Fricatives


There are 9 fricative sounds in English:

/f/ /v/ /θ/ /ð/ /s/ /z/ /ʃ/ /ʒ/ /h/

MOUTH POSITIONS

fricative-positions

How do you make fricative sounds?

  • Fricatives are made by obstructing a part of the vocal tract.
  • The air is then squeezed out through the narrowed vocal tract.
  • The air is never fully blocked, it is constantly released – think of friction.

DRILL

– Repeat the following sentences:

/f/ The fox fought off the ferret for food

/v/ Victor never lived or drove in Venezuela.

/θ/ Think about both authors’ theories thoroughly.

/ð/ My father and brother share these clothes.

/s/ Sophie and Jess sell essential briefcases to businessmen.

/z/ Zoe has crazy zebra-striped designer shoes.

/ʃ/ Surely you wish Welsh stations sold champagne?

/ʒ/ He measures his Asian television exposure at leisure.

/h/ He helped to fund the hospital’s helicopter ahead of the election.

EXERCISE

– Which fricative sound is pronounced for the sounds in bold?

1. leisure beige genre
2. van love average
3. this bother Northern
4. zone choose dessert
5. heart ahead home
6. coffee laugh photo
7. shame friction bash
8. thanks path maths
9. star pass ace

1. /ʒ/  2. /v/  3. /ð/  4. /z/  5. /h/  6. /f/  7. /ʃ/  8. /θ/  9. /s/
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