Voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate

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Voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate

The voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represent this sound are ⟨t͡θ⟩, ⟨t͜θ⟩, ⟨t̪͡θ⟩ and ⟨t̟͡θ⟩.


Features of the voiceless dental non-sibilant 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.
  • Its place of articulation is dental, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the upper teeth, termed respectively apical and laminal. Note that most stops and liquids described as dental are actually denti-alveolar.
  • 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.


This phoneme is very rare, and is perhaps best known as the final sound in the English words eighth, which in some dialects is pronounced eight + th and also in width, which contrasts with both pronunciations of with.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Chipewyan[1] ddhéth [t̟͡θɛ́θ] 'hide' Contrasts unaspirated, aspirated and ejective affricates.[1]
English Dublin[2] think [t̟͡θɪŋk] 'think' Corresponds to [θ] in other dialects; may be [] instead[2]
New York[3] Corresponds to [θ] in other dialects, may also be pronounced [t] and [θ]
Cajun Corresponds to [θ] in other dialects, intermediate between [θ] in General American and [t] in fully accented Cajun English

See also