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Voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant
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Voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant

The voiceless palato-alveolar fricative or voiceless domed postalveolar fricative (IPA ) is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages, including English. In English, it is usually represented in writing with sh , as in ship.



The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is    , the letter esh introduced by Isaac Pitman (not to be confused with the integral sign ). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is S.

An alternative symbol is , an s with h ek, 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 alphabet 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-Lappic, North American and African languages.


Features of the voiceless palato-alveolar fricative:

In various languages, including English and French, it may have simultaneous lip rounding (), although this is usually not written down in technical transcriptions.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe 'donkey'
Albanian 'house'
Arabic Standard[1] 'sun' See Arabic phonology
Armenian 'dog'
Basque 'hello'
Berber Kabyle 'to consult'
Breton 'chain'
Bulgarian 'heroically'
Czech 'mash' See Czech phonology
Dutch[2] 'template' May be instead. See Dutch phonology
English 'sheep' See English phonology
Esperanto 'suspenders' See Esperanto phonology
Faroese 'hospital'
French[3] 'expensive' See French phonology
Galician 'way'
Georgian[4] 'quibbling'
German 'beautiful' See German phonology
Hebrew 'peace' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindi 'doubt' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Hungarian 'help' See Hungarian phonology
Ilokano 'I'
Irish 'she' See Irish phonology
Italian[5] 'bands' See Italian phonology
Kabardian 'donkey' Contrasts with a labialized form
Latvian 'scarf'
Lingala 'Afrikan gray parrot'
Lithuanian 'armor'
Macedonian 'what' See Macedonian phonology
Malay 'company'
Maltese 'what is your name?'

Bokm l 'cloud' See Norwegian phonology
Nynorsk 'hospital'
Occitan Auvergnat 'bad'
Gascon maishant 'bad'
Limousin son 'his'
Persian 'king' See Persian phonology
Portuguese[6] 'to smell' See Portuguese phonology
Romani Vlax de 'ten'
Romanian 'bosses' See Romanian phonology
Sahaptin 'mush'
Scottish Gaelic 'sing' See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbo-Croatian / 'courtyard' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovene 'school'
Somali 'five' See Somali phonology
Spanish Chilean chileno 'Chilean'
Rioplatense mayo 'Month of May'
Swahili 'trees'
Tagalog 'he she' See Tagalog phonology
Toda[7] 'language'
Tunica 'stone'
Turkish 'sun' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian 'chess' See Ukrainian phonology
Urdu 'thank you' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Uyghur 'city'
Welsh Standard 'speak' See Welsh phonology
Southern dialects mis 'month'
West Frisian 'soap'
Western Lombard Canz s fescia 'nuisance'
Yiddish 'scientific' See Yiddish phonology
Yor b 'open'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[8] xana 'how?'
Zhuang 'ten'

Classical Latin phonology did not have . It does occur in most of today's Latin-descended languages. For example the ch in French chanteur ('singer') is pronounced and is descended from Latin cantare pronounced . The sc in Latin scientia ('science') indicated but has changed to in the Italian scienza.

The sound in Russian denoted by < > is commonly transcribed as a palato-alveolar fricative but is actually a laminal retroflex fricative.

See also



als:Stimmloser postalveolarer Frikativ ar: an:Fonema prepalatal fricativo xordo bn: br:Kensonenn drekkevig dre daravat divouezh ca:Fricativa postalveolar sorda cs:Nezn l postalveol rn frikativa de:Stimmloser postalveolarer Frikativ es:Fricativa postalveolar sorda fa: fr:Consonne fricative post-alv olaire sourde ko: hr:Bezvu ni postalveolarni frikativ it:Fricativa postalveolare sorda he: - , , ms:Geseran belakang gusi tak bersuara nl:Stemloze postalveolaire fricatief ja: pl:Sp g oska szczelinowa zadzi s owa bezd wi czna pt:Fricativa p s-alveolar surda ro:Consoan fricativ postalveolar surd ru: fi:Soinniton postalveolaarinen frikatiivi sv:Tonl s postalveolar frikativa uk: zh:

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