There are some important differences between English and Icelandic fricatives, as the following table shows (fortis to the left, lenis to the right of each pair):
English fricatives have five articulatory positions:
These positions are shown in RED.
- labio-dental: f,v - fine, vine
- dental: þ,ð - think, this
- alveolar: s,z - price, prize
- post-alveolar: , - mission, vision
- glottal: h - hard
(Compare this figure with the figures showing articulations on pp.50-51, in Roach, figs. 14a b c.)
You can click on the table to navigate.
- - Remember - different vowel length, too!Another point to remember is that English v is a much STRONGER sound than Icelandic v, which often almost disappears in words like próf and prófa. English v is LABIO-DENTAL: bottom lip FIRMLY against top teeth. Keep the top lip out of the way, otherwise you'll make it sound like w (See w )
- - Make sure your f is unvoiced.
the - this - these - that - those - they - them - their - there - then - than - thusstart with ð-, not þ-.
Like v, English ð is much STRONGER than its Icelandic counterpart. Icelanders often lose the ð-sound in words like:
maður, áður, móðir, blaðiðDon't let this happen in English words like
rather, either, mother, bathe.
(The Icelandic consonants , x and are those heard in the words hjól, sagt and saga.)
Note that in this table, Icelandic j is classed as a fricative. This is the usual practice of Icelandic phoneticians. In English, however, we class it as an approximant (see ). We have seen that the lenis Icelandic fricatives are, generally speaking, much weaker than their English counterparts: they, too, might well be called approximants.
Affricates start with a plosive (t or d) and end with a fricative ( or ).
English affricates are
fortis , andas heard in the words church and judge.
large and larch ,not only by the voicing of , but also by clipping the vowel before !
purge and perch ,
We'll come back to afficates in the section on sibilants
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