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IPA – number 134
IPA – text ʃ
IPA – image [[File:|{{{imagesize}}}]]
Entity ʃ
Kirshenbaum S
Sound sample

The voiceless palato-alveolar fricative or domed postalveolar fricative (IPA [ʃ]) is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages.

The sound occurs in many languages and, as in English, Italian and French, where it may have simultaneous lip rounding ([ʃʷ]), although this is rarely indicated.



The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is <ʃ>, the letter esh introduced by Isaac Pitman (not to be confused with the integral sign ∫), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is S. An alternative symbol used in some older and American linguistic literature is š, an s with háček, originating with the Czech alphabet of Jan Hus (also used in Gaj's Latin alphabet as well as scientific and ISO 9 transliterations of Cyrillic).


Features of the voiceless postalveolar fricative:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian shtëpi [ʃtəpi] 'house'
Arabic Standard[1] شمس [ʃams]'sun' See Arabic phonology
Armenian քաշ [kaʃ]'weight'
Basque kaixo [kaiʃo] 'hello'
Bulgarian юнашки [junaʃki]'heroically'
Croatian šuma [ʃûma] 'forest'
Czech kaše [kaʃɛ] 'mash' See Czech phonology
Dutch[2] sjabloon [ʃabloun] 'template' May be [sʲ] instead. See Dutch phonology
English sheep [ʃiːp] 'sheep' See English phonology
Esperanto ŝelko [ʃelko] 'suspenders' See Esperanto phonology
Faroese sjúkrahús [ʃʉukrahʉus] 'hospital'
French[3] cher [ʃɛʁ] 'dear, expensive' See French phonology
Galician viaxe [bjaʃe] 'way'
Georgian[4] არი [ˈʃɑɾi]'quibbling'
German schön [ʃøːn] 'beautiful' See German phonology
Hebrew שלום [ʃalom] 'peace' See Hebrew phonology
Hungarian segítség [ʃɛgiːtʃeːg] 'help' See Hungarian phonology
Ilokano siák [ʃak] 'I'
Irish sí [ʃiː] 'she' See Irish phonology
Italian[5] fasce [ˈfaʃʃe] 'bands' See Italian phonology
Kabardian шыд [ʃɛd] 'donkey' Contrasts with a labialized form
Kabyle ciwer [ʃiwər] 'to consult'
Latvian šalle [ˈʃalle] 'scarf'
Lingala shakú [ʃakú] 'Afrikan gray parrot'
Lithuanian šarvas [ˈʃarvas] 'armor'
Macedonian што [ʃtɔ] 'what'
Maltese x'ismek [ʃismek] 'what is your name?'
Norwegian Bokmål sky [ʃyː] 'cloud'See Norwegian phonology
Nynorsk sjukehus [ˈʃʉːkeˈhʉːs] 'hospital'
Occitan Auvergnat maissant [meˈʃɔ̃] 'bad'
Limousin son [ʃũ] 'his'
Gascon maishant [maˈʃan] 'bad'
Portuguese[6] cheirar [ʃeiˈɾaɾ] 'to smell' See Portuguese phonology
Romani Vlax deš [deʃ] 'ten'
Romanian şefi [ʃefʲ] 'bosses' See Romanian phonology
Scottish Gaelic seinn [ʃeiɲ] 'sing'
Serbian двориште/dvorište [ˈdʋɔriʃtɛ] 'courtyard'
Slovenian šóla [ʃola] 'school'
Somali shan[ʃan] 'five' See Somali phonology
Spanish Andalusian Spanish[7] chico [ˈʃiko̞]'boy'
Rioplatense Spanish mayo [maˈʃo]'Month of May'
Chilean Spanish chileno [ʃiˈle̞no̞]'Chilean'
Swahili kushoto [kuʃoto] 'trees'
Tagalog siya [ʃa] 'he/she'
Toda[8] [pɔʃ] 'language'
Tunica šíhkali [ˈʃihkali] 'stone'
Turkish güneş [gyˈneʃ] 'sun' See Turkish phonology
Urdu شکریہ [ʃʊkriːaː] 'thank you' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Uyghur sheher [ʃɛhɛr] 'city'
Welsh Standard siarad [ˈʃɑrad]'speak'
Southern dialects mis [miːʃ]'month'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[9] xana [ʃana] 'how?'
Zhuang cib [ʃǐp] 'ten'
Western Lombard Canzés fescia [feʃa] 'nuisance'

The sound in Russian denoted by <ш> is commonly transcribed as a postalveolar fricative but is actually a laminal retroflex fricative.

See also

  • List of phonetics topics



  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90-94 
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005). Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.). Blackwell. 
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquipan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107-114 
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117-121 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Vakhtang, Chikovani (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255-264 
  • Thelwall, Robin (1990), "Illustrations of the IPA: Arabic", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 20 (2): 37-41 



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