Alveolar and postalveolar approximants

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Alveolar approximant
ɹ
ð̠˕
IPA number 151
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ɹ
Unicode (hex) U+0279
X-SAMPA r\ or D_r_o
Kirshenbaum r
Braille ⠼ (braille pattern dots-3456)
Sound

Postalveolar approximant
ɹ̠
Sound

The 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 approximants is ⟨ɹ⟩, a lowercase letter r rotated 180 degrees. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is ⟨r\⟩.

There is no separate symbol for the dental approximant (as in Spanish nada) in the International Phonetic Alphabet, which most scholars transcribe with the symbol for voiced dental fricative, ⟨ð⟩.

The most common sound represented by the letter r in English is the postalveolar approximant, pronounced a little more back and transcribed more precisely in IPA as ⟨ɹ̠⟩, but ⟨ɹ⟩ is often used for convenience in its place. For further ease of typesetting, English phonemic transcriptions might use the symbol ⟨r⟩ even though the former symbol represents the alveolar trill in phonetic transcription.

Features

Features of the alveolar approximant:

Occurrence

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Armenian Eastern[citation needed] սուրճ [suɹtʃ] 'coffee'
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic Alqosh dialect [ɹɑbɑ] 'many' Corresponds to /ɾ/ in most other Assyrian dialects.
Tyari dialect
Burmese[1][2] တိစ္ဆာန် [təɹeɪʔsʰàɴ] 'animal' Occurs only in loanwords, mostly from Pali or English
Chukchi[citation needed] ңирэк [ŋiɹek] 'two'
Danish Standard[3][4][5] ved [ʋe̝ð̠˕ˠ] 'at, by' Velarized and laminal; allophone of /d/ in the syllable coda.[3][4][5] For few speakers, it may be a non-sibilant fricative instead.[5] See Danish phonology
Dutch Central Netherlandic door [doːɹ] 'through' Allophone of /r/ in the syllable coda for some speakers. See Dutch phonology
Western Netherlandic
Leiden rat [ɹat] 'rat' Corresponds to /r/ in other dialects.
English most American dialects[6] red About this sound [ɹ̠ʷɛd]  'red' Often retracted and labialized. May also be a labialized retroflex approximant. For convenience it is often transcribed ⟨r⟩. See English phonology and Rhoticity in English.
Australian
Received Pronunciation
Faroese róður [ɹɔuwʊɹ] 'rudder'
German Siegerland[7] Rebe [ˈɹeːbə] 'vine shoot' Most other dialects use a voiced uvular fricative or uvular trill. See German phonology
Silesian German
Upper Lusatian
Westerwald[8]
Greek[9] μέρα ra [ˈmɛɹɐ] 'day' Allophone of /r/ in rapid or casual speech. See Modern Greek phonology
Icelandic bróðir [ˈproːð̠˕ir] 'brother' Usually apical. See Icelandic phonology
Igbo[10] rí [ɹí] 'eat' Post-alveolar
Limburgish Montfortian dialect[11] maintenant [ˈmæ̃ːn˦ð̠˕ənɑ̃ː˨] 'now'
Persian فارسی [fɒːɹˈsiː] 'Persian' Allophone of /ɾ/ before /d/, /l/, /s/, /ʃ/, /t/, /z/, and /ʒ/. See Persian phonology.
Portuguese Inland Brazilian Centro-Sul's metro cities[12] amor [aˈmoɹ] 'love', 'dear' Allophone of [ɾ ~ ʁ] in the syllable coda. May also be retroflex, post-alveolar and/or rhotic vowel. See Portuguese phonology.
General Brazilian[13] marketing [ˈmaɹke̞tɕĩ] 'marketing' Appears in loanwords, even by speakers who do not use it as an allophone of [ɾ ~ ʁ]. Generally not as onset or final e.g. trailer [ˈtɾejle̞ʁ].
Greater São Paulo[14] permitir [pe̞ɹmiˈtɕiɾ] 'to allow', 'to enable'
Spanish Some dialects[15] doscientos [do̞ɹˈθje̞n̪t̪o̞s] 'two hundred' Allophone of /s/ in the syllable coda. See Spanish phonology
Belizean invierno [imˈbjeɹno] 'winter' Sometimes occurs as an allophone of [ɾ ~ r] at syllable coda.
Puerto Rican Sometimes occurs as an allophone of [ɾ ~ r] at syllable coda.
Swedish Central Standard[16] starkast [ˈs̪t̪äɹːkäs̪t̪] 'strongest' Allophone of /r/. Some speakers have [ɾ] ([r] when geminated) in all positions. See Swedish phonology
Vietnamese Saigon[17] ra [ɹa] 'go out' In free variation with [ɾ], [r] and [ʐ]. See Vietnamese phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[18] r [ɹd̪ɨ] 'pass' Allophone of /ɾ/ before any consonant

As an allophone of other rhotic sounds, [ɹ] occurs in Edo, Fula, Murinh-patha, and Palauan.[19]

See also

References

Bibliography

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