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IPA – number 103
IPA – text t
IPA – image [[File:|{{{imagesize}}}]]
Entity t
Kirshenbaum t
Sound sample

The voiceless alveolar plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiceless dental, alveolar, and postalveolar plosives is t, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is t. The dental version can be distinguished with the underbridge diacritic (; see voiceless dental plosive), and the Extensions to the IPA have a double underline diacritic which can be used to explicitly specify an alveolar pronunciation ().

The [t] sound is a very common sound cross-linguistically; the most common consonant phonemes of the world's languages are [t], [k] and [p]. Most languages have at least a plain [t], and some distinguish more than one variety. The only languages known without a [t] are Hawaiian (outside of Ni‘ihau; Hawaiian uses a glottal stop as a 'replacement'), and colloquial Samoan, which also lacks an [n].Template:Fact



Features of the voiceless alveolar plosive:

Varieties of the voiceless alveolar plosive

IPA Description
t tenuis t
aspirated t
palatalized t
labialized t
ⁿt prenasalized t
pharyngealized t
unreleased t
ejective t


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Chinese Mandarin /dà [ta˥˩] 'big' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Standard Mandarin
Czech toto [toto] 'this' See Czech phonology
Dutch[1] taal [taːl] 'language' See Dutch phonology
English tick [tʰɪk] 'tick' See English phonology
Finnish parta [pɑrtɑ] 'beard' Allophone of the voiceless dental plosive. See Finnish phonology
French[2] tordu [tɔʀdy] 'crooked' See French phonology
German Tochter [ˈtʰɔxtɐ] 'daughter' See German phonology
Greek τρία [ˈtria] 'three' See Modern Greek phonology
Hungarian tutaj [tutɒj] 'raft' See Hungarian phonology
Japanese[3] 特別/tokubetsu [tokɯbetsɯ] 'special' See Japanese phonology
Korean 턱/teok [tʰʌk̚̚ ] 'jaw'See Korean phonology
Maltese tassew [tas'sew] 'true, correct'
Norwegian tann [tɑn] 'tooth' See Norwegian phonology
Nunggubuyu[4] [taɾawa] 'greedy'
Slovak to [to] 'that'
Swedish tåg [ˈtʰoːg] 'train' See Swedish phonology
Thai /ta [taː˥˧] 'eye'
Vietnamese ti [ti] 'flaw, defect'See Vietnamese phonology

See also

  • List of phonetics topics



  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73-76 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (2): 45-47 
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005). Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.). Blackwell. 
  • Okada, Hideo (1991), "Phonetic Representation:Japanese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 21 (2): 94-97 



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