Ukrainian contrasts palatalized "soft" and unpalatalized "hard" consonants. Palatalized consonants, denoted by a superscript ‹j› / ʲ /, are pronounced with the body of the tongue raised toward the hard palate, like in the ‹y› sound in yes. The "hard" vs. "soft" distinction is phonemic for only nine pairs and may otherwise be ignored.
^The "soft" vowel letters ‹є, ї, ю, я› represent a /j/ and a vowel when initial or following other vowels.
^The /w/ phoneme has two allophones:
* Bilabial approximant [β̞] (transcribed here [β] for simplicity) before vowels;
* Labialized velar semivowel [u̯] before a consonant at the start of word, after a vowel before a consonant or after a vowel at the end of a word (Жовтобрюх & Кулик (1965:121–122)).
^In Ukrainian, geminates are found between vowels: багаття /bɑˈɦɑtʲːɑ/bonfire, подружжя /pɔˈdruʒːɑ/married couple, обличчя face. Geminates also occur at the start of a few words: лляний /ˈlʲːɑnɪj/flaxen, forms of the verb лити to pour (ллю /lʲːu/, ллєш /lʲːɛʃ/ etc.), ссати /ˈsːɑtɪ/to suck and derivatives.