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IPA chart affricate consonants
p̪͡f
t͡s
d͡z
t͡ʃ
d͡ʒ
t͡ɕ
d͡ʑ
ʈ͡ʂ
ɖ͡ʐ
b̪͡v
t͡ɬ
d͡ɮ
c͡ç
ɟ͡ʝ
k͡x
q͡χ


Where symbols appear in pairs, left—right represent the voiceless—voiced consonants
This table contains phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

IPA help • IPA key • Loudspeaker.svg audio help • chart • view

Affricates are consonants that begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as [t] or [d]) but release as a fricative (such as [s] or [z] or occasionally into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. English has two affricates, spelled ch and j.

Examples[edit]

The English sounds spelled "ch" and "j" (transcribed [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʒ] in IPA), German and Italian z [t͡s] and Italian z [d͡z] are typical affricates. These sounds are fairly common in the world's languages, as are other affricates with similar sounds, such as those in Polish and Chinese. However, other than [d͡ʒ], voiced affricates are relatively uncommon. For several places of articulation they are not attested at all.

Much less common are labiodental affricates, such as [p͡f] in German and Izi, or velar affricates, such as [k͡x] in Tswana (written kg) or High Alemannic Swiss German dialects. Worldwide, relatively few languages have affricates in these positions, even though the corresponding stop consonants [p], [k] are virtually universal. Also less common are alveolar affricates where the fricative is lateral, such as the [t͡ɬ] sound found in Nahuatl and Navajo. Some other Athabaskan languages, such as Dene Suline, have unaspirated, aspirated, and ejective series of affricates that may be dental, alveolar, postalveolar, or lateral, that is [t̪͡θ], [t̪͡θʰ], [t̪͡θʼ], [t͡s], [t͡sʰ], [t͡sʼ], [t͡ʃ], [t͡ʃʰ], [t͡ʃʼ], [t͡ɬ], [t͡ɬʰ], and [t͡ɬʼ].

Notation[edit]

Affricates are transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet by a combination of two letters, one for the stop element and the other for the fricative element. In order to show that these are parts of a single consonant, a tie bar is generally used. The tie bar appears most commonly above the two letters, but may be placed under them if it fits better there, or simply because this is more legible.[1] Thus:

  • p͡f, t͡sʼ, d͡z, t͡ɬ, d͡ɮ, t͡ʃʼ, d͡ʒ, t͡ɕʼ, d͡ʑ, t͡ʂʼ, d͡ʐ , k͡xʼ

or

  • p͜f, t͜sʼ, d͜z, t͜ɬ, d͜ɮ, t͜ʃʼ, d͜ʒ, t͜ɕʼ, d͜ʑ, t͜ʂʼ, d͜ʐ , k͜xʼ.

A less common notation is to indicate the release of the affricate with a superscript:

  • pᶠ, tˢ, dᶻ, tᶴ, dᶾ, kˣ.

This is derived from the IPA convention of indicating other releases with a superscript. However, this convention is more typically used for a fricated release that is too brief to be considered a true affricate.

Though they are no longer standard IPA, ligatures are available in Unicode for the six common affricates

  • ʦ, ʣ, ʧ, ʤ, ʨ, ʥ.

Any of these notations distinguishes affricates from sequences of stop plus fricative, a difference that distinguishes words in languages such as Polish. However, in languages where there is no such distinction, such as English, the tie bars are commonly dropped.

In other phonetic transcription systems, such as the Americanist system, the affricates [t͡s], [d͡z], [t͡ʃ], [d͡ʒ], [t͡ɬ], [d͡ɮ] are transcribed respectively as c or ¢; j, ƶ, or (older) ʒ; c or č; ǰ, ǧ, or (older) ǯ; ƛ; and λ or dl. Within the IPA, [tʃ] and [dʒ] are sometimes transcribed with the symbols for the palatal stops, c and ɟ.

Affricates vs. stop–fricative sequences[edit]

Affricates can contrast phonemically with stop–fricative sequences. Examples:

  • Polish affricate /t͡ʂ/ in czysta 'clean (f.)' versus stop–fricative /tʂ/ in trzysta 'three hundred',

and

  • Klallam affricate /t͡s/ in k’ʷə́nc 'look at me' versus stop–fricative /ts/ in k’ʷə́nts 'he looks at it'.

In the stop–fricative sequence, the stop has a release burst before the fricative starts; but in the affricate, the fricative element is the release. Stop–fricative sequences may have a syllable boundary between the two segments, but not necessarily.

In English, /ts/ and /dz/ (nuts, nods) are considered phonemically stop–fricative sequences because they may contain a morpheme boundary (for example, nuts = nut + s). But the sounds are phonetically affricates.[citation needed] The English affricate phonemes /t͡ʃ/ and /d͡ʒ/ do not require a morpheme boundary. The sounds are sometimes written with the unitary symbols č and ǰ, though it is not considered standard IPA notation. However, English speakers (depending on dialect) do distinguish affricates from stop–fricative sequences:

  • cat shit /kæt.ʃɪt/[kʰæʔʃɪt̚]
  • catch it /kæt͡ʃ.ɪt/[kʰæt͡ʃɪt̚]

Here /t/ debuccalizes to a glottal stop before /ʃ/ in many dialects, making it phonetically distinct from /t͡ʃ/.

The acoustic difference between affricates and stop–fricative sequences is rate of amplitude increase of the frication noise, which is known as the rise time. Affricates have a short rise time to the peak frication amplitude whereas stop–fricative sequences have longer rise times (Howell & Rosen 1983, Johnson 2003, Mitani et al. 2006).

List of affricates[edit]

In the case of coronals, the symbols t, d are normally used for the stop portion of the affricate regardless of place. For example, [t͡ʂ] is commonly seen for [ʈ͡ʂ].

The exemplar languages are ones that these sounds have been reported from, but in several cases they may need confirmation.

Sibilant affricates[edit]

Voiceless Languages Voiced Languages
Voiceless alveolar affricate
German z
Japanese つ/ツ [tsu͍]
K'iche'
Mandarin z (pinyin)
Pashto
Voiced alveolar affricate
Japanese (some dialects)
Voiceless dental affricate
Hungarian c
Italian z
Macedonian ц
Serbo-Croatian c/ц
Polish c
Voiced dental affricate
Bulgarian дз
Hungarian dz
Italian z
Macedonian ѕ
Polish dz
Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate
Japanese ち/チ [tɕi]
Mandarin j (pinyin)
Polish ć, ci
Serbo-Croatian ć/ћ
Thai
Voiced alveolo-palatal affricate
Japanese じ/ジ, ぢ/ヂ [dʑi]
Polish , dzi
Serbo-Croatian đ/ђ
Voiceless postalveolar affricate
English ch, tch
German tsch
Hungarian cs
Italian ci, ce
K'ich'e ch
Spanish ch
Voiced postalveolar affricate
English j, gHungarian dzs
Italian gi, ge
Voiceless retroflex affricate
Mandarin zh (pinyin)
Polish cz
Serbo-Croatian č/ч
Slovak č
Voiced retroflex affricate
Polish
Serbo-Croatian /џ
Slovak

The Northwest Caucasian languages Abkhaz and Ubykh both contrast sibilant affricates at four places of articulation: alveolar, postalveolar, alveolo-palatal and retroflex. They also distinguish voiceless, voiced, and ejective affricates at each of these.

When a language only has one type of affricate, it is usually a sibilant; this is the case in e.g. some Arabic dialects ([d̠ʒ]), most dialects of Spanish ([t̠ʃ]), and Thai ([t̠ɕ]).

Non-sibilant affricates[edit]

Sound (Voiceless) IPA Languages Sound (Voiced) IPA Languages
Voiceless bilabial affricate [pɸ] Present allophonically in Kaingang and Taos
Voiceless bilabial-labiodental affricate [pf] German, Teke
Voiceless labiodental affricate [p̪f] XiNkuna Tsonga Voiced labiodental affricate [b̪v] XiNkuna Tsonga
Voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate [t̪θ] New York English, Luo, Dene Suline, Cun, some varieties of Venetian and other North Italian dialects Voiced dental non-sibilant affricate [d̪ð] New York English, Dene Suline
Voiceless retroflex non-sibilant affricate [tɻ̝̊] Mapudungun[verification needed], Malagasy Voiced retroflex non-sibilant affricate [dɻ̝] Malagasy
Voiceless palatal affricate [cç] Skolt Sami, Hungarian; allophonically in Kaingang Voiced palatal affricate [ɟʝ] Skolt Sami, Hungarian, some Spanish dialects). Not reported to contrast with a voiced palatal plosive [ɟ]
Voiceless velar affricate [kx] Tswana, High Alemannic German Voiced velar affricate [ɡɣ]
Voiceless uvular affricate [qχ] Nez Percé, Wolof, Bats, Kabardian, Avar, Tsez. Not reported to contrast with a voiceless uvular plosive [q] in natural languages, though this distinction is used in the constructed Klingon. Voiced uvular affricate [ɢʁ]
Voiceless epiglottal affricate [ʡʜ] Haida. Not reported to contrast with an epiglottal stop [ʡ]

Lateral affricates[edit]

Sound IPA Languages
Voiceless alveolar lateral affricate [tɬ] Cherokee, Nahuatl, Navajo, Tswana, etc.
Voiced alveolar lateral affricate [dɮ] Gwich'in, Sandawe. Not reported to ever contrast with a voiced alveolar lateral fricative [ɮ].
Voiceless palatal lateral affricate [cʎ̥˔] also c; as ejective [cʎ̥˔ʼ] = [cʼ] in Dahalo; as [tʎ̥˔] = [t] in Hadza.
Voiceless velar lateral affricate [kʟ̝̊] also k; as a prevelar in Archi and as an ejective [kʟ̝̊ʼ] = [kʼ] in Zulu,[citation needed] also exist in the Laghuu language.
Voiced velar lateral affricate [ɡʟ̝] Laghuu.

Trilled affricates[edit]

Main article: Trilled affricate
Sound IPA Languages
Voiced prenasalized trilled bilabial affricate [mbʙ] Kele and Avava
Voiceless dental bilabially trilled affricate [t̪ʙ̥] Wari’
Voiced prenasalized trilled alveolar affricate [ndr] Fijian and Avava
Voiceless alveolar trilled affricate [tʳ] Ngkoth
Voiced alveolar trilled affricate [dʳ] Nias

Heterorganic affricates[edit]

Although most affricates are homorganic, Navajo and Chiricahua Apache have a heterorganic alveolar-velar affricate [tx] (McDonough & Ladefoged 1993, Hoijer & Opler 1938). Other heterorganic affricates are reported for Northern Sotho (Johnson 2003) and other Bantu languages such as Phuthi, which has alveolar–labiodental affricates [tf] and [dv], and Sesotho, which has bilabial–palatoalveolar afficates [pʃ] and [bʒ]. Djeoromitxi (Pies 1992) has [ps] and [bz].

Phonation, coarticulation and other variants[edit]

The more common of the voiceless affricates are all attested as ejectives as well: [tθʼ, tsʼ, tɬʼ, tʃʼ, tɕʼ, tʂʼ, cʎ̥ʼ, kxʼ, kʟ̝̊ʼ]. Several Khoisan languages such as !Xóõ are reported to have voiced ejective affricates, but these may actually be consonant clusters: [dtsʼ, dtʃʼ]. Affricates are also commonly aspirated: [ɱp̪fʰ, tθʰ, tsʰ, tɬʰ, tʃʰ, tɕʰ, tʂʰ], occasionally murmured: [ɱb̪vʱ, d̠ʒʱ], and sometimes prenasalized: [ⁿdz, ⁿdzʱ, ᶯɖʐ, ᶯɖʐʱ]. Labialized, palatalized, velarized, and pharyngealized affricates also occur. Affricates may also have phonemic length, that is, affected by a chroneme, as in Italian and Karelian.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ For example, in Niesler, Louw, & Roux (2005) [Phonetic analysis of Afrikaans, English, Xhosa and Zulu using South African speech databases http://www.ajol.info/index.php/salas/article/viewFile/6562/13287]
  • Hoijer, Harry; & Opler, Morris E. (1938). Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache texts. The University of Chicago publications in anthropology; Linguistic series. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Howell Peter; & Rosen, Stuart. (1983). Production and perception of rise time in the voiceless affricate/fricative distinction. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 73 (3), 976–984.
  • Johnson, Keith. (2003). Acoustic & auditory phonetics (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Maddieson, Ian. (1984). Patterns of sounds. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-26536-3
  • McDonough, Joyce; & Ladefoged, Peter. (1993). Navajo stops. UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, 84, 151–164.
  • Mitani, Shigeki; Kitama, Toshihiro; & Sato, Yu. (2006). Voiceless affricate/fricative distinction by frication duration and amplitude rise slope. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120 (3), 1600–1607.

External links[edit]


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