Voiceless Labiodental Affricate
Get Voiceless Labiodental Affricate essential facts below. View Videos or join the Voiceless Labiodental Affricate discussion. Add Voiceless Labiodental Affricate to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Voiceless Labiodental Affricate
Voiceless labiodental affricate
Audio sample

A voiceless labiodental affricate ([pf] in IPA) is a rare affricate consonant that is initiated as a labiodental stop [p?] and released as a voiceless labiodental fricative [f].

The XiNkuna dialect of Tsonga has this affricate, as in [ti?pfu?u] "hippopotamuses" and aspirated [?pf?uka] "distance" (compare [?futsu] "tortoise", which shows that the stop is not epenthetic), as well as a voiced labiodental affricate, [bv], as in [?ilebvu] "chin". There is no voiceless labiodental fricative [f] in this dialect of Tsonga, only a voiceless bilabial fricative, as in [?u] "finished". (Among voiced fricatives, both [?] and [v] occur, however.)

German has a similar sound /p?f/ in Pfeffer ('pepper') and Apfel /'ap?f?l/ ('apple'). Phonotactically, this sound does not occur after long vowels, diphthongs or /l/. It differs from a true labiodental affricate in that it starts out bilabial but then the lower lip retracts slightly for the frication.

The sound occurs occasionally in English, in words where one syllable ends with "p" and the next starts with "f", like in "helpful" or "stepfather".


Features of the voiceless labiodental affricate:

  • Its manner of articulation is affricate, which means it is produced by first stopping the airflow entirely, then allowing air flow through a constricted channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • There are two variants of the stop component:
    • bilabial, which means it is articulated with both lips. The affricate with this stop component is called bilabial-labiodental.
    • labiodental, which means it is articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.
  • The fricative component of this affricate is labiodental, articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.
  • 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.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
German Standard[1] Pfirsiche 'peaches' Bilabial-labiodental. [1] Arisen as a reflex of /p/ in the 10th century High German sound shift.[2] See Standard German phonology
Swiss dialects[3][4] Soipfe ['z?oi?p?f?] 'soap' Bilabial-labiodental. The example word is from the Zurich dialect.
Italian Some central-south dialects[5] infatti [i?'pfätt?i] 'indeed' Labiodental, allophone of /f/ after nasals.[5] See Italian phonology
Luxembourgish[6] Kampf ['kmp?f] 'fight' Occurs only in German loanwords.[6] See Luxembourgish phonology
Ngiti[7] pfmv? [pf(b?)v] 'water spirit' Less commonly [p][8]
Tsonga XiNkuna dialect timpfuvu [ti?pfu?u] 'hippopotami' Contrasts with aspirated form.
Mandarin Xi'an dialect ?/? [pfu²¹] 'pig' From the labialization of retroflex stops in Middle Chinese


  1. ^ a b Mangold (2005), p. 45.
  2. ^ Fausto Cercignani, The Consonants of German: Synchrony and Diachrony, Milano, Cisalpino, 1979.
  3. ^ Fleischer & Schmid (2006), p. 244.
  4. ^ Marti (1985), p. ?.
  5. ^ a b Canepari (1992), p. 71.
  6. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 72.
  7. ^ Kutsch Lojenga (1992), p. 31.
  8. ^ Kutsch Lojenga (1992), p. 45.


  • Canepari, Luciano (1992), Il MªPi - Manuale di pronuncia italiana [Handbook of Italian Pronunciation] (in Italian), Bologna: Zanichelli, ISBN 88-08-24624-8
  • Fleischer, Jürg; Schmid, Stephan (2006), "Zurich German" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (2): 243-253, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002441
  • Gilles, Peter; Trouvain, Jürgen (2013), "Luxembourgish" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 67-74, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000278
  • Kutsch Lojenga, Constance (1994), Ngiti: a Central-Sudanic language of Zaire, Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, ISBN 978-3-927620-71-1
  • Mangold, Max (2005) [First published 1962], Das Aussprachewörterbuch (6th ed.), Mannheim: Dudenverlag, ISBN 978-3-411-04066-7
  • Marti, Werner (1985), Berndeutsch-Grammatik, Bern: Francke, ISBN 3-7720-1587-5

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes