or voiced (see phonation).

List of fricatives

English has the following fricatives:

[f], [s] as in sit, [S] ("sh") as in show and [T] ("th") as in thick (voiceless)

[v], [z], [Z] ("zh") as in pleasure, [D] (the other "th") as in that (voiced)

The glottal approximant [h] is also sometimes described as a fricative.

See also: phonetics, approximant stop, affricate



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