Voiceless alveolar and postalveolar approximants

Voiceless alveolar approximant
IPA Number 151 402A
X-SAMPA r\_0

The voiceless alveolar approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the alveolar and postalveolar voiceless approximants is ⟨ɹ̥⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r\_0.

Features [ edit ]

Features of the voiceless alveolar approximant:

  • Its manner of articulation is approximant, which means it is produced by narrowing the vocal tract at the place of articulation, but not enough to produce a turbulent airstream.
  • Its place of articulation is alveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, termed respectively apical and laminal.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.

Occurrence [ edit ]

Alveolar [ edit ]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
English Various


cream [ˈkʰɹ̥iːm] ˈcreamˈ Laminal; allophone of /ɹ/ after aspirated consonants, as other approximants /l, w, j/ do. May be a post-alveolar fricative ɹ̠̊˔ instead. See English phonology.

Faroese [1] okkurt [ˈɔʰkʊɹ̥t] 'around' Allophone of /r/.[1] See Faroese phonology

Postalveolar [ edit ]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bengali [2] আবার [ˈäbäɹ̠̊] 'again' Apical; possible allophone of /ɹ/ in the syllable coda.[3] See Bengali phonology

Notes [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b Árnason (2011), p. 115.
  2. ^ Khan (2010), p. 224.
  3. ^ Khan (2010), pp. 223–224.

References [ edit ]

  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4
  • Khan, Sameer ud Dowla (2010), "Bengali (Bangladeshi Standard)" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 40 (2): 221–225, doi:10.1017/S0025100310000071

External links [ edit ]

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