Palatal approximant

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Palatal approximant
j
IPA number 153
Encoding
Entity (decimal) j
Unicode (hex) U+006A
X-SAMPA j
Kirshenbaum j
Braille ⠚ (braille pattern dots-245)
Sound

The voiced palatal approximant or the non-syllabic close front unrounded vowel is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is j. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is j, or equivalently, i_^, and in the Americanist phonetic notation it is y. Because the name of the letter jay may be confusing when used to refer to this sound, the palatal approximant is sometimes called yod instead, as in the phonological history terms yod-dropping and yod-coalescence.

In the writing systems used for most of the languages of Central, Northern and Eastern Europe, the letter j denotes the palatal approximant, as in German Jahr 'year'. This is the IPA usage, and although it may be counter-intuitive for English speakers, it does occur with this sound in a few English words, such as hallelujah and Jägermeister.

In grammars of Ancient Greek, the palatal approximant, which was lost early in the history of Greek, is sometimes written as ι̯ (iota with the inverted breve below, the non-syllabic diacritic or marker of a semivowel).[1]

Features[edit]

Features of the palatal approximant:

  • Its manner of articulation is approximant, which means it is produced by narrowing the vocal tract at the place of articulation, but not enough to produce a turbulent airstream. The type of approximant is glide or semivowel. The term glide emphasizes the characteristic of movement (or 'glide') of /j/ from the /i/ vowel position to a following vowel position. The term semivowel emphasizes that, although the sound is vocalic in nature, it is not 'syllabic' (it does not form the nucleus of a syllable).
  • Its place of articulation is palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to the hard palate.
  • 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.

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe ятӀэ About this sound [jatʼa]  'dirt'
Arabic Standard يوم [jawm] 'day' See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[2] յուղ [juʁ] 'fat'
Afrikaans ja [jaː] 'yes'
Azerbaijani yuxu [juxu] 'dream'
Basque bai [baj] 'yes'
Bulgarian майка mayka [ˈmajkɐ] 'mother'
Catalan[3] seient [səˈjen] 'seat' See Catalan phonology
Chechen ялх / yalx [jalx] 'six'
Chinese Cantonese jat9 [jɐt˨ʔ] 'day' See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin yā [ja˥] 'duck' See Mandarin phonology
Corsican ghjesgia [ˈjeːʒa] 'church' Also occurs in the Gallurese dialect
Czech je [jɛ] 'is' See Czech phonology
Danish jeg [jä] 'I' See Danish phonology
Dutch jaar [jäːr] 'year' See Dutch phonology
English you [juː] 'you' See English phonology
Esperanto jaro [jaro] 'year' See Esperanto phonology
Finnish jalka [ˈjɑlkɑ] 'leg' See Finnish phonology
French yeux [jø] 'eyes' See French phonology
German Joch [jɔx] 'yoke' See German phonology
Hebrew ילד [ˈjeled] 'boy' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hungarian játék [jaːteːk] 'game' See Hungarian phonology
Kabardian йи [ji] 'game'
Irish[4] ghearrfadh [ˈjɑːɾˠhəx] 'would cut' See Irish phonology
Italian[5] ione [ˈjone] 'ion' See Italian phonology
Japanese 焼く yaku [jaku͍] 'to bake' See Japanese phonology
Korean 야구 yagu [ˈjaːɡu] 'baseball' See Korean phonology
Macedonian крај [kraj] 'end' See Macedonian phonology
Malay sayang [sajaŋ] 'love'
Marathi [jəʃ] 'success'
Norwegian jul [jʉːl] 'Christmas' See Norwegian phonology
Polish[6] jutro About this sound [ˈjut̪rɔ]   'tomorrow' See Polish phonology
Portuguese All dialects[7] ia [ˈbɔj.jɐ] 'buoy', 'float' Allophone of both /i/ and /ʎ/,[8] as well as a very common epenthetic sound before coda sibilants in some dialects. Brazilian dialects that have [ɪ] prefer [ɪ̯] when in coda position. See Portuguese phonology
Some dialects[8] os olhos [ujˈzɔj ~ zɔj.ju] 'the eyes'
Romanian iar [jar] 'again' See Romanian phonology
Russian я ya [ja] 'I' See Russian phonology
Spanish[9] viuda [ˈbjuð̞ä] 'widow' Allophone of both /i/ and /ʝ/. See Spanish phonology
Swedish jag [ˈjɑːɡ] 'I' See Swedish phonology
Turkish yol [joɫ] 'way' See Turkish phonology
Turkmen ýüpek [jypek] 'silk'
Ubykh [ajəwʃqʼa] 'you did it' See Ubykh phonology
Ukrainian їжак, jižak [jiˈʒɑk] 'hedgehog' See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese de [jɛ] 'cinnamon' Southern dialect. Corresponds to northern /z/. See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian jas [jɔs] 'coat'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[10] yan [jaŋ] 'neck'

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1–2): 53–56, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618 
  • Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191 
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373 
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquiapan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107–114, doi:10.1017/S0025100308003344 
  • Ó Sé, Diarmuid (2000), Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne, Dublin: Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann, ISBN 0-946452-97-0  (Irish)
  • Smyth, Herbert Weir (1920), A Greek Grammar for Colleges, Calvin College Library 
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628 
  • Thelwall, Robin; Sa'Adeddin, M. Akram (1990), "Arabic", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 20 (2): 37–41, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004266