The voiceless labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in a number of spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨f⟩.
Features of the voiceless labiodental fricative:
- Its manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
- Its place of articulation is labiodental, which means it is articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.
- Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
- It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
- Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the central–lateral dichotomy does not apply.
- The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.