Voiceless labiodental fricative -

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Voiceless labiodental fricative
IPA Number128
Entity (decimal)f
Unicode (hex)U+0066
Braille⠋ (braille pattern dots-124)
Audio sample

The voiceless labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in a number of spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨f⟩.


Features of the voiceless labiodental fricative:

  • Its manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is labiodental, which means it is articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.
  • 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.
  • Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz фы/fy [fə] 'lightning' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe тфы/tfy About this sound[tfə]  'five' Corresponds to [xʷ] in Kabardian and Proto-Circassian
Albanian faqe [facɛ] 'cheek'
Arabic Modern Standard[1] ظرف‎/th'arf [ðˤɑrf] 'envelope' See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[2] ֆուտբոլ/futbol About this sound[fut̪bol]  'football'
Assamese বৰ/borof [bɔɹɔf] 'snow/ice'
Azeri fəng [t̪y̆fæɲɟ] 'ɡun'
Basque fin [fin] 'thin'
Bengali ফু/ful [ful] 'flower' Allophone of /pʰ/. See Bengali phonology
Catalan[3] fase [ˈfazə] 'phase' See Catalan phonology
Chechen факс / faks [faks] 'fax'
Chinese Cantonese / fēi About this sound[fei̯˥] 'to fly' See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin (traditional) / (simplified) / fēi About this sound[feɪ̯˥] See Mandarin phonology
Coptic ϥⲧⲟⲟⲩ/ftoow [ftow] 'four'
Czech foukat [ˈfoʊ̯kat] 'to blow' See Czech phonology
Dutch[4] fiets [fits] 'bike' See Dutch phonology
English All dialects fill About this sound[fɪɫ] 'fill' See English phonology
Cockney[5] think [fɪŋk] 'think' Socially marked,[6] with speakers exhibiting some free variation with [θ] (with which it corresponds to in other dialects).[7] See th-fronting.
Many British urban dialects[8]
Some younger New Zealanders[9][10]
Broad South African[11] More common word-finally.
Esperanto fajro [ˈfajɾo] 'fire' See Esperanto phonology
Ewe[12] eflen [éflé̃] 'he spit off'
French[13] fabuleuse [fäbyˈløːz̪] 'fabulous' See French phonology
Galician faísca [faˈiska] 'spark' See Galician phonology
German fade [ˈfaːdə] 'bland' See Standard German phonology
Goemai [fat] 'to blow'
Greek φύση / fysī [ˈfisi] 'nature' See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati / faļ [fəɭ] 'fruit' See Gujarati phonology
Hebrew סופר‎/sofer [so̞fe̞ʁ] 'writer' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindustani साफ़ / صاف‎/saaf [sɑːf] 'clean' See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian figyel [ˈfiɟɛl] 'he/she pays attention' See Hungarian phonology
Indonesian vandalisme [fandalismə] 'vandalism' See Indonesian phonology
Italian fantasma [fän̪ˈt̪äzmä] 'ghost' See Italian phonology
Kabardian фыз/fyz [fəz] 'woman' Corresponds to [ʂʷ] in Adyghe and Proto-Circassian
Kabyle afus [afus] 'hand'
Macedonian фонетика/fonetika [fɔnetika] 'phonetics' See Macedonian phonology
Malay feri [feri] 'ferry' Only occurs in loanwords
Maltese fenek [fenek] 'rabbit'
Norwegian filter [filtɛɾ] 'filter' See Norwegian phonology
Persian فکر/fekr [fekr] 'thought'
Polish[14] futro About this sound[ˈfut̪rɔ]  'fur' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[15] fala [ˈfalɐ] 'speech' See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi ਫ਼ੌਜੀ/faujī [fɔːd͡ʒi] 'soldier'
Romanian[16] foc [fo̞k] 'fire' See Romanian phonology
Russian[17] орфография/orfografiya [ɐrfɐˈɡrafʲɪjə] 'orthography' Contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[18] фаза / faza [fǎːz̪ä] 'phase' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak fúkať [ˈfu̞ːkäc̟] 'to blow' See Slovak phonology
Somali feex [fɛħ] 'wart' See Somali phonology
Spanish[19] fantasma [fã̠n̪ˈt̪a̠zma̠] 'ghost' See Spanish phonology
Swahili kufa [kufɑ] 'to die'
Swedish fisk [ˈfɪsk] 'fish' See Swedish phonology
Thai /fon [fon˩˩˦] 'rain'
Turkish saf [säf] 'pure' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[20] Фастів/fastiv [ˈfɑsʲtʲiw] 'Fastiv' See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese[21] pháo [faːw˧ˀ˥] 'firecracker' See Vietnamese phonology
Welsh ffon [fɔn] 'stick' See Welsh phonology
West Frisian fol [foɫ] 'full' See West Frisian phonology
Yi / fu [fu˧] 'roast'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[22] cafe [kafɘ] 'coffee' Used primarily in loanwords from Spanish

See also


  1. ^ Thelwall (1990:37)
  2. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009:18)
  3. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992:53)
  4. ^ Gussenhoven (1992:45)
  5. ^ Wells (1982), p. 328.
  6. ^ Altendorf (1999), p. 7.
  7. ^ Clark & Trousdale (2010), p. 309.
  8. ^ Britain (2005), p. 1005.
  9. ^ Wood (2003), p. 50.
  10. ^ Gordon & Maclagan (2008), p. 74.
  11. ^ Bowerman (2004), p. 939.
  12. ^ Ladefoged (2005:156)
  13. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993:73)
  14. ^ Jassem (2003:103)
  15. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:91)
  16. ^ DEX Online : [1]
  17. ^ Padgett (2003:42)
  18. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 67.
  19. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:255)
  20. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 4.
  21. ^ Thompson (1959:458–461)
  22. ^ Merrill (2008:109)


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  • Bowerman, Sean (2004), "White South African English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 931–942, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
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  • Clark, Lynn; Trousdale, Graeme (2010), "A cognitive approach to quantitative sociolinguistic variation: Evidence from th-fronting in Central Scotland", in Geeraerts, Dirk; Kristiansen, Gitte; Peirsman, Yves (eds.), Advances in Cognitive Linguistics, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-022645-4
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  • Danylenko, Andrii; Vakulenko, Serhii (1995), Ukrainian, Lincom Europa, ISBN 9783929075083
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External links