In phonetics and phonology, a dental stop is a type of consonantal sound, made with the tongue in contact with the upper teeth (hence dental), held tightly enough to block the passage of air (hence a stop consonant).
Dental and alveolar stops are often conflated. Acoustically, the two types of sounds are similar, and it is rare for a language to have both types. The International Phonetic Alphabet does not provide separate symbols for dental stops, but simply uses the diacritic ⟨ ̪ ⟩ (U+032A ̪ combining bridge below) attached to the corresponding alveolar symbol. As a result, it is common for researchers working in the majority of languages with only one type or the other to simply use the alveolar symbols indifferently for both types, unless they specifically want to call attention to the distinction.
The most common sounds are the stops and and the nasal . More generally, several kinds are distinguished:
Famous quotes containing the words stop and/or dental:
“Youve gotta tell em! Soylent Green is people! Weve got to stop them! Somehow!”
—Stanley Greenberg, U.S. screenwriter, and Richard Fleischer. Thorn (Charlton Heston)
“[T]hose wholemeal breads ... look hand-thrown, like studio pottery, and are fine if you have all your teeth. But if not, then not. Perhaps the rise ... of the ... factory-made loaf, which may easily be mumbled to a pap betweeen gums, reflects the sorry state of the nations dental health.”
—Angela Carter (19401992)