Dental Fricatives in the Speech of Educated Singaporeans

Shanti Marion Moorthy

English Language Honours AE, NIE, 1997


This paper deals with an examination of dental fricatives in the speech of educated Singaporeans.

The data for the experimental investigation consists of the voiceless dental fricatives of five females and three males in formal and informal contexts of speech.

The study attempts to find a reliable method to accurately identify on a spectrogram, the presence of voiceless dental fricatives and voiceless alveolar plosives. In so doing, it hopes to generate conclusions about the frequency of dental fricative replacement by alveolar plosives, if any, and how this frequency is affected by the formality of the context. The speculation that Singaporean do not always use a voiceless alveolar plosive, but rather, a phoneme in-between that of a voiceless dental fricative and a voiceless alveolar plosive, to replace a voiceless dental fricative, will also be explored.