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 na) in the International Phonetic Alphabet, which most scholars transcribe with the symbol for da voiced dental fricative, that is ⟨ 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 ⟩. For ease of typesetting, English phonemic transcriptions might use the symbol ⟨ r ⟩ instead of ⟨ ɹ ⟩, even though the former symbol represents the alveolar trill in phonetic transcription.
Features [ edit ]
Features of the alveolar approximant:
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. Its
place of articulation is alveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, termed respectively and apical . laminal 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 ]
Tyari and Alqosh dialects
/ in most other Assyrian dialects ɾ/
Burmese [1 ] [2 ]
Occurs only in loanwords, mostly from Pali or English
[3 ] [4 ] [5 ]
[ʋe̝ð̠˕ˠ] 'at, by'
Velarized and laminal; allophone of
/d/ in the syllable coda. [3 ] [4 ] For few speakers, it may be a [5 ] non-sibilant fricative instead. See [5 ] Danish phonology
Dutch Central Netherlandic
/r/ in the syllable coda for some speakers. See Dutch phonology
/r/ in other dialects.
American dialects [6 ]
[ɹ̠ʷɛd] ( · help ) info 'red'
retracted and labialized. May also be a labialized retroflex approximant. For convenience it is often transcribed ⟨r ⟩. See English phonology and Rhoticity in English.
Siegerland [7 ]
[ˈɹeːbə] 'vine shoot'
Most other dialects use a
voiced uvular fricative or uvular trill. See German phonology
Westerwald [8 ]
Greek [9 ]
μέ ρα mé ra
/r/ in rapid or casual speech. See Modern Greek phonology
Usually apical. See
Igbo [10 ]
Montfortian dialect [11 ]
/ɾ/ before /d/, /l/, /s/, /ʃ/, /t/, /z/, and /ʒ/. See Persian phonology.
Portuguese Inland Brazilian
Centro-Sul's metro cities [12 ]
[aˈmoɹ] 'love', 'dear'
[ in the syllable coda. May also be ~ ɾ ] ʁ retroflex, post-alveolar and/or rhotic vowel. See Portuguese phonology.
Brazilian [13 ]
Appears in loanwords, even by speakers who do not use it as an allophone of
[. Generally not as ~ ɾ ] ʁ onset or final e.g. trailer [ˈtɾejle̞ʁ].
Greater São Paulo [14 ]
[pe̞ɹmiˈtɕiɾ] 'to allow', 'to enable'
Spanish Some dialects
[do̞ɹˈθje̞n̪t̪o̞s] 'two hundred'
/s/ in the syllable coda. See Spanish phonology
invie rno [
Sometimes occurs as an allophone of
[ at syllable coda. ~ ɾ ] r
Puerto Rican Sometimes occurs as an allophone of
[ at syllable coda. ~ ɾ ] r
Swedish Central Standard
/r/. Some speakers have [ ( ɾ] [ when geminated) in all positions. See r] Swedish phonology
[ɹa] 'go out'
In free variation with
[, ɾ] [ and r] [. See ʐ] Vietnamese phonology
Tilquiapan [18 ]
/ɾ/ before any consonant
As an allophone of other
rhotic sounds, [ɹ] occurs in Edo, Fula, Murinh-patha, and Palauan. [19 ]
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
Bibliography [ edit ]
Arvaniti, Amalia (2007), "Greek Phonetics: The State of the Art" (PDF), Journal of Greek Linguistics 8: 97–208, doi: 10.1075/jgl.8.08arv
Bakkes, Pierre (2007), Mofers Waordebook (in Dutch), ISBN 978-90-9022294-3
Basbøll, Hans (2005), The Phonology of Danish, ISBN 0-19-824268-9
Boyce, S.; Espy-Wilson, C. (1997), "Coarticulatory stability in American English /r/", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 101 (6): 3741–3753, Bibcode: 1997ASAJ..101.3741B, doi: 10.1121/1.418333, PMID 9193061
Browman, C.P.; Goldstein, L. (1995), "Gestural syllable position in American English", in Bell-Berti, F.; Raphael, L.J., Producing Speech: Contemporary Issues: for Katherine Safford Harris, New York: AIP, pp. 9–33
Cornyn, William (1944), Outline of Burmese Grammar, Supplement to Language, vol. 20 no. 4, Baltimore: Linguistic Society of America
Delattre, P.; Freeman, D.C. (1968), "A dialect study of American R's by x-ray motion picture", Linguistics 44: 29–68
Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–142, ISBN 9780521637510
Fougeron, C (1999), "Prosodically conditioned articulatory variation: A Review", UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 97, pp. 1–73
Grønnum, Nina (2003), Why are the Danes so hard to understand?
Hallé, Pierre A.; Best, Catherine T.; Levitt, Andrea (1999), "Phonetic vs. phonological influences on French listeners' perception of American English approximants", Journal of Phonetics 27 (3): 281–306, doi: 10.1006/jpho.1999.0097
Ikekeonwu, Clara I. (1999), "Igbo", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 108–110, ISBN 9780521637510
Kohler, Klaus (1995), Einführung in die Phonetik des Deutschen, Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag
Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8.
Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquiapan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107–114, doi: 10.1017/S0025100308003344
Recasens, Daniel (2004), "The effect of syllable position on consonant reduction (evidence from Catalan consonant clusters)", Journal of Phonetics 32 (3): 435–453, doi: 10.1016/j.wocn.2004.02.001
Thompson, Laurence C. (1959), "Saigon Phonemics", Language (Linguistic Society of America) 35 (3): 454–476, JSTOR 411232
Watkins, Justin (2001), "Burmese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 31 (2): 291–95, doi: 10.1017/S0025100301002122
Zawadzki, P.A.; Kuehn, D.P. (1980), "A cineradiographic study of static and dynamic aspects of American English /r/", Phonetica 37 (4): 253–266, doi: 10.1159/000259995, PMID 7443796