A voiceless postalveolar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. This refers to a class of sounds, not a single sound. There are several types with significant perceptual differences:
This article discusses the first two.
|Voiceless postalveolar fricative|
A voiceless palato-alveolar fricative or voiceless domed postalveolar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in many languages, including English. In English, it is usually spelled ⟨sh⟩, as in ship.
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʃ⟩, the letter esh introduced by Isaac Pitman (not to be confused with the integral symbol ⟨∫⟩). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
An alternative symbol is ⟨š⟩, an s with a caron or háček, which is used in the Americanist phonetic notation and the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet, as well as in the scientific and ISO 9 transliterations of Cyrillic. It originated with the Czech orthography of Jan Hus and was adopted in Gaj's Latin alphabet and other Latin alphabets of Slavic languages. It also features in the orthographies of many Baltic, Finno-Samic, North American and African languages.
Features of the voiceless palato-alveolar fricative:
|Arabic||Modern Standard||شَمْس||[ʃams]||'sun'||See Arabic phonology|
|Bashkir||биш / biš||[bʲiʃ] (help·info)||'five'|
|Bengali||সব||[ʃɔb]||'all'||See Bengali phonology|
|Bulgarian||юнашки||[juˈnaʃki]||'heroically'||See Bulgarian phonology|
|Czech||kaše||[ˈkaʃɛ]||'mash'||See Czech phonology|
|Dutch||sjabloon||[ʃäˈbloːn]||'template'||May be [sʲ] or [ɕ] instead. See Dutch phonology|
|English||a sheep||[ə ˈʃiːp]||'a sheep'||See English phonology|
|Esperanto||ŝelko||[ˈʃelko]||'suspenders'||See Esperanto phonology|
|Faroese||sjúkrahús||[ʃʉukrahʉus]||'hospital'||See Faroese phonology|
|French||cher||[ʃɛʁ]||'expensive'||See French phonology|
|Finnish||šekki||[ʃekːi]||'check'||See Finnish phonology|
|Galician||viaxe||[ˈbjaʃe]||'trip'||See Galician phonology|
|German||Standard||schön||[ʃøːn]||'beautiful'||Laminal or apico-laminal and strongly labialized. See Standard German phonology|
|Greek||Cypriot||ασσιήμια||[ɐˈʃːimɲɐ]||'ugliness'||Contrasts with /ʃ/ and /ʒː/|
|Hebrew||שָׁלוֹם||[ʃaˈlom]||'peace'||See Modern Hebrew phonology|
|Hindi||शक||[ʃək]||'doubt'||See Hindustani phonology|
|Hungarian||segítség||[ˈʃɛɡiːt͡ʃːeːɡ]||'help'||See Hungarian phonology|
|Irish||sí||[ʃiː]||'she'||See Irish phonology|
|Italian||Marked accents of Emilia-Romagna||sali||[ˈʃäːli]||'you go up'||Apical non-labialized; may be [s̺ʲ] or [ʂ] instead. It corresponds to [s] in standard Italian. See Italian phonology|
|Standard||fasce||[ˈfäʃːe]||'bands'||See Italian phonology|
|Kabardian||шыд||[ʃɛd]||'donkey'||Contrasts with a labialized form|
|Kashubian||nasz||see Kashubian language.|
|Kurdish||şev||[ʃɛv]||'night'||See Kurdish phonology|
|Latvian||šalle||[ˈʃalːe]||'scarf'||See Latvian phonology|
|Limburgish||Maastrichtian||sjat||[ʃɑ̽t]||'darling'||Laminal post-alveolar with an unclear amount of palatalization.|
|Lithuanian||šarvas||[ˈʃɐrˑvɐs]||'armor'||See Lithuanian phonology|
|Macedonian||што||[ʃtɔ]||'what'||See Macedonian phonology|
|Maltese||x′jismek?||[ˈʃjɪsmɛk]||'what is your name?'|
|Marathi||शब्द||[ˈʃəbd̪ə]||'word'||See Marathi phonology|
|Occitan||Auvergnat||maissant||[meˈʃɔ̃]||'bad'||See Occitan phonology|
|Persian||شاه||[ʃɒːh]||'king'||See Persian phonology|
|Polish||Gmina Istebna||siano||[ˈʃän̪ɔ]||'hay'||/ʂ/ and /ɕ/ merge into [ʃ] in these dialects. In standard Polish, /ʃ/ is commonly used to transcribe what actually is a laminal voiceless retroflex sibilant|
|Portuguese||xamã||[ʃɐˈmɐ̃]||'shaman'||Also described as alveolo-palatal [ɕ]. See Portuguese phonology|
|Romanian||șefi||[ʃefʲ]||'bosses'||See Romanian phonology|
|Scottish Gaelic||seinn||[ʃeiɲ]||'sing'||See Scottish Gaelic phonology|
|Silesian||Gmina Istebna||[example needed]||These dialects merge /ʂ/ and /ɕ/ into [ʃ]|
|Slovene||šola||[ˈʃóːlä]||'school'||See Slovene phonology|
|Somali||shan||[ʃan]||'five'||See Somali phonology|
|New Mexican||echador||[e̞ʃäˈðo̞ɾ]||'boastful'||Corresponds to [t͡ʃ] in other dialects. See Spanish phonology|
|Rioplatense||ayer||[äˈʃe̞ɾ]||'yesterday'||May be voiced [ʒ] instead. See Spanish phonology and yeísmo|
|Tagalog||siya||[ʃa]||'he/she'||See Tagalog phonology|
|Turkish||güneş||[ɟyˈne̞ʃ]||'sun'||See Turkish phonology|
|Ukrainian||шахи||['ʃɑxɪ]||'chess'||See Ukrainian phonology|
|Urdu||شکریہ||[ʃʊkˈriːaː]||'thank you'||See Hindustani phonology|
|Welsh||Standard||siarad||[ˈʃɑːrad]||'speak'||See Welsh phonology|
|West Frisian||sjippe||[ˈʃɪpə]||'soap'||See West Frisian phonology|
|Yiddish||וויסנשאַפֿטלעכע||[vɪsn̩ʃaftləχə]||'scientific'||See Yiddish phonology|
In various languages, including English and French, it may have simultaneous labialization, i.e. [ʃʷ], although this is usually not transcribed.
Classical Latin did not have [ʃ], though it does occur in most Romance languages. For example, ⟨ch⟩ in French chanteur "singer" is pronounced /ʃ/. Chanteur is descended from Latin cantare, where ⟨c⟩ was pronounced /k/. The ⟨sc⟩ in Latin scientia "science" was pronounced /sk/, but has shifted to /ʃ/ in Italian scienza.
Similarly, Proto-Germanic had neither [ʃ] nor [ʂ], yet many of its descendants do. In most cases, this [ʃ] or [ʂ] descends from a Proto-Germanic /sk/. For instance, Proto-Germanic *skipą ("hollow object, water-borne vessel larger than a boat") was pronounced /ˈski.pɑ̃/. The English word "ship" /ʃɪp/ has been pronounced without the /sk/ the longest, the word being descended from Old English "scip" /ʃip/, which already also had the [ʃ], though the Old English spelling etymologically indicated that the old /sk/ had once been present.
This change took longer to catch on in West Germanic languages other than Old English, though it eventually did. The second West Germanic language to undergo this sound shift was Old High German. In fact, it has been argued that Old High German's /sk/ was actually already [s̠k], because a single [s] had already shifted to [s̠]. Furthermore, by Middle High German, that /s̠k/ had shifted to [ʃ]. After High German, the shift most likely then occurred in Low Saxon. After Low Saxon, Middle Dutch began the shift, but it stopped shifting once it reached /sx/, and has kept that pronunciation since. Then, most likely through influence from German and Low Saxon, North Frisian experienced the shift.
Then, Swedish quite swiftly underwent the shift, which resulted in the very uncommon [ɧ] phoneme, which, aside from Swedish, is only used in Colognian, a variety of High German, though not as a replacement for the standard High German /ʃ/ but a coronalized /ç/. However, the exact realization of Swedish /ɧ/ varies considerably among dialects; for instance, in Northern dialects it tends to be realized as [ʂ]. See sj-sound for more details. Finally, the last to undergo the shift was Norwegian, in which the result of the shift was [ʃ].
The sound in Russian denoted by ⟨ш⟩ is commonly transcribed as a palato-alveolar fricative but is actually a laminal retroflex fricative.
|Voiceless postalveolar non-sibilant fricative|
|IPA Number||151 414 402A 429|
|Voiceless postalveolar approximant|
The voiceless postalveolar non-sibilant fricative is a consonantal sound. As the International Phonetic Alphabet does not have separate symbols for the post-alveolar consonants (the same symbol is used for all coronal places of articulation that are not palatalized), this sound is usually transcribed ⟨ɹ̠̊˔⟩ (retracted constricted voiceless [ɹ]). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
Some scholars also posit the voiceless postalveolar approximant distinct from the fricative. The approximant may be represented in the IPA as ⟨ɹ̠̊⟩.
|Bengali||আবার||[ˈäbäɹ̠̊]||'again'||Apical; possible allophone of /ɹ/ in the syllable coda. See Bengali phonology|
|English||Irish||tree||[tɹ̠̊˔iː]||'tree'||Realization of /r/ after word-initial /t/, unless it is preceded by /s/ within the same syllable. See English phonology|
|Received Pronunciation||crew||[kɹ̠̊˔ʊu̯]||'crew'||Only partially devoiced. It is a realization of /r/ after the word-initial fortis plosives /p, k/, unless they are preceded by /s/ within the same syllable. See English phonology|