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Thread: th & kh

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    #1

    th & kh

    I have downloaded an IPA phonetic chart but now I have seen the letters t and k with a small letter h next to it.

    I thought that the th would be the sound in the word think but on the IPA chart that sound is like a zero with a line through it.

    Can anyone please explain these to me?

    Thanks

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    #2

    Re: th & kh

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne59 View Post
    I have downloaded an IPA phonetic chart but now I have seen the letters t and k with a small letter h next to it.

    I thought that the th would be the sound in the word think but on the IPA chart that sound is like a zero with a line through it.

    Can anyone please explain these to me?

    Thanks
    Hi

    Th sounds like in the word think, and its phonetic representation is - as you have already noticed- like a zero with a line through it! - a dental fricative consonantal sound :θ

    θ is the simbol representing the letters th in words like: thing, thought, thin, thick, etc.


    Here is a thorough explanation on this item:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_dental_fricative
    Last edited by Teia; 06-Feb-2009 at 21:42.

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    #3

    Re: th & kh

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne59 View Post
    I have downloaded an IPA phonetic chart but now I have seen the letters t and k with a small letter h next to it.

    I thought that the th would be the sound in the word think but on the IPA chart that sound is like a zero with a line through it.

    Can anyone please explain these to me?

    Thanks
    "th" is [ɵ]. The t and k you've seen, and p, are followed by a little h to mark a little burst of air - confusingly called 'aspiration'. If you hold a thin piece of paper (air-mail paper or tissue or a cigarrete paper) in front of your lips when you say "pin" and "spin" you'll notice that the first is aspirated*. This is hard to hear, and if you try to reproduce it you'll probably end up sounding less native-like than when you started - so don't try. We don't; it just happens.

    The absence of aspiration can make a voice sound slightly different. Audrey Hepburn didn't aspirate her stop consonants, betraying her Dutch ancestry.

    b

    *If you know what I'm talking about, [ph] and [p] are allophones of the /p/ phoneme in English.
    Last edited by BobK; 07-Feb-2009 at 14:49. Reason: Fix typo

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    #4

    Re: th & kh

    The absence of aspiration can make a voice sound slightly different. Audrey Hepburn didn't aspirate her stop consonants, betraying her Dutch ancestry.

    Hi BobK

    Very interesting approach! I have always thought that Audrey Hepburn had Danish ancestry. Mea culpa

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    #5

    Re: th & kh

    Quote Originally Posted by Teia View Post
    The absence of aspiration can make a voice sound slightly different. Audrey Hepburn didn't aspirate her stop consonants, betraying her Dutch ancestry.

    Hi BobK

    Very interesting approach! I have always thought that Audrey Hepburn had Danish ancestry. Mea culpa
    You may well be right (I'm always confusing Danish/Dutch). Or my source may have got it wrong (Dan Everett, a linguist, but not writing for a very scholarly market!)

    b

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