Coronal consonant

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Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. Coronal consonants are consonants articulated with the flexible front part of the tongue. Only the coronal consonants can be divided into apical (using the tip of the tongue), laminal (using the blade of the tongue), domed (with the tongue bunched up), or subapical (using the underside of the tongue), as well as a few rarer orientations,[1] because only the front of the tongue has such dexterity. Coronals have another dimension, grooved, that is used to make sibilants in combination with the orientations above.

Places of articulation

Coronal places of articulation include the dental consonants at the upper teeth, the alveolar consonants at the upper gum (the alveolar ridge), the various postalveolar consonants (domed palato-alveolar, laminal alveolo-palatal, and apical retroflex) just behind that, the true retroflex consonants curled back against the hard palate, and linguolabial consonants with the tongue against the upper lip. Alveolo-palatal and linguolabial consonants sometimes behave as dorsal and labial consonants, respectively, rather than as coronals.

Coronal sibilants
of articulation
ʂ retroflex
secondary palatalized coronal
ɕ alveolo-palatal
ʃ palato-alveolar
labialized coronal
velarized coronal
pharyngealized coronal
voice-onset time aspirated coronal


In Arabic and Maltese philology, the sun letters represent coronal consonants.


Familiar coronal consonants
Name of the consonant Language Example IPA
z Voiced alveolar sibilant English zoo /zuː/
s Voiceless alveolar sibilant sea /siː/
ð Voiced dental fricative that /ðæt/
θ Voiceless dental fricative thud /θʌd/
ʒ Voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant vision /ˈvɪʒən/
ʃ Voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant she /ʃiː/
n Alveolar nasal name /neɪm/
d Voiced alveolar stop day /deɪ/
t Voiceless alveolar stop tea /tiː/
ɹ Alveolar approximant reef /ɹiːf/
l Alveolar lateral approximant lift /lɪft/
r Alveolar trill Spanish perro /ˈpero/
ɾ Alveolar flap pero /ˈpeɾo/

Australian Aboriginal

In Australian Aboriginal languages, coronals contrast with peripheral consonants.

Australian coronal consonants
Laminal Apical
Alveopalatal Dental Alveolar Retroflex
Stop c ~ t̠ʲ t ʈ
Nasal ɲ ~ n̠ʲ n ɳ
Lateral ʎ ~ l̠ʲ l ɭ

See also


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