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|Manners of articulation|
|This page contains phonetic information in IPA, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]|
|IPA chart affricate consonants|
|Where symbols appear in pairs, left—right represent the voiceless—voiced consonants|
|This table contains phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]|
IPA help • IPA key • audio help • chart • view
Affricates are consonants that begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as [t] or [d]) but release as a fricative (such as [s] or [z] or occasionally into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. English has two affricates, spelled ch and j.
The English sounds spelled "ch" and "j" (transcribed [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʒ] in IPA), German and Italian z [t͡s] and Italian z [d͡z] are typical affricates. These sounds are fairly common in the world's languages, as are other affricates with similar sounds, such as those in Polish and Chinese. However, other than [d͡ʒ], voiced affricates are relatively uncommon. For several places of articulation they are not attested at all.
Much less common are labiodental affricates, such as [p͡f] in German and Izi, or velar affricates, such as [k͡x] in Tswana (written kg) or High Alemannic Swiss German dialects. Worldwide, relatively few languages have affricates in these positions, even though the corresponding stop consonants [p], [k] are virtually universal. Also less common are alveolar affricates where the fricative is lateral, such as the [t͡ɬ] sound found in Nahuatl and Navajo. Some other Athabaskan languages, such as Dene Suline, have unaspirated, aspirated, and ejective series of affricates that may be dental, alveolar, postalveolar, or lateral, that is [t̪͡θ], [t̪͡θʰ], [t̪͡θʼ], [t͡s], [t͡sʰ], [t͡sʼ], [t͡ʃ], [t͡ʃʰ], [t͡ʃʼ], [t͡ɬ], [t͡ɬʰ], and [t͡ɬʼ].
Affricates are transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet by a combination of two letters, one for the stop element and the other for the fricative element. In order to show that these are parts of a single consonant, a tie bar is generally used. The tie bar appears most commonly above the two letters, but may be placed under them if it fits better there, or simply because this is more legible. Thus:
- ⟨p͡f, t͡sʼ, d͡z, t͡ɬ, d͡ɮ, t͡ʃʼ, d͡ʒ, t͡ɕʼ, d͡ʑ, t͡ʂʼ, d͡ʐ , k͡xʼ⟩
- ⟨p͡f, t͡sʼ, d͡z, t͡ɬ, d͡ɮ, t͡ʃʼ, d͡ʒ, t͡ɕʼ, d͡ʑ, t͡ʂʼ, d͡ʐ , k͡xʼ⟩.
A less common notation is to indicate the release of the affricate with a superscript:
- ⟨pᶠ, tˢ, dᶻ, tᶴ, dᶾ, kˣ⟩.
This is derived from the IPA convention of indicating other releases with a superscript. However, this convention is more typically used for a fricated release that is too brief to be considered a true affricate.
Though they are no longer standard IPA, ligatures are available in Unicode for the six common affricates
- ⟨ʦ, ʣ, ʧ, ʤ, ʨ, ʥ⟩.
Any of these notations distinguishes affricates from sequences of stop plus fricative, a difference which distinguishes words in languages such as Polish. However, in languages where there is no such distinction, such as English, the tie bars are commonly dropped.
In other phonetic transcription systems, such as the Americanist system, the affricates [t͡s], [d͡z], [t͡ʃ], [d͡ʒ], [t͡ɬ], [d͡ɮ] are transcribed respectively as ⟨c⟩ or ⟨¢⟩; ⟨j⟩, ⟨ƶ⟩, or (older) ⟨ʒ⟩; ⟨c⟩ or ⟨č⟩; ⟨ǰ⟩, ⟨ǧ⟩, or (older) ⟨ǯ⟩; ⟨ƛ⟩; and ⟨λ⟩ or ⟨dl⟩. Within the IPA, [tʃ] and [dʒ] are sometimes transcribed with the symbols for the palatal stops, ⟨c⟩ and ⟨ɟ⟩.
Affricates vs. stop-fricative sequences 
Affricates can contrast phonemically with stop-fricative sequences. Examples:
- Polish affricate /t͡ʂ/ in czysta 'clean (f.)' versus stop–fricative /tʂ/ in trzysta 'three hundred',
- Klallam affricate /t͡s/ in k’ʷə́nc 'look at me' versus stop–fricative /ts/ in k’ʷə́nts 'he looks at it'.
In the stop-fricative sequence, the stop has a release burst before the fricative starts; but in the affricate, the fricative element is the release. Stop-fricative sequences may have a syllable boundary between the two segments, but not necessarily.
In English, /ts/ and /dz/ (nuts, nods) are considered phonemically stop-fricative sequences because they may contain a morpheme boundary (for example, nuts = nut + s). But the sounds are phonetically affricates. The English affricate phonemes /t͡ʃ/ and /d͡ʒ/ do not require a morpheme boundary. The sounds are sometimes written with the unitary symbols ‹č› and ‹ǰ›, though it is not considered standard IPA notation. However, English speakers (depending on dialect) do distinguish affricates from stop–fricative sequences:
- cat shit /kæt.ʃɪt/ → [kʰæʔʃɪt̚]
- catch it /kæt͡ʃ.ɪt/ → [kʰæt͡ʃɪt̚]
The acoustic difference between affricates and stop+fricative sequences is rate of amplitude increase of the frication noise, which is known as the rise time. Affricates have a short rise time to the peak frication amplitude while sequences of stop and fricative have relatively longer rise time (Howell & Rosen 1983, Johnson 2003, Mitani et al. 2006).
List of affricates 
In the case of coronals, the symbols ‹t, d› are normally used for the stop portion of the affricate regardless of place. For example, [t͡ʂ] is commonly seen for [ʈ͡ʂ]. For legibility, the tie bars have been removed from the table entries.
The exemplar languages are ones that these sounds have been reported from, but in several cases they may need confirmation.
Sibilant affricates 
|Sound (voiceless)||IPA||Languages||Sound (voiced)||IPA||Languages|
|Voiceless alveolar affricate
|[ts]||German z, Hungarian,
Japanese つ/ツ [tsu͍], Pashto, Mayan K'iche'
|Voiced alveolar affricate
|[dz]||Hungarian, Japanese (some dialects)
|Voiceless dental affricate
|[t̪s̪]||Italian, Polish c
|Voiced dental affricate
|[d̪z̪]||Italian z, Polish dz
|Voiceless postalveolar affricate
|[t̠ʃ]||English, K'ich'e ch
Italian ci, ce
|Voiced postalveolar affricate
|[d̠ʒ]||English j, "soft g"
Italian gi, ge
|Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate
Japanese ち/チ [tɕi]
|Voiced alveolo-palatal affricate
Japanese じ/ジ, ぢ/ヂ [dʑi]
|Voiceless retroflex affricate
|Voiced retroflex affricate
Non-sibilant affricates 
Lateral affricates 
|Voiceless alveolar lateral affricate||[tɬ]||Cherokee, Nahuatl, Navajo, Tswana, etc.|
|Voiced alveolar lateral affricate||[dɮ]||Gwich'in, Sandawe. Not reported to ever contrast with a voiced alveolar lateral fricative [ɮ].|
|Voiceless palatal lateral affricate||[cʎ̥˔]||also [c]; as ejective [cʎ̥˔ʼ]/[cʼ] in Dahalo; as [tʎ̥˔]/[t] in Hadza.|
|Voiceless velar lateral affricate||[kʟ̝̊]||also [k]; as a prevelar in Archi and as an ejective [kʟ̝̊ʼ]/[kʼ] in Zulu, also exist in the Laghuu language.|
|Voiced velar lateral affricate||[ɡʟ̝]||Laghuu.|
Trilled affricates 
|Voiced prenasalized trilled bilabial affricate||[mbʙ]||Kele and Avava|
|Voiceless dental bilabially trilled affricate||[t̪ʙ̥]||Wari’|
|Voiced prenasalized trilled alveolar affricate||[ndr]||Fijian and Avava|
|Voiceless alveolar trilled affricate||[tʳ]||Ngkoth|
|Voiced alveolar trilled affricate||[dʳ]||Nias|
Heterorganic affricates 
While most affricates are homorganic, Navajo and Chiricahua Apache have a heterorganic alveolar-velar affricate [tx] (McDonough & Ladefoged 1993, Hoijer & Opler 1938). Other heterorganic affricates are reported for Northern Sotho (Johnson 2003) and other Bantu languages such as Phuthi, which has alveolar-labiodental affricates [tf] and [dv], and Sesotho, which has bilabial-palatoalveolar afficates [pʃ] and [bʒ]. Djeoromitxi (Pies 1992) has [ps] and [bz].
Phonation, coarticulation and other variants 
The more common of the voiceless affricates are all attested as ejectives as well: [tθʼ, tsʼ, tɬʼ, tʃʼ, tɕʼ, tʂʼ, cʎ̥ʼ, kxʼ, kʟ̝̊ʼ]. Several Khoisan languages such as !Xóõ are reported to have voiced ejective affricates, but these may actually be consonant clusters: [dtsʼ, dtʃʼ]. Affricates are also commonly aspirated: [ɱp̪fʰ, tθʰ, tsʰ, tɬʰ, tʃʰ, tɕʰ, tʂʰ], occasionally murmured: [ɱb̪vʱ, d̠ʒʱ], and sometimes prenasalized: [ⁿdz, ⁿdzʱ, ᶯɖʐ, ᶯɖʐʱ]. Labialized, palatalized, velarized, and pharyngealized affricates also occur. Affricates may also have phonemic length, that is, affected by a chroneme, as in Italian and Karelian.
See also 
- For example, in Niesler, Louw, & Roux (2005) [Phonetic analysis of Afrikaans, English, Xhosa and Zulu using South African speech databases http://www.ajol.info/index.php/salas/article/viewFile/6562/13287]
- Hoijer, Harry; & Opler, Morris E. (1938). Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache texts. The University of Chicago publications in anthropology; Linguistic series. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Howell Peter; & Rosen, Stuart. (1983). Production and perception of rise time in the voiceless affricate/fricative distinction. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 73 (3), 976–984.
- Johnson, Keith. (2003). Acoustic & auditory phonetics (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
- Maddieson, Ian. (1984). Patterns of sounds. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-26536-3
- McDonough, Joyce; & Ladefoged, Peter. (1993). Navajo stops. UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, 84, 151-164.
- Mitani, Shigeki; Kitama, Toshihiro; & Sato, Yu. (2006). Voiceless affricate/fricative distinction by frication duration and amplitude rise slope. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120 (3), 1600-1607.