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Fricative consonant

consonant produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together

A fricative consonant is a consonant that is made when you squeeze air through a small hole or gap in your mouth. For example, the gaps between your teeth can make fricative consonants; when these gaps are used, the fricatives are called sibilants. Some examples of sibilants in English are [s], [z], [ʃ], and [ʒ].

English has a fairly large number of fricatives, and it has both voiced and voiceless fricatives. Its voiceless fricatives are [s], [ʃ], [f], and [θ], and its voiced fricatives are [z], [ʒ], [v], and [ð]


Sibilant fricativesEdit

This is a list of sibilant fricatives.

Non-sibilant fricativesEdit

Lateral fricativesEdit


In many languages, such as English, the glottal "fricatives" like the [h] in English "hat", ia not really a fricative because there are just vowels that are not voiced. However, in languages such as Arabic, they are true fricatives.[1]


  1. Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4.

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