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Voiced dental stop

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Voiced dental stop

The voiced dental stop is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨⟩. This is the letter for the voiced alveolar stop with the "bridge below" diacritic meaning dental.


Features of the voiced dental stop:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a stop.
  • Its place of articulation is dental, which means it is articulated with the tongue at either the upper or lower teeth, or both. (Most stops and liquids described as dental are actually denti-alveolar.)
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • 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.


True dental consonants are relatively uncommon. In the Romance languages, /d/ is often called dental. However, the rearmost contact (which is what gives a consonant its distinctive sound) is actually alveolar, or perhaps denti-alveolar. The difference between the /d/ sounds of the Romance languages and English is not so much where the tongue contacts the roof of the mouth as which part of the tongue makes the contact. In English, it is the tip of the tongue (such sounds are termed apical), whereas in a number of Romance languages, it is usually the blade of the tongue just behind the tip (such sounds are called laminal).

Laminal (denti-)alveolar
Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Armenian Eastern[1] դեմք /demk’ ) 'face'
Western տալ /tal [d̪ɑl] 'to give'
Basque diru [d̪iɾu] 'money'
Belarusian[2] падарожжа [päd̪äˈroʐʐä] 'travel' See Belarusian phonology
Bengali দাম [d̪am] 'price' Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms. See Bengali phonology
Catalan[3] dit [ˈd̪it̪] 'finger' See Catalan phonology
Dinka[4] dhek [d̪ek] 'distinct' Contrasts with alveolar /d/.
Dutch Belgian ding [d̪ɪŋ] 'thing'
English Irish[5] that [d̪æt] 'that' Corresponds to /ð/ in other dialects. See English phonology
Broad SAE[6] dawn [d̪oːn] 'dawn' Some speakers. Corresponds to ] in other dialects.
New York [d̪ɔn] May be alveolar ] for some speakers.
Ulster[8] dream [d̪ɹim] 'dream' Allophone of /d/ before /r/, in free variation with ].
French[9] dais [d̪ɛ] 'canopy' See French phonology
Georgian[10] კუ [ˈkʼud̪i] 'tail'
Hindi[11] दाल [d̪ɑːl] 'lentils' Hindi contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms. See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Irish dorcha [ˈd̪ˠɔɾˠəxə] 'dark' See Irish phonology
Italian[12] dare [ˈd̪äre] 'to give' See Italian phonology
Kyrgyz[13] дос [d̪os̪] 'friend'
Latvian[14] drudzis [ˈd̪rud̪͡z̪is̪] 'fever' See Latvian phonology
Marathi गड [d̪əɡəɖ] 'stone' Marathi contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms. See Marathi phonology
Pashto ﺪﻮﻩ [ˈd̪wɑ] 'two'
Polish[15] dom ) 'home' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[16] dar [ˈd̪aɾ] 'to give' Likely to have allophones among native speakers, as it may affricate to ], ], ] and/or ] or lenite to ] in certain environments. See Portuguese phonology
Russian[17] дышать [d̪ɨ̞ˈʂätʲ] 'to breathe' Contrasts with a palatalized voiced alveolar stop. See Russian phonology
Spanish[18] hundido [ũn̪ˈd̪ið̞o̞] 'sunken' See Spanish phonology
Swedish[19] dag [d̪ɑːɡ] 'day' See Swedish phonology
Turkish dal [d̪äɫ] 'twig' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[20] дерево [ˈd̪ɛrɛ̝wɔ] 'tree' See Ukrainian phonology
Urdu[11] دودھ [d̪uːd̪ʰ] 'milk' Urdu contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms. See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[21] 'dan' [d̪aŋ] 'countryside'

See also



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