Voiced retroflex flap

The voiced retroflex flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɽ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r`.

Voiced retroflex flap
IPA Number125
Entity (decimal)ɽ
Unicode (hex)U+027D
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235)
Audio sample


Features of the voiced retroflex flap:

  • Its manner of articulation is tap or flap, which means it is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (usually the tongue) is thrown against another.
  • Its place of articulation is retroflex, which prototypically means it is articulated subapical (with the tip of the tongue curled up), but more generally, it means that it is postalveolar without being palatalized. That is, besides the prototypical subapical articulation, the tongue contact can be apical (pointed) or laminal (flat).
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • 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.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bengali[1] গাড়ি [ɡäɽiː] 'car' Apical postalveolar.[1] See Bengali phonology
Dutch[2][3] North Brabant[4] riem [ɽim] 'belt' A rare word-initial variant of /r/.[5][6] Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology
Northern Netherlands[4][7]
Elfdalian luv [ɽʏːv] 'permission'
Enga la [jɑɽɑ] 'shame'
Gokana[8] bele [bēɽē] 'we' Apical postalveolar. Allophone of /l/, medially between vowels within the morpheme, and finally in the morpheme before a following vowel in the same word. It can be a postalveolar trill or simply [l] instead.[8]
Hausa bara [bəɽä] 'servant' Represented in Arabic script with ⟨ر⟩
Hindustani[9] Hindi ड़ा [bəɽäː] 'big' Apical postalveolar; contrasts unaspirated and aspirated forms.[9] See Hindustani phonology
Urdu بڑا
Japanese[10][11][12] /kokoro [ko̞ko̞ɾ̠o̞] 'heart' Apical postalveolar, may be alveolar [ɾ] instead.[10][11][12] See Japanese phonology
Nepali[13] भाडा [bʱäɽä] 'rent' Apical postalveolar; postvocalic allophone of /ɖ, ɖʱ/.[14] See Nepali phonology
Norwegian Central dialects[15] blad [bɽɑː] 'leaf' Allophone of /l/ and /r/. In Urban East Norwegian it often alternates with the alveolar [ɾ], save for a small number of words.[15][16] See Norwegian phonology
Eastern dialects[15][16]
Odia[17] ଗାଡ଼ି [ɡäɽiː] 'car' Apical postalveolar; postvocalic allophone of /ɖ, ɖʱ/.[17]
Portuguese Some European speakers[18] falar [fɐˈläɽ] 'to speak' Allophone of /ɾ/. See Portuguese phonology
Brazilian caipira speakers[19][20] madeira [mäˈd̪eɽə] 'wood'
Some sertanejo speakers[21] gargalhar [ɡäɽɡäˈʎäɽ] 'to chortle'
Punjabi[22] Gurmukhi ਘੋੜਾ [kòːɽɑ̀ː] 'horse'
Shahmukhi گوڑا
Shipibo[23] roro [ˈɽo̽ɽo̽] 'to break' Apical postalveolar; possible realization of /r/.[23]
Swedish Some dialects[16] blad [bɽɑː(d)] 'leaf' Allophone of /l/. See Swedish phonology
Tamil நாடு [naːɽɯ] 'country' Intervocalic and word-medial allophone of /ʈ/. See Tamil phonology
Warlpiri jarda [caɽa] 'sleep' Transcribes /ɽ/ as rd.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Mazumdar (2000:57)
  2. ^ Goeman & van de Velde (2001:91, 94–95, 97, 101, 107)
  3. ^ Verstraten & van de Velde (2001:50–51, 53–55)
  4. ^ a b Goeman & van de Velde (2001:107)
  5. ^ Goeman & van de Velde (2001:95, 97, 101, 107)
  6. ^ Verstraten & van de Velde (2001:50–51, 53–54)
  7. ^ Verstraten & van de Velde (2001:54)
  8. ^ a b L.F. Brosnahan. "Outlines of the phonology of the Gokana dialect of Ogoni" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
  9. ^ a b Tiwari (2004:?)
  10. ^ a b Okada (1999:118)
  11. ^ a b Vance (2008:89)
  12. ^ a b Labrune (2012:92)
  13. ^ Khatiwada (2009:377)
  14. ^ Khatiwada (2009:374)
  15. ^ a b c Heide (2010:3–44)
  16. ^ a b c Kristoffersen (2000:24)
  17. ^ a b Masica (1991:107)
  18. ^ Lista das marcas dialetais e ouros fenómenos de variação (fonética e fonológica) identificados nas amostras do Arquivo Dialetal do CLUP (in Portuguese)
  19. ^ (in Portuguese) Acoustic-phonetic characteristics of the Brazilian Portuguese's retroflex /r/: data from respondents in Pato Branco, Paraná. Irineu da Silva Ferraz. Pages 19–21
  20. ^ (in Portuguese) Syllable coda /r/ in the "capital" of the paulista hinterland: sociolinguistic analisis. Cândida Mara Britto LEITE. Page 111 (page 2 in the attached PDF)
  21. ^ (in Portuguese) Rhotic consonants in the speech of three municipalities of Rio de Janeiro: Petrópolis, Itaperuna and Paraty. Pages 22 and 23.
  22. ^ Bashir, Elena; J. Conners, Thomas (2019). "3.3.1". A Descriptive Grammar of Hindko, Panjabi, and Saraiki. Vol. 4 of Mouton-CASL Grammar Series. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 24. ISBN 9781614512257. Retroflex /ṇ/ and /ḷ/ (/ɳ/ and /ɭ/ in IPA) contrast with dental /n/ and /l/ in Lahore Panjabi, although this distinction is weakening with the younger generation of urban speakers. In this grammar we represent the retroflexion of nasals and laterals, while bearing in mind that in the current Panjabi {Shahmukhi} orthography /ṇ/ is represented only sporadically, and /ḷ/ is not represented at all.
  23. ^ a b Valenzuela, Márquez Pinedo & Maddieson (2001:282)


External linksEdit