Friar Huberd’s Three Possible Lisps

(AKA “sigmatism” or “the fricative praealveolar sibilant ‘s’”)


I.  Interdental / Frontal / “Dentalized” Lisp: /s/ and /z/, sounded as a long “th” because the tongue opens an air passage between the front teeth (the “childish lisp” common in children up to age four and a half), or as a hard “th” because the tongue touches the front teeth enough to mute the /s/ and /z/.


II.  Lateral Lisp: /s/ and /z/, sounded “wet” or “slushy” because the tongue lies close to the /l/ sound and air passes over the tongue’s sides.


III. Palatal Lisp: /s/ and /z/, sounded through air flowing around the tongue’s midsection touching the palate near the “k” position.


Bowen, Caroline, “Lisping: When /s/ and /z/ are hard to say,” 1999.  Available online at  Viewed 4 April 2008.

Honová, Jaroslava, Petr Jindra, and Josef Pešák, “Analysis of Articulation of Fricative Praealveolar Sibilant ‘S’ in Control Population,” Biomedical Papers, 147:2 (2003), 239-42.  Available online at  Viewed 4 April 2008.