Sibilants

Sibilants are made by obstructing, not stopping, the air by bringing the blade of your tongue close to the roof of the mouth and making a hissing sound. These sounds are called fricatives or affricates. Affricates are a stop followed by a fricative.  The following table has pairs, the first in the pair is unvoiced, the second voiced.

Following the table are sections on how the sounds are made with practice sentences and audio. 

IPA Phonetic Beginning of Word Middle of Word End of Word
/s/ ‘s’ Sue” /su/ beaSt /bi:st/ “nooSe” /nus/
/z/ ‘z’ Zoo’ /zu/ “teaSed” /ti:zd/ “cauSE” /kɑz/
/ʃ/ ‘sh’ SHoe’ /ʃu/ “cuSHy” /kʊʃi/ “diSH” /dɪʃ/
/ʒ/ ‘zh’ “meaSUre” /mɛʒɚ/ “beiGE” /beɪʒ/
/t͡ʃ/ ‘ch’ CHew’ /t͡ʃu/ “catCHing” /kɑt͡ʃɪŋ/ “patCH” /pæt͡ʃ/
/d͡ʒ/ ‘j’ Jew’ /d͡ʒu/ “maJor” /meɪd͡ʒɚ/ “dodGE” /dɑd͡ʒ/

Aeolvelar Fricitive

Aeolvelar Affricate

Velar Fricitive

The velum is also called the soft pallet and is at the back of the roof of your mouth.  There are two fricatives that are made by restricting air at that place, ‘sh,’ /ʃ/  as in “shake” /ʃeɪk/ and ‘zh’ as “measure” /meIʒɚ/. They are formed in the same place in your mouth but /ʃ/ is unvoiced and /ʒ/ is voiced. 

The ‘sh’ /ʃ/ sound is common and can appear in any part of a word.  At the beginning: “shake” /ʃeɪk/, at the end: “wish” /wɪʃ/;  both beginning and end: “swish” /ʃwɪʃ/, and in the middle: “passion” /pɑʃ̩n̩/.  The ‘zh’ sound is less common and doesn’t happen at the beginning fo words it happens in the middle as in “treasure” /tɹeɪʒɚ/, or at the end as in “beige” /beiʒ/.  

Velar Affricate