Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Voiceless dental plosive
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The voiceless dental plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is t̪, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is t_d. This is the symbol for the voiceless alveolar plosive with the "bridge below" diacritic meaning dental.
Features of the voiceless dental plosive:
- Its manner of articulation is plosive or stop, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract.
- Its place of articulation is dental which means it is articulated with the tongue on either the lower or the upper teeth, or both.
- Its phonation type is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
- It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth.
- It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by allowing the airstream to flow over the center of the tongue, rather than the sides.
- The airstream mechanism is pulmonic egressive, which means it is articulated by pushing air out of the lungs and through the vocal tract, rather than from the glottis or the mouth.
Varieties of the voiceless dental plosive
The voiceless dental plosive does not occur in English, at least as spoken by native speakers, but is similar to the sound of the letter 't', except the tongue is touching the back of the teeth and not the alveolar ridge. However, speakers of many Romance languages (such as Spanish) who speak English as an additional language may pronounce a voiceless dental plosive instead of /t/. This is readily recognized as /t/ by English speakers and may even go unnoticed.
In other languages
The voiceless dental plosive is a common sound cross-linguistically. It is the sound used for the letter 't' in most Romance languages. Many Indian languages, such as Hindi, have a two-way contrast between aspirated and plain [t̪].
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