Voiceless Labiodental Fricative
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Voiceless Labiodental Fricative
Voiceless labiodental fricative
IPA Number128
Entity (decimal)f
Unicode (hex)U+0066
Braille? (braille pattern dots-124)
Audio sample
Voiceless labiodental approximant
IPA Number150 402A

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⟩.

Some scholars also posit the voiceless labiodental approximant distinct from the fricative. The approximant may be represented in the IPA as ⟨⟩.


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 central-lateral 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 ??/fy [f?] 'lightning' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe ???/tfy 'five' Corresponds to [x?] in Kabardian and Proto-Circassian
Albanian faqe [fac?] 'cheek'
Arabic Modern Standard[1] ?/th'arf [ðrf] 'envelope' See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[2] ?/futbol 'football'
Assyrian pata [f] 'face' Used mostly by Western speakers; corresponds to /p/ in most other dialects.
Assamese ?/borof [bf] 'snow/ice'
Azeri f?ng [t?y?fæ] '?un'
Basque fin [fin] 'thin'
Bengali ?/ful [ful] 'flower' Allophone of /p?/. See Bengali phonology
Catalan[3] fort ['ft] 'strong' See Catalan phonology
Chechen ? / faks [faks] 'fax'
Chinese Cantonese ? / f?i 'to fly' See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin ? (traditional) / ?(simplified) / f?i See Mandarin phonology
Coptic ??/ftoow [ftow] 'four'
Czech foukat ['fokat] 'to blow' See Czech phonology
Dutch[4] fiets [fits] 'bike' See Dutch phonology
English All dialects fill 'fill' See English phonology
Cockney[5] think [fk] 'think' Socially marked,[6] with speakers exhibiting some free variation with (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.
Indian South African[12] fair [e:] 'fair' Described as an approximant. Corresponds to /f/ in other accents.
Esperanto fajro ['faj?o] 'fire' See Esperanto phonology
Ewe[13] eflen [éflé̃] 'he spit off'
French[14] fabuleuse [fäby'lø:z?] 'fabulous' See French phonology
Galician faísca [fa'iska] 'spark' See Galician phonology
German fade ['fa:d?] 'bland' See Standard German phonology
Goemai f'at' [fat] 'to blow'
Greek ? / fys? ['fisi] 'nature' See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati ?? / fa? [f] 'fruit' See Gujarati phonology
Hebrew ??/sofer [so?fe] 'writer' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindustani / /saaf [s?:f] 'clean' See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian figyel ['fil] 'he/she pays attention' See Hungarian phonology
Indonesian fajar [fad?ar] 'dawn' See Indonesian phonology
Italian fantasma [fän?'t?äzmä] 'ghost' See Italian phonology
Kabardian ?/fyz [f?z] 'woman' Corresponds to [] in Adyghe and Proto-Circassian
Kabyle afus [afus]
Kazakh faq?r / [faqr] 'poor'
Khmer / kahvé [ka:fe:] 'coffee' See Khmer phonology
Macedonian ??/fonetika [f?netika] 'phonetics' See Macedonian phonology
M?ori whakapapa [fakapapa] 'genealogy' Less commonly . See M?ori phonology.
Malay feri [feri] 'ferry' Only occurs in loanwords
Malayalam ?/falam [f?l?m] 'fruit, result' Only occurs in loanwords in the standard version. ? is used to represent both /p?/ and /f/ but nowadays most people pronounce /p?/ as [f]. Occurs in native words in the Jeseri dialect.
Maltese fenek [fenek] 'rabbit'
Norwegian filter [filt] 'filter' See Norwegian phonology
Persian /fekr [fekr] 'thought'
Polish[15] futro 'fur' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[16] fala ['fal?] 'speech' See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi /fauj? [f?:di] 'soldier'
Romanian[17] foc [fo?k] 'fire' See Romanian phonology
Russian[18] ???/orfografiya [?rf?'?rafj?] 'orthography' Contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[19] ? / faza [f?:z?ä] 'phase' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak fúka? ['fu?:käc] 'to blow' See Slovak phonology
Somali feex [f] 'wart' See Somali phonology
Spanish[20] fantasma [fã?n?'t?a?zma?] 'ghost' See Spanish phonology
Swahili kufa [kuf?] 'to die'
Swedish fisk ['f?sk] 'fish' See Swedish phonology
Thai ??/fon [fon] 'rain'
Toda nes?of [nes?of] 'moon'
Turkish saf [säf] 'pure' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[21] ?/fastiv ['f?s?t?iw] 'Fastiv' See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese[22] pháo [fa:w] 'firecracker' See Vietnamese phonology
Welsh ffon [f?n] 'stick' See Welsh phonology
West Frisian fol [fo?] 'full' See West Frisian phonology
Yi ? / fu [fu?] 'roast'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[23] cafe [kaf?] '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. ^ Mesthrie (2004), p. 960.
  13. ^ Ladefoged (2005:156)
  14. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993:73)
  15. ^ Jassem (2003:103)
  16. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:91)
  17. ^ DEX Online : [1]
  18. ^ Padgett (2003:42)
  19. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 67.
  20. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:255)
  21. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 4.
  22. ^ Thompson (1959:458-461)
  23. ^ Merrill (2008:109)


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External links

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