Fricative consonant facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

A Fricatives consonant is a consonant that is made when you squeeze air through a small hole or gap in your mouth. For example, the gaps in between your teeth can make fricative consonants. When the gaps in the teeth are used, these fricatives are called sibilants. An example of a sibilant in English is [s], [z], [ʃ], and [ʒ].

Sibilant fricatives

This is a list of sibilant fricatives.

  • [s] voiceless coronal sibilant, as in English sip
  • [z] voiced coronal sibilant, as in English zip
  • [ʃ] voiceless palat-alveolar sibilant (domed, partially palatalized), as in English ship
  • [ʒ] voiced palat-alveolar sibilant (domed, partially palatalized), as the s in English vision
  • [ɕ] voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant (laminal, palatalized)
  • [ʑ] voiced alveo-palatal sibilant (laminal, palatalized)
  • [ʂ] voiceless retroflex sibilant (apical or subapical)
  • [ʐ] voiced retroflex sibilant (apical or subapical)

Non-sibilant fricatives

  • [ɸ] voiceless bilabial fricative
  • [β] voiced bilabial fricative
  • [f] voiceless labiodental fricative, as in English fine
  • [v] voiced labiodental fricative, as in English vine
  • [θ], [θ̟] voiceless dental fricative, as in English thing
  • [ð], [ð̟] voiced dental fricative, as in English that
  • [r̝] voiceless trilled fricative
  • [ç] voiceless palatal fricative
  • [ʝ] voiced palatal fricative
  • [x] voiceless velar fricative
  • [ɣ] voiced velar fricative
  • [ɧ] voiceless palatal-velar fricative
  • [χ] voiceless uvular fricative
  • [ħ] voiceless pharyngeal fricative
  • [ʜ] voiceless epiglottal fricative

Lateral fricatives

  • [ɬ] voiceless coronal lateral fricative
  • [ɮ] voiced coronal lateral fricative

Pseudo-fricatives

  • [h] voiceless glottal transition, as in English hat
  • [ɦ] breathy-voiced glottal transition

In many languages, such as English, the glottal "fricatives" like the [h] in English "hat", ia not really a fricative because there are just vowels that are not voiced. However, in languages such as Arabic, they are true fricatives.


Fricative consonant Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.