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From Teflpedia

⟨th⟩ is an English digraph formed by the letters T and H. This represents dental fricative sounds, both voiced dental fricative and unvoiced dental fricative, which are commonly known as “th sounds.”

THe dominant pronunciation is as an unvoiced dental fricative. However, in grammar words, it tends to be pronounced as a voiced dental fricative, e.g. “the,” "this", "that", "these", "those", "than", "there". There are a number of exceptions where "th" is pronounced as an unvoiced alveolar stop /t/.

Form[edit | edit source]

Th is also found in spelling between boundaries, where a T forms the coda of one syllable, and H the onset of the next syllable. This is not a digraph:

anthill, lighthouse, masthead, hothead, posthumous, etc.

Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Voiced dental fricative[edit | edit source]

Grammar words:

Content words tend to belong to one or more of the following categories:

  • verbs: breathe, clothe, bathe, mouth, sooth, smooth.
  • In the middle of words before ⟨er⟩: altogether, another, bather, blather, brother, either, father, farther, feather, further, heather, lather, leather, mother, neither, other, rather, soother, slither, smoother, tether, together, weather, wether, whether. (but not ether.)
  • Plurals that can undergo a voiced mutation to produce a voiced plural: baths, mouths, truths, etc.
  • Misc nouns: lathe, booth,

Unvoiced dental fricative[edit | edit source]

Unvoiced alveolar stop[edit | edit source]

  • "th" as /t/: AnthonyBrE, Esther, Neanderthal /niˈændərtɑːl/, Thailand /ˈtaɪlænd/, Thames /temz/, Theresa, Thomas, Thompson, Thomson, thyme.

References[edit | edit source]