Alveolar stop

In phonetics and phonology, an alveolar stop is a type of consonantal[1] sound, made with the tongue in contact with the alveolar ridge located just behind the teeth (hence alveolar), held tightly enough to block the passage of air (hence a stop consonant).[2] The most common sounds are the stops [t][3] and [d], as in English toe and doe, and the voiced nasal [n]. The 2-D finite element mode of the front part of the midsagittal tongue can stimulate the air pressed release of an alveolar stop. [4] Alveolar consonants in children’s productions have generally been demonstrated to undergo smaller vowel-related coarticulatory effects than labial and velar consonants, thus yielding consonant-specific patterns similar to those observed in adults[5].

The upcoming vowel target is adjusted to demand force and effort during the coarticulating process.[6] More generally, several kinds are distinguished:

Note that alveolar and dental stops are not always carefully distinguished. Acoustically, the two types of sounds are similar, and it is rare for a language to have both types.

If necessary, an alveolar consonant can be transcribed with the combining equals sign below ⟨◌͇⟩, as with ⟨⟩ for the voiceless alveolar stop. A dental consonant can be transcribed with the combining bridge below⟩, and a postalveolar consonant with the retraction diacritic, the combining minus sign below⟩.


  1. ^ "List of Consonants". University of Washington. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  2. ^ International Phonetic Association (2014). Handbook of the International Phonetic Association a guide to the use of the international phonetic alphabet. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521652360. OCLC 931695762.
  3. ^ Liberman, A. M.; Cooper, F. S.; Shankweiler, D. P.; Studdert-Kennedy, M. (1967). "Perception of the speech code". Psychological Review. 74 (6): 431–461. doi:10.1037/h0020279. ISSN 1939-1471.
  4. ^ Chen, Lan. "Effect of intraoral air pressure on the release of an alveolar stop closure". Journal Article – via The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 118.
  5. ^ Zharkova, Natalia (2017-09-02). "Voiceless alveolar stop coarticulation in typically developing 5-year-olds and 13-year-olds". Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. 31 (7–9): 503–513. doi:10.1080/02699206.2016.1268209. ISSN 0269-9206. PMID 28085509.
  6. ^ Zharkova, Natalie. "Voiceless alveolar stop coarticulation in typically developing 5-year-olds and 13-year-olds". Papers from the 16th ICPLA Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia - 1 – via Taylor & Francis Online.

In linguistics, an allomorph is a variant form of a morpheme, that is, when a unit of meaning varies in sound without changing the meaning. The term allomorph explains the comprehension of phonological variations for specific morphemes.

Alveolar consonant

Alveolar consonants () are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. Alveolar consonants may be articulated with the tip of the tongue (the apical consonants), as in English, or with the flat of the tongue just above the tip (the "blade" of the tongue; called laminal consonants), as in French and Spanish. The laminal alveolar articulation is often mistakenly called dental, because the tip of the tongue can be seen near to or touching the teeth. However, it is the rearmost point of contact that defines the place of articulation; this is where the oral cavity ends, and it is the resonant space of the oral cavity that gives consonants and vowels their characteristics. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) does not have separate symbols for the alveolar consonants. Rather, the same symbol is used for all coronal places of articulation that are not palatalized like English palato-alveolar sh, or retroflex. To disambiguate, the bridge ([s̪, t̪, n̪, l̪], etc.) may be used for a dental consonant, or the under-bar ([s̠, t̠, n̠, l̠], etc.) may be used for the postalveolars. Note that [s̪] differs from dental [θ] in that the former is a sibilant and the latter is not. [s̠] differs from postalveolar [ʃ] in being unpalatalized. The bare letters [s, t, n, l], etc. cannot be assumed to specifically represent alveolars. The language may not make such distinctions, such that two or more coronal places of articulation are found allophonically, or the transcription may simply be too broad to distinguish dental from alveolar. If it is necessary to specify a consonant as alveolar, a diacritic from the Extended IPA may be used: [s͇, t͇, n͇, l͇], etc., though that could also mean extra-retracted. The letters ⟨s, t, n, l⟩ are frequently called 'alveolar', and the language examples below are all alveolar sounds.

(The Extended IPA diacritic was devised for speech pathology and is frequently used to mean "alveolarized", as in the labioalveolar sounds [p͇, b͇, m͇, f͇, v͇], where the lower lip contacts the alveolar ridge.)

Alveolus (disambiguation)

Alveolus (pl. alveoli, adj. alveolar) is a general anatomical term for a concave cavity or pit.

Alveolus may refer to:

In anatomy and zoology in general

Pulmonary alveolus, an air sac in the lungs

Alveolar cell or pneumocyte

Alveolar duct

Alveolar macrophage

Mammary alveolus, a milk sac in the mammary glands

Alveolar gland

Dental alveolus, also known as "tooth socket", a socket in the jaw that holds the roots of teeth

Alveolar ridge, the jaw structure that contains the dental alveoli

Alveolar canals

Alveolar process


Superior alveolar artery (disambiguation)

Anterior superior alveolar arteries

Posterior superior alveolar artery

Inferior alveolar artery


Anterior superior alveolar nerve

Middle superior alveolar nerve

Inferior alveolar nerveIn Botany, Microbiology, and related disciplines alveoli may be:

Surface cavities or pits, such as on the stem of Myrmecodia species

Pits on honeycombed surfaces such as receptacles of many angiosperms

Pits on the fruiting bodies of fungi such as Boletus or the ascocarps of fungi such as typical Ascomycetes

Pits on the valves of the tests of many diatoms

Membrane supporting vesicles of the alveolatesIn medicine

Alveolar soft part sarcomaIn linguistics

Alveolar consonant, a linguistic vocalization depending upon touching tongue to alveolar ridge

Alveolar stop

Bilabial trill

The bilabial trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the sound is ⟨ʙ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is B\.

In many of the languages in which the bilabial trill occurs, it occurs only as part of a prenasalized bilabial stop with trilled release, [mbʙ]. That developed historically from a prenasalized stop before a relatively high back vowel like [mbu]. In such instances, the sounds are usually still limited to the environment of a following [u]. However, the trills in Mangbetu may precede any vowel and are sometimes preceded by only a nasal.

A few languages, such as Mangbetu of Congo and Ninde of Vanuatu, have both a voiced and a voiceless bilabial trill.There is also a very rare voiceless alveolar bilabially trilled affricate, [t̪͡ʙ̥] (written ⟨tᵖ̃⟩ in Everett & Kern) reported from Pirahã and from a few words in the Chapacuran languages Wari’ and Oro Win. The sound also appears as an allophone of the labialized voiceless alveolar stop /tʷ/ of Abkhaz and Ubykh, but in those languages it is more often realised by a doubly articulated stop [t͡p]. In the Chapacuran languages, [tʙ̥] is reported almost exclusively before rounded vowels such as [o] and [y].

Coronal consonant

Coronal consonants are consonants articulated with the flexible front part of the tongue. Among places of articulation, only the coronal consonants can be divided into as many articulation types: apical (using the tip of the tongue), laminal (using the blade of the tongue), domed (with the tongue bunched up), or subapical (using the underside of the tongue) as well as different postalveolar articulations (some of which also involve the back of the tongue as an articulator): palato-alveolar, alveolo-palatal and retroflex. Only the front of the tongue (coronal) has such dexterity among the major places of articulation, allowing such variety of distinctions. Coronals have another dimension, grooved, to make sibilants in combination with the orientations above.

Daoism–Taoism romanization issue

The English words Daoism () and Taoism ( or ) are alternative spellings for the same-named Chinese philosophy and religion. The root for Daoism or Taoism is the Chinese word 道 ("road" or "way"), which was transcribed tao or tau in the earliest systems for the romanization of Chinese and dao or dau in 20th century systems.

Dental and alveolar flaps

The alveolar tap or flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents dental, alveolar, and postalveolar flaps is [ɾ].

The terms tap and flap are usually used interchangeably. Peter Ladefoged proposed for a while that it may be useful to distinguish between them; however, his usage has been inconsistent and contradicted itself even between different editions of the same text. The last proposed distinction was that a tap strikes its point of contact directly, as a very brief stop, and a flap strikes the point of contact tangentially: "Flaps are most typically made by retracting the tongue tip behind the alveolar ridge and moving it forward so that it strikes the ridge in passing." This distinction between the alveolar tap and flap can be written in the IPA with tap [ɾ] and flap [ɽ] — the 'retroflex' symbol used for the one that starts with the tongue tip curled back behind the alveolar ridge. This distinction is noticeable in the speech of some American English speakers in distinguishing the words "potty" (tap [ɾ]), and "party" (flap [ɽ]).

For linguists who make the distinction, the coronal tap is transcribed as [ɾ], and the flap is transcribed as [ᴅ], which is not recognized by the IPA. Otherwise, alveolars and dentals are typically called taps and other articulations flaps. No language contrasts a tap and a flap at the same place of articulation.

This sound is often analyzed and thus interpreted by native English-speakers as an 'R-sound' in many foreign languages. In languages for which the segment is present but not phonemic, it is often an allophone of either an alveolar stop ([t], [d], or both) or a rhotic consonant (like the alveolar trill or the alveolar approximant).

When the alveolar tap is the only rhotic consonant in the language, it may be transcribed /r/ although that symbol technically represents the trill.

The voiced alveolar tapped fricative reported from some languages is actually a very brief voiced alveolar non-sibilant fricative.

Dwe (Cyrillic)

Dwe (Ꚁ ꚁ; italics: Ꚁ ꚁ) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. The Cyrillic letter like as protruding in vertical stroke (upturn) as Ghe with upturn (Ґ ґ Ґ ґ) in the upper left corner of the De (Д д Д д).

Dwe is used in the old Abkhaz language, where it represents a labialized voiced alveolar stop /dʷ/. It is a Cyrillic letter corresponding to Дә.

Dz (digraph)

Dz is a digraph of the Latin script, consisting of the consonants D and Z. It may represent /d͡z/, /t͡s/, or /z/, depending on the language.


Pharyngealization is a secondary articulation of consonants or vowels by which the pharynx or epiglottis is constricted during the articulation of the sound.

Proto-Dravidian language

Proto-Dravidian is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Dravidian languages. It is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian, and Proto-South Dravidian, although the date of diversification is still debated.

Stop consonant

In phonetics, a stop, also known as a plosive or oral occlusive, is a consonant in which the vocal tract is blocked so that all airflow ceases.

The occlusion may be made with the tongue blade ([t], [d]) tongue body ([k], [ɡ]), lips ([p], [b]), or glottis ([ʔ]). Stops contrast with nasals, where the vocal tract is blocked but airflow continues through the nose, as in /m/ and /n/, and with fricatives, where partial occlusion impedes but does not block airflow in the vocal tract.


Teth, also written as Ṭēth or Tet, is a letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Ṭēt , Hebrew Ṭēt ט, Aramaic Ṭēth , Syriac Ṭēṯ ܛ, and Arabic Ṭāʾ ط. It is 16th in modern Arabic order. The Persian ṭa is pronounced as a hard "t" sound and is the 19th letter in the modern Persian alphabet. The Phoenician letter also gave rise to the Greek theta (Θ), originally an aspirated voiceless alveolar stop but now used for the voiceless dental fricative.

The sound value of Teth is /tˤ/, one of the Semitic emphatic consonants.

Th (digraph)

Th is a digraph in the Latin script. It was originally introduced into Latin to transliterate Greek loan words. In modern languages that use the Latin alphabet, it represents a number of different sounds. It is the most common digraph in order of frequency in the English language.

Trilled affricate

Trilled affricates, also known as post-trilled consonants, are consonants which begin as a stop and have a trill release. These consonants are reported to exist in some Northern Paman languages in Australia, as well as in some Chapacuran languages such Wari’ language and Austronesian languages such as Fijian and Malagasy.

In Fijian, trilling is rare in these sounds, and they are frequently distinguished by being postalveolar. In Malagasy, they may have a rhotic release, [ʈɽ̝̊ ɳʈɽ̝̊ ɖɽ̝ ɳɖɽ̝], be simple stops, [ʈ ɳʈ ɖ ɳɖ], or standard affricates, [ʈʂ ɳʈʂ ɖʐ ɳɖʐ].

Most post-trilled consonants are affricates: the stop and trill share the same place of articulation. However, there is a rare exception in a few neighboring Amazonian languages, where a voiceless bilabially post-trilled dental stop, [t̪͡ʙ̥] (occasionally written "tᵖ") is reported from Pirahã and from a few words in the Chapacuran languages Wari’ and Oro Win. This sound also appears as an allophone of the labialized voiceless alveolar stop /tʷ/ of Abkhaz and Ubykh, but in those languages it is more often realised by a doubly articulated stop [t͡p]. In the Chapacuran languages, [tʙ̥] is reported almost exclusively before rounded vowels such as [o] and [y].

Hydaburg Haida [ʡʢ] is cognate to Southern Haida [ɢ], Masset Haida [ʕ].

Voiced dental and alveolar stops

The voiced alveolar stop is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiced dental, alveolar, and postalveolar stops is ⟨d⟩ (although the symbol ⟨d̪⟩ can be used to distinguish the dental stop, and ⟨d̠⟩ the postalveolar), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is d.

Voiced dental fricative

The voiced dental fricative is a consonant sound used in some spoken languages. It is familiar to English-speakers, as the th sound in father. Its symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet is eth, or [ð] and was taken from the Old English and Icelandic letter eth, which could stand for either a voiced or unvoiced interdental non-sibilant fricative.

The letter ⟨ð⟩ is sometimes used to represent the dental approximant, a similar sound, which no language is known to contrast with a dental non-sibilant fricative, but the approximant is more clearly written with the lowering diacritic: ⟨ð̞⟩.

Very rarely used variant transcriptions of the dental approximant include ⟨ʋ̠⟩ (retracted [ʋ]), ⟨ɹ̟⟩ (advanced [ɹ]) and ⟨ɹ̪⟩ (dentalized [ɹ]). It has been proposed that either a turned ⟨ð⟩ or reversed ⟨ð⟩ be used as a dedicated symbol for the dental approximant, but despite occasional usage this has not gained general acceptance. Dental non-sibilant fricatives are often called "interdental" because they are often produced with the tongue between the upper and lower teeth (as in English), and not just against the back of the upper teeth, as they are with other dental consonants.

This sound and its unvoiced counterpart are rare phonemes. Almost all languages of Europe and Asia, such as German, French, Persian, Japanese, and Mandarin, lack the sound. Native speakers of languages without the sound often have difficulty enunciating or distinguishing it, and they replace it with a voiced alveolar sibilant [z], a voiced dental stop or voiced alveolar stop [d], or a voiced labiodental fricative [v]; known respectively as th-alveolarization, th-stopping, and th-fronting. As for Europe, there seems to be a great arc where the sound (and/or its unvoiced variant) is present. Most of Mainland Europe lacks the sound. However, some "periphery" languages as Gascon, Welsh, English, Icelandic, Elfdalian, Kven, Northern Sami, Mari, Greek, Albanian, Sardinian, some dialects of Basque and most speakers of Spanish have the sound in their consonant inventories, as phonemes or allophones.

Within Turkic languages, Bashkir and Turkmen have both voiced and voiceless dental non-sibilant fricatives among their consonants. Among Semitic languages, they are used in Turoyo, Modern Standard Arabic, albeit not by all speakers of modern Arabic dialects, as well as in some dialects of Hebrew and Assyrian Neo-Aramaic.

Voiceless dental and alveolar stops

The voiceless alveolar stop is a type of consonantal sound used in almost all spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiceless dental, alveolar, and postalveolar stops is ⟨t⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is t. The dental stop can be distinguished with the underbridge diacritic, ⟨t̪⟩, the postalveolar with a retraction line, ⟨t̠⟩, and the Extensions to the IPA have a double underline diacritic which can be used to explicitly specify an alveolar pronunciation, ⟨t͇⟩.

The [t] sound is a very common sound cross-linguistically; the most common consonant phonemes of the world's languages are [t], [k] and [p]. Most languages have at least a plain [t], and some distinguish more than one variety. Some languages without a [t] are Hawaiian (except for Niʻihau; Hawaiian uses a voiceless velar stop [k] for loanwords with [t]), colloquial Samoan (which also lacks an [n]), Abau, and Nǁng of South Africa.


Ḍād (ﺽ), is one of the six letters the Arabic alphabet added to the twenty-two inherited from the Phoenician alphabet (the others being ṯāʾ, ḫāʾ, ḏāl, ẓāʾ, ġayn). In name and shape, it is a variant of ṣād.

Its numerical value is 800 (see Abjad numerals).

The sound it represented at the time of the introduction of the Arabic alphabet is somewhat uncertain, likely a pharyngealized voiced alveolar lateral fricative [ɮˤ] or a similar affricated sound [d͡ɮˤ] or [dˡˤ].

In contemporary Arabic, it may represent a pharyngealized voiced alveolar stop [dˤ] , pharyngealized voiced dental stop [d̪ˤ] or velarized voiced dental stop [d̪ˠ].

IPA topics

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