Coronal consonant

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Tongue shape

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

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

Places of articulation[edit]

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.

Familiar coronal consonants
(missing: linguolabial, alveolo-palatal, retroflex)
Name of the consonant Example IPA
z Voiced alveolar fricative zoo /zuː/
s Voiceless alveolar fricative sea /siː/
ð Voiced dental fricative that /ðæt/
θ Voiceless dental fricative thud /θʌd/
ʒ Voiced postalveolar fricative vision /vɪʒən/
ʃ Voiceless postalveolar fricative 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 Lateral alveolar approximant lift /lɪft/
r Alveolar trill Spanish perro /pero/
ɾ Alveolar tap Spanish pero /peɾo/

See also[edit]