Alveolo-palatal consonant

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Sagittal section of alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative
Tongue shape

In phonetics, alveolo-palatal (or alveopalatal) consonants are intermediate in articulation between the coronal and dorsal consonants, or which have simultaneous alveolar and palatal articulation. In the official IPA chart, alveolo-palatals would appear between the retroflex and palatal consonants but for "lack of space".[1] Ladefoged and Maddieson characterize the alveolo-palatals as palatalized postalveolars (palatalized palato-alveolars), articulated with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge and the body of the tongue raised toward the palate,[2] whereas Esling describes them as advanced palatals (pre-palatals), the furthest front of the dorsal consonants, articulated with the body of the tongue approaching the alveolar ridge.[1] These descriptions are essentially equivalent, since the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue (see schematic at right). They are front enough that the fricatives and affricates are sibilants, the only sibilants among the dorsal consonants.

Fricatives and affricates[edit]

The alveolo-palatal sibilants are often used in varieties of Chinese such as Mandarin, Hakka, and Wu, as well as other East Asian languages such as Japanese and Korean. Alveolo-palatal sibilants are also a feature of many Slavic languages, such as Polish, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian, and of Northwest Caucasian languages, such as Abkhaz and Ubykh. The alveolo-palatals included in the International Phonetic Alphabet are:

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
ç͇, ç̟ Voiceless alveolo-palatal non-sibilant fricative [example needed]
ɕ Voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative Mandarin (xiǎo) [ɕiɑu˨˩˦] small
ʝ͇, ʝ̟ Voiced alveolo-palatal non-sibilant fricative [example needed]
ʑ Voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative Polish zioło [ˈʑɔwɔ] herb
c͇͡ç͇, c̟͡ç̟, c͡ç˖ Voiceless alveolo-palatal non-sibilant affricate [example needed]
t͡ɕ Voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant affricate Serbo-Croatian kuća / кућа [kut͡ɕa] house
ɟ͇͡ʝ͇, ɟ̟͡ʝ̟, ɟ͡ʝ˖ Voiced alveolo-palatal non-sibilant affricate [example needed]
d͡ʑ Voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant affricate Japanese 地震 (jishin) [d͡ʑiɕĩɴ] earthquake

The letters ɕ and ʑ are essentially equivalent to  ʃʲ and ʒʲ. They are the sibilant homologues of the alveolo-palatal non-sibilant fricatives [ç̟] and [ʝ̟].

Stops, nasals and liquids[edit]

Symbols for alveolo-palatal stops (ȶ, ȡ), nasals (ȵ), and liquids (ȴ) are sometimes used in sinological circles (a circumflex accent is also sometimes seen), but these are not recognized by the IPA. They may actually be simple palatal or palatalized consonants, classified as alveolo-palatals because they pattern with the alveolo-palatal sibilants of the language rather than because they are actually alveolo-palatal in articulation. In standard IPA, they can be transcribed c͇, ɟ͇, ɲ͇, ʎ͇ (alveolarized palatals), c̟, ɟ̟, ɲ̟, ʎ̟ (advanced palatals), t͇͡c, d͇͡ɟ, n͇͡ɲ, l͇͡ʎ (simultaneous alveolars and palatals) or t̠ʲ, d̠ʲ, n̠ʲ, l̠ʲ (palatalized postalveolars), although the last transcription is ambiguous - it can denote either alveolo-palatals, or only somewhat palatalized postalveolars.

For example, the Polish nasal represented with the letter ń is an alveolo-palatal nasal. The "palatal" consonants of Indigenous Australian languages are also often judged closer to alveolo-palatal in their articulation.

Extra-IPA
letter
IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
ȶ t̂ c͇, c̟, t̠ʲ Voiceless alveolo-palatal stop Korean 티끌 tikkeul [c͇ʰiʔk͈ɯl] dust
ȡ d̂ ɟ͇, ɟ̟, d̠ʲ Voiced alveolo-palatal stop Korean 반디 bandi [b̥ɐnɟ͇i] firefly
ȵ n̂ ɲ͇, ɲ̟, n̠ʲ Voiced alveolo-palatal nasal Yi language nyi [ɲ͇i˧] sit
ȴ l̂ ʎ͇, ʎ̟, l̠ʲ Voiced alveolo-palatal lateral Catalan ull [ˈuʎ͇] eye

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b John Esling, 2010, "Phonetic Notation". In Hardcastle, Laver, & Gibbon, eds, The Handbook of Phonetic Sciences, p 693
  2. ^ Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 153–154. ISBN 0-631-19814-8. 

Further reading[edit]