Voiceless labiodental fricative

Voiceless labiodental fricative
IPA number 128
Entity (decimal) f
Unicode (hex) U+0066
Kirshenbaum f
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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 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.


Abkhazфы[fə]'lightning'See Abkhaz phonology
Adygheтфы [tfə] 'five'Corresponds to [xʷ] in Kabardian and Proto-Circassian
ArabicModern Standard[1]ظرف[ðˤɑrf]'envelope'See Arabic phonology
ArmenianEastern[2]ֆուտբոլ [fut̪bol] 'football'
Bengaliফু[ful]'flower'Allophone of /pʰ/. See Bengali phonology
Catalan[3]fase[ˈfazə]'phase'See Catalan phonology
Chechenфакс / faks[faks]'fax'
ChineseCantonese / fēi [fei̯˥]'to fly'See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin (traditional) / (simplified) / fēi [feɪ̯˥]See Mandarin phonology
Czechfoukat[ˈfoʊ̯kat]'to blow'See Czech phonology
Dutch[4]fiets[fits]'bike'See Dutch phonology
EnglishAll dialectsfill [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
Galicianfaísca[faˈiska]'spark'See Galician phonology
Germanfade[ˈfaːdə]'bland'See Standard German phonology
Goemai[fat]'to blow'
Greekφύση / fysī[ˈfisi]'nature'See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati / faļ[fəɭ]'fruit'See Gujarati phonology
Hebrewסופר[so̞fe̞ʁ]'writer'See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindustaniसाफ़/صاف[sɑːf]'clean'See Hindustani phonology
Hungarianfigyel[fiɟɛl]'he/she pays attention'See Hungarian phonology
Italianfantasma[fän̪ˈt̪äzmä]'ghost'See Italian phonology
Kabardianфыз[fəz]'woman'Corresponds to [ʂʷ] in Adyghe and Proto-Circassian
Macedonianфонетика[fɔnetika]'phonetics'See Macedonian phonology
Norwegianfilter[filtɛɾ]'filter'See Norwegian phonology
Persian فکر [fekr] 'thought'
Polish[14]futro [ˈfut̪rɔ] 'fur'See Polish phonology
Portuguese[15]fogo[ˈfoɡʊ]'fire'See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[16]foc[fo̞k]'fire'See Romanian phonology
Russian[17]орфография[ɐrfɐˈɡrafʲɪjə]'orthography'Contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Slovakfúkať[ˈfu̞ːkäc̟]'to blow'See Slovak phonology
Somalifeex[fɛħ]'wart'See Somali phonology
Spanish[18]fantasma[fã̠n̪ˈt̪a̠zma̠]'ghost'See Spanish phonology
Swahili kufa [kufɑ] 'to die'
Swedishfisk[ˈfɪsk]'fish'See Swedish phonology
Turkishsaf[säf]'pure'See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[19]Фастів[ˈfɑsʲtʲiw]'Fastiv'See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese[20]pháo[faːw˧ˀ˥]'firecracker'See Vietnamese phonology
Welshffon[fɔn]'stick'See Welsh phonology
West Frisianfol[foɫ]'full'See West Frisian phonology
Yi / fu[fu˧]'roast'
ZapotecTilquiapan[21]cafe[kafɘ]'coffee'Used primarily in loanwords from Spanish

See also



  • Altendorf, Ulrike; Watt, Dominic (2004), "The dialects in the South of England: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive, A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 181–196, ISBN 3-11-017532-0 
  • Bowerman, Sean (2004), "White South African English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive, A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 931–942, ISBN 3-11-017532-0 
  • Britain, David (2005), "Innovation diffusion: "Estuary English" and local dialect differentiation: The survival of Fenland Englishes", Linguistics, 43 (5): 995–1022 
  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 22 (1–2): 53–56, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618 
  • 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, Advances in Cognitive Linguistics, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-022645-4 
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223 
  • Danyenko, Andrii; Vakulenko, Serhii (1995), Ukrainian, Lincom Europa, ISBN 9783929075083 
  • Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874 
  • Gordon, Elizabeth; Maclagan, Margaret (2008), "Regional and social differences in New Zealand: Phonology", in Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd, Varieties of English, 3: The Pacific and Australasia, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 64–76, ISBN 3110208415 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 22 (2): 45–47, doi:10.1017/S002510030000459X 
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191 
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005), Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.), Blackwell 
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373 
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquiapan Zapotec" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 38 (1): 107–114, doi:10.1017/S0025100308003344 
  • Padgett, Jaye (2003), "Contrast and Post-Velar Fronting in Russian", Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 21 (1): 39–87, doi:10.1023/A:1021879906505 
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628 
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language, 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232 
  • Thelwall, Robin (1990), "Illustrations of the IPA: Arabic", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 20 (2): 37–41, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004266 
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English, 2: The British Isles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-24224-X 
  • Wood, Elizabeth (2003), "TH-fronting: The substitution of f/v for θ/ð in New Zealand English", New Zealand English Journal, 17: 50–56 
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