Affricate consonant explained

Affricates are consonants that begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as or) but release as a fricative (such as or or occasionally into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel.

Samples

The English sounds spelled "ch" and "j" (transcribed and in IPA), German and Italian z and Italian z are typical affricates. These sounds are fairly common in the world's languages, as are other affricates with similar sounds, such as those in Polish and Chinese. However, other than, voiced affricates are relatively uncommon. For several places of articulation they are not attested at all.

Much less common are labiodental affricates, such as in German and Izi, or velar affricates, such as in Tswana (written kg) or High Alemannic Swiss German dialects. Worldwide, only a few languages have affricates in these positions, even though the corresponding stop consonants are virtually universal. Also less common are alveolar affricates where the fricative is lateral, such as the sound found in Nahuatl and Totonac. Many Athabaskan languages (such as Dene Suline and Navajo) have series of coronal affricates that may be unaspirated, aspirated, or ejective in addition to being interdental/dental, alveolar, postalveolar, or lateral, i.e.,,,,,,,,,,,, and .

Notation

Affricates are often represented by the two sounds of which they consist . However, single signs for the affricates may be desirable, in order to stress that they function as unitary speech segments (i.e. phonemes). In this case, the IPA recommends joining the two elements of the affricate by a tie bar . Though they are no longer standard IPA, ligatures are available in Unicode for the six common affricates,,,,, .

Another method is to indicate the release of the affricate with a superscript:, . This is derived from the IPA convention of indicating other releases with a superscript.

In other phonetic transcription systems, such as the Americanist system, the affricates,,,,, are represented as or ;,, or (older) ; or ;,, or (older) ; ; and or respectively. Within the IPA, and are sometimes transcribed with the symbols for the palatal stops, and .

Affricates vs. stop-fricative sequences

Affricates can contrast phonemically with stop-fricative sequences. Examples:

Polish affricate in czysta 'clean (f.)' versus stop–fricative in trzysta 'three hundred', and

Klallam affricate in 'look at me' versus stop–fricative in 'he looks at it'.

In the stop-fricative sequence, the stop has a release burst before the fricative starts; but in the affricate, the fricative element is the release. Stop-fricative sequences may have a syllable boundary between the two segments, but not necessarily.

In English, and (nuts, nods) are considered phonemically stop-fricative sequences because they may contain a morpheme boundary (for example, nuts = nut + s). But the sounds are phonetically affricates. The English affricate phonemes and do not require a morpheme boundary. The sounds are sometimes written with the unitary symbols and, though it is not considered standard IPA notation. However, English speakers (depending on dialect) do distinguish affricates from stop–fricative sequences:

Here debuccalizes to a glottal stop before in many dialects, making it phonetically distinct from .

The acoustic difference between affricates and stop+fricative sequences is rate of amplitude increase of the frication noise, which is known as the rise time. Affricates have a short rise time to the peak frication amplitude while sequences of stop and fricative have relatively longer rise time (Howell & Rosen 1983, Johnson 2003, Mitani et al. 2006).

List of affricates

In the case of coronals, the symbols are normally used for the stop portion of the affricate regardless of place. For example, is commonly seen for . For legibility, the tie bars have been removed from the table entries.

The exemplar languages are ones that these sounds have been reported from, but in several cases they may need confirmation.

Sibilant affricates

Sound (voiceless)IPALanguagesSound (voiced)IPALanguages
Voiceless alveolar affricate Italian, German z
Hungarian, Polish c
Serbo-Croatian ц/c
Japanese つ/ツ
Pashto, Mayan K'iche'
Voiced alveolar affricate Italian z
Hungarian, Polish dz
Macedonian ѕ/dz
Japanese (some dialects)
Voiceless postalveolar affricate English, K'ich'e ch
Italian ci
German tsch
Hungarian cs
Serbo-Croatian ч/č
Spanish ch
Voiced postalveolar affricate English j, "soft g"
Italian j, "soft g"
German dsch
Hungarian dzs
Serbo-Croatian џ/dž
Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate Polish ć
Serbo-Croatian ћ/ć
Japanese ち/チ
Mandarin j
thai จ
Voiced alveolo-palatal affricate Polish dź
Serbo-Croatian ђ/đ
Japanese じ/ジ, ぢ/ヂ
Voiceless retroflex affricate Polish cz
Slovak č
Mandarin zh
Voiced retroflex affricate Polish dż
Slovak dž
Some Northwest Caucasian languages such as Abkhaz contrast all eight of these.

When a language only has one type of affricate, it is usually a sibilant; this is the case in e.g. some Arabic dialects, most dialects of Spanish, and Thai .

Non-sibilant affricates

Sound (Voiceless)IPALanguagesSound (Voiced)IPALanguages
Voiceless bilabial affricatePresent allophonically in Taos
Voiceless bilabial-labiodental affricateGerman, Teke
Voiceless labiodental affricateXiNkuna TsongaVoiced labiodental affricateXiNkuna Tsonga
Voiceless dental affricateLuo, Dene Suline, Cun, some varieties of Venetian and other North Italian dialectsVoiced dental affricateDene Suline
Voiceless retroflex nonsibilant affricateMapudungun, MalagasyVoiced retroflex nonsibilant affricateMalagasy
Voiceless palatal affricateSkolt Sami, HungarianVoiced palatal affricateSkolt Sami, Hungarian, some Spanish dialects). Not reported to contrast with a voiced palatal plosive
Voiceless velar affricateTswana, High Alemannic GermanVoiced velar affricate
Voiceless uvular affricateNez Percé, Wolof, Bats, KabardianVoiced uvular affricate
Voiceless epiglottal affricateHaida. Not reported to contrast with an epiglottal stop

Lateral affricates

SoundIPALanguages
Voiceless alveolar lateral affricateNahuatl, Navaho, Tswana, etc.
Voiced alveolar lateral affricateGwich'in, Sandawe. Not reported to ever contrast with a voiced alveolar lateral fricative .
Voiceless palatal lateral affricatealso [c]; as ejective /[cʼ] in Dahalo; as /[t] in Hadza
Voiceless velar lateral affricatealso [k]; as a prevelar in Archi and as an ejective /[kʼ] in Zulu
Voiced velar lateral affricate

Trilled affricates

See main article: Trilled affricate.

SoundIPALanguages
Voiced prenasalized trilled bilabial affricateKele and Avava
Voiceless dental bilabially trilled affricateWari’
Voiced prenasalized trilled alveolar affricateFijian and Avava
Voiceless alveolar trilled affricateNgkoth
Voiced alveolar trilled affricateNias

Heterorganic affricates

While most affricates are homorganic, Navajo and Chiricahua Apache have a heterorganic alveolar-velar affricate (McDonough & Ladefoged 1993, Hoijer & Opler 1938). Other heterorganic affricates are reported for Northern Sotho (Johnson 2003) and other Bantu languages such as Phuthi, which has alveolar-labiodental affricates and, and Sesotho, which has bilabial-palatoalveolar afficates and . Djeoromitxi (Pies 1992) has and .

Phonation, coarticulation and other variants

The more common of the voiceless affricates are all attested as ejectives as well: . Several Khoisan languages such as !Xóõ are reported to have voiced ejective affricates, but these may actually be consonant clusters: . Affricates are also commonly aspirated:, occasionally murmured:, and sometimes prenasalized: . Labialized, palatalized, velarized, and pharyngealized affricates also occur. Affricates may also have phonemic length, that is, affected by a chroneme, as in Italian and Karelian.

References

  1. Hoijer, Harry; & Opler, Morris E. (1938). Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache texts. The University of Chicago publications in anthropology; Linguistic series. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  2. Howell Peter; & Rosen, Stuart. (1983). Production and perception of rise time in the voiceless affricate/fricative distinction. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 73 (3), 976–984.
  3. Johnson, Keith. (2003). Acoustic & auditory phonetics (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
  4. Maddieson, Ian. (1984). Patterns of sounds. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-26536-3
  5. McDonough, Joyce; & Ladefoged, Peter. (1993). Navajo stops. UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, 84, 151-164.
  6. Mitani, Shigeki; Kitama, Toshihiro; & Sato, Yu. (2006). Voiceless affricate/fricative distinction by frication duration and amplitude rise slope. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120 (3), 1600-1607.

See also

External links