Voiced retroflex approximant

The voiced retroflex approximant is a type of consonant used in some languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɻ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r\`. The IPA symbol is a turned lowercase letter r with a rightward hook protruding from the lower right of the letter.

Voiced retroflex approximant
IPA Number152
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɻ
Unicode (hex)U+027B
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠼ (braille pattern dots-3456)
Labialised voiced retroflex approximant
Audio sample

The velar bunched approximant found in some varieties of Dutch and American English sounds similar to the retroflex approximant but it has a very different articulation.

Features edit

A schematic mid-sagittal section of an articulation of a voiced retroflex approximant [ɻ]

Features of the voiced retroflex approximant:

Occurrence edit

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Chinese Mandarin 日光 guāng [ɻ̺͢ɻ̺̞̍˥˩ku̯ɑ͢ŋ˥] 'sunlight' Apical.[1] As an initial in free variation between fricative and approximant, but never has friction as strong as a true fricative (Chinese "fully muddy"/全浊-class) to trigger a (free or conditional) devoicing or postvoicing into /ʐ̥ʱ/, nor weak enough to become an apical vowel. As a rime it's an apical vowel that is frequently coarticulated with a close near-back unrounded vowel /ɨ̟/ (thus phonetically [ɻ̺͢ɨ̟͡ɻ̺̞̍˥˩ku̯ɑ͢ŋ˥], but this phonetic representation should be avoided as the tie-bar for coarticulation may be misunderstood as a sliding into an erhua rhotic vowel, a phonemically distinct syllable in Chinese), but it can be prolonged indefinitely and never truly developed into an /ɨ̟/. Both the consonant and the vowel may gain some friction especially when prolonged to force a more "distinct/clear" effect in teaching or when swearing, and thus it may be inaccurately transcribed as fricative [ʐ] both as initial and as rime (when precision is necessary, a true fricative in Wu Chinese may be transcribed as [ʐ̥ʱ], as that's how it's pronounced in the first syllable). See Standard Chinese phonology.

The character 日 (sun), when pronounced with an overall strengthened friction (on both z and ɿ), may likely be understood as a profanity, thus pronouncing as an approximant is important; but the two do not form a minimal pair, because the profanity can also be pronounced with little friction (though in some other dialects they further evolved to form a minimal pair).

Derung Tvrung [tə˧˩ɻuŋ˥˧] 'Derung'
English Some American dialects red [ɻ(ʷ)ɛd] 'red' Labialized (pronounced with lips rounded). See Pronunciation of English /r/
Some Hiberno-English dialects
Some West Country English
Enindhilyagwa angwura [aŋwuɻa] 'fire'
Faroese[2] hoyrdi [hɔiɻʈɛ] 'heard' Allophone of /ɹ/.[2] Sometimes voiceless [ɻ̊].[2] See Faroese phonology
Greek Cretan (Sfakia and Mylopotamos variations) region[3] γάλα la [ˈɣaɻa] 'milk' Intervocalic allophone of /l/ before /a o u/. Recessive. See Modern Greek phonology
Inuktut[disambiguation needed] Nattilingmiutut kiuřuq /kiuɻuq/ 'she replies'
Malayalam ആഴം [aːɻɐm] 'depth'
Mapudungun[4] rayen [ɻɜˈjën] 'flower' Possible realization of /ʐ/; may be [ʐ] or [ɭ] instead.[4]
Portuguese Many Centro-Sul registers cartas [ˈkaɻtə̥̆s] 'letters' Allophone of rhotic consonants (and sometimes /l/) in the syllable coda. Mainly[5] found in rural São Paulo, Paraná, south of Minas Gerais and surrounding areas, with the more common and prestigious realization in metropolitan areas being [ɹ] and/or rhotic vowel instead. As with [ɽ], it appeared as a mutation of [ɾ].[6][7][8] See Portuguese phonology.
Caipira temporal [tẽɪ̯̃pʊˈɾaɻ] 'rainstorm'
Conservative Piracicabano grato [ˈgɻatʊ̥] 'thankful' (m.)
Tamil[9] தமிழ் [t̪əˈmɨɻ] 'Tamil' See Tamil phonology. May be merged with [ɭ] for some modern speakers.
Western Desert Pitjantjatjara dialect Uluu [ʊlʊɻʊ] 'Uluru'
Yaghan rho [ˈwaɻo] 'cave'

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Lee, Wai-Sum (1999). An articulatory and acoustical analysis of the syllable-initial sibilants and approximant in Beijing Mandarin (PDF). Proceedings of the 14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. S2CID 51828449.
  2. ^ a b c Árnason (2011), p. 115.
  3. ^ Trudgill (1989), pp. 18–19.
  4. ^ a b Sadowsky et al. (2013), p. 90.
  5. ^ Brandão, Silvia Figueiredo (15 December 2007). "Nas trilhas do -R retroflexo". Signum: Estudos da Linguagem. 10 (2): 265. doi:10.5433/2237-4876.2007v10n2p265.
  6. ^ Ferraz, Irineu da Silva (2005). Características fonético-acústicas do /r/ retroflexo do portugues brasileiro : dados de informantes de Pato Branco (PR) (Thesis). hdl:1884/3955.
  7. ^ (in Portuguese) Syllable coda /r/ in the "capital" of the paulista hinterland: sociolinguistic analisis. Archived 2013-09-26 at the Wayback Machine Cândida Mara Britto LEITE. Page 111 (page 2 in the attached PDF)
  8. ^ (in Portuguese) Callou, Dinah. Leite, Yonne. "Iniciação à Fonética e à Fonologia". Jorge Zahar Editora 2001, p. 24
  9. ^ Keane (2004), p. 111.

References edit

  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4
  • Keane, Elinor (2004), "Tamil", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 111–116, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001549
  • Sadowsky, Scott; Painequeo, Héctor; Salamanca, Gastón; Avelino, Heriberto (2013), "Mapudungun", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 87–96, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000369
  • Trudgill, Peter (1989), "The Sociophonetics of /l/ in the Greek of Sphakiá", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 15 (2): 18–22, doi:10.1017/S0025100300002942

External links edit