* French

The standard French consonant system is considered to consist of 12 obstruents (six plosives and six fricatives) and 8 sonorants (three nasals, two liquids, and three semivowel glides). The obstruents can be classified in voiced and voiceless pairs, with strong periodicity (voicing) normally occurring in the phonemically voiced members.

The plosives are p b t d k g:

	Symbol		Word			Transcription
	p		pont			po~
	b		bon			bo~
	t		temps			ta~
	d		dans			da~
	k		quand			ka~
	g		gant			ga~
The voiceless plosives (/p t k/) are unaspirated except in stressed syllables preceding close vowels, where the extreme position of the tongue delays voice onset and produces turbulence.
There are six fricatives, f v s z S Z; there is also j, which may be considered a fricative or a glide:
	f		femme			fam
	v		vent			va~
	s		sans			sa~
	z		zone			zon
	S		champ			Sa~
	Z		gens			Za~
	j		ion			jo~
There are three nasals, m n J, found in words considered to be genuinely French. A fourth nasal, N, is only found in loanwords, except in Southern French dialects, where it ocurs in some contexts after nasal vowels:
	m		mont			mo~
	n		nom			no~
	J		oignon			oJo~

	N		camping			ka~piN
There are two liquids, l R, and three vowel glides, w H and j. The vowel glides may be realised as fricative following voiceless obstruents.
	l		long			lo~
	R		rond			Ro~
	w		coin			kwe~
	H		juin			ZHe~
	j		pierre			pjER
The vowel system comprises 12 oral vowels, i e E a A O o u y 2 9 @, and 4 nasal vowels, e~ a~ o~ 9~, exemplified as follows:
	i		si			si
	e		ses			se
	E		seize			sEz
	a		patte			pat

	A		pâte			pAt
	O		comme			kOm
	o		gros			gRo
	u		doux			du

	y		du			dy
	2		deux			d2
	9		neuf			n9f
	@		justement		Zyst@ma~

	e~		vin			ve~
	a~		vent			va~
	o~		bon			bo~
	9~		brun			bR9~
When they are functional, the load of the oppositions a-A, e~-9~, e-E, o-O, 2-9 may be very low for certain speakers, and there is a tendency towards neutralisation. When they are not functional there is a strong tendency in unstressed syllables towards indetermination. "Indeterminacy" symbols have been agreed to cover occurrences of these phonemes or sounds:
	E/	= e or E
	A/	= a or A
	&/	= 2 or 9
	O/	= o or O
	U~/	= e~ or 9~
There are contextually determined vowel length differences, nasal vowels being long before following consonants, and all vowels being long before R and voiced fricatives.

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Maintained by J.C. Wells. Created 1995 09 19. Corrected 1996 03 18