The voiced retroflex fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʐ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is z`.Like all the retroflex consonants, the IPA symbol is formed by adding a rightward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of a zee (the letter used for the corresponding alveolar consonant).
Features of the voiced retroflex fricative:
- Its manner of articulation is sibilant fricative, which means it is generally produced by channeling air flow along a groove in the back of the tongue up to the place of articulation, at which point it is focused against the sharp edge of the nearly clenched teeth, causing high-frequency turbulence.
- 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 sub-apical 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.
In the following transcriptions, diacritics may be used to distinguish between apical [ʐ̺] and laminal [ʐ̻].
See also 
- Hamann, Silke (2004), "Retroflex fricatives in Slavic languages", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 53–67, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001604
- Hanulíková, Adriana; Hamann, Silke (2010), "Slovak", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 40 (3): 373–378, doi:10.1017/S0025100310000162
- Lunsford, Wayne A. (2001), "An overview of linguistic structures in Torwali, a language of Northern Pakistan", M.A. thesis, University of Texas at Arlington
- Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquiapan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107–114, doi:10.1017/S0025100308003344