are produced by placing the blade of the tongue
The tongue is a muscular hydrostat on the floors of the mouths of most vertebrates which manipulates food for mastication. It is the primary organ of taste , as much of the upper surface of the tongue is covered in papillae and taste buds. It is sensitive and kept moist by saliva, and is richly...
(the top surface just behind the tip of the tongue) against the upper incisor
Incisors are the first kind of tooth in heterodont mammals. They are located in the premaxilla above and mandible below.-Function:...
s. This differs from a dental consonant
in that the tip of the tongue is placed between
the upper and lower front teeth, and therefore may articulate
In linguistics, manner of articulation describes how the tongue, lips, jaw, and other speech organs are involved in making a sound. Often the concept is only used for the production of consonants, even though the movement of the articulars will also greatly alter the resonant properties of the...
with both the upper and lower incisors, while a dental consonant is articulated with the tongue against the back
of the upper incisors.
Interdental consonants may be transcribed with both a subscript and a superscript bridge, as [n̪͆], if precision is required, but it is more common to transcribe them as advanced alveolars, for example [n̟].
Interdental consonants are rare cross-linguistically. Interdental realisations of otherwise dental or alveolar consonants may occur as idiosyncrasies or as coarticulatory effects of a neighbouring interdental sound. The most commonly occurring interdental consonants are the non-sibilant fricatives (sibilants may be dental, but do not appear as interdentals). Apparently, interdentals do not contrast with dental consonants within any language.
Voiced and voiceless interdental fricatives [ð̟, θ̟] appear in American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....
as the initial sounds of words like 'then' and 'thin'. In British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...
, these consonants are more likely to be dental [ð, θ].
An interdental [l̟] occurs in some varieties of Italian
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...
, and may also occur in some varieties of English, though the distribution and usage of interdental [l̟] in English are not clear.
In most Indigenous Australian languages, there is a series of "dental" consonants, written th
, and (in some languages) lh
. These are always laminal
A laminal consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the blade of the tongue, which is the flat top front surface just behind the tip of the tongue on the top. This contrasts with apical consonants, which are produced by creating an obstruction with the tongue apex only...
(that is, pronounced by touching with the blade of the tongue), but may be formed in one of three different ways, depending on the language, on the speaker, and on how carefully the speaker pronounces the sound. These are interdental
with the tip
of the tongue visible between the teeth, as in th
in American English; interdental
with the tip of the tongue down behind the lower teeth, so that the blade
is visible between the teeth; and denti-alveolar, that is, with both the tip and the blade making contact with the back of the upper teeth and alveolar ridge, as in French t