The typology of voiceless fricatives across Chinese dialects

Jialin Zhang, Mingxing Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This study examines the typology of voiceless fricatives across 201 Chinese dialects, focusing on their inventories, place contrasts in two vowel contexts [_i] and [_a], as well as the phonotactics of voiceless fricatives in terms of their combinations with the two vowels. The results show an average of 4.11 fricatives per dialect, with [s f ɕ x] as the most frequently observed. As for fricative inventories, [f s ɕ x] is the most frequent and [f s ɕ ʂ x] the next. For voiceless fricatives, the [_a] context is generally more likely to license place contrasts than the [_i] context. In terms of phonotactics, fricatives at different places show different patterns in their combinations with vowels, with [ɕ ʃ] most frequently followed by [i] while [f s ʂ x h] by [a].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-157
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Journal of Phonetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • Voiceless fricative
  • Place contrast
  • Phonotactics
  • Chinese dialects


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