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Voiceless labiodental affricate

A voiceless labiodental affricate ([p̪͡f] in IPA) is a rare affricate consonant that is initiated as a labiodental stop [p̪] and released as a voiceless labiodental fricative [f].

Voiceless labiodental affricate
p̪͡f
p̪f
Listen

The XiNkuna dialect of Tsonga has this affricate, as in [tiɱp̪͡fuβu] "hippopotami" and aspirated [ɱp̪͡fʰuka] "distance" (compare [ɱfutsu] "tortoise", which shows that the stop is not epenthetic), as well as a voiced labiodental affricate, [b̪͡v], as in [ʃileb̪͡vu] "chin". There is no voiceless labiodental fricative [f] in this dialect of Tsonga, only a voiceless bilabial fricative, as in [ɸu] "finished". (Among voiced fricatives, both [β] and [v] occur, however.)

German has a similar sound in Pfeffer /ˈp͡fɛfər/ ('pepper') and Apfel /ˈap͡fəl/ ('apple'). Phonotactically, this /p͡f/ does not occur after long vowels, diphthongs or /l/. It differs from a true labiodental affricate in that it starts out bilabial but then the lower lip retracts slightly for the frication.

Contents

FeaturesEdit

Features of the voiceless labiodental affricate:

  • Its manner of articulation is affricate, which means it is produced by first stopping the airflow entirely, then allowing air flow through a constricted channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • There are two variants of the stop component:
    • bilabial, which means it is articulated with both lips. The affricate with this stop component is called bilabial-labiodental.
    • labiodental, which means it is articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.
  • The fricative component of this affricate is labiodental, articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.
  • 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.

OccurrenceEdit

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bavarian hupfa [ˈhup͡fɑ] 'to jump' Bilabial-labiodental.
German Standard[1] Pfirsiche   [ˈp͡fɪɐ̯zɪçə]  'peaches' Bilabial-labiodental.[1] See Standard German phonology
Swiss dialects[2][3] Soipfe [ˈz̥oi̯p͡fə] 'soap' Bilabial-labiodental. The example word is from the Zurich dialect.
Italian Some central-south dialects[4] infatti [iɱˈp̪͡fät̪̚t̪i] 'indeed' Labiodental, allophone of /f/ after nasals.[4] See Italian phonology
Luxembourgish[5] Kampf [ˈkʰɑmp͡f] 'fight' Bilabial-labiodental, occurs only in German loanwords.[5] See Luxembourgish phonology
Tsonga XiNkuna dialect timpfuvu [tiɱp̪͡fuβu] 'hippopotami' Labiodental, contrasts with aspirated form.

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