Velar approximant

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For the Armenian letter պ, see Armenian alphabet.
Not to be confused with Labio-velar approximant.
Velar approximant
ɰ
ɣ̞
ɣ˕
IPA number 154
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ɰ
Unicode (hex) U+0270
X-SAMPA M\
Kirshenbaum j<vel>
Braille ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236) ⠍ (braille pattern dots-134)
Sound

The voiced velar approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɰ. It is the semivocalic counterpart of the close back unrounded vowel [ɯ].

The IPA symbol ɣ, which otherwise signifies a voiced velar fricative, is more commonly[citation needed] used for the velar approximant than ɰ is, with a lowering diacritic ɣ̞ (or ɣ˕) when specificity is required.

Features[edit]

Features of the velar approximant:

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Cherokee wa-tsi [ɰatsi] 'watch' Also represented by , , , , and
Danish Older speakers[1] talg [ˈtˢalˀɰ] 'tallow' Still used by some older speakers in high register, much more commonly than a fricative [ɣ].[1] Depending on the environment, it corresponds to [ʊ̯], [ɪ̯] or [j] in young speakers of contemporary Standard Danish.[2] See Danish phonology
Dutch Randstad[3] [example needed] A very rare pronunciation of /r/,[4] distribution unclear. Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology
Southern Netherlandic[3] [example needed]
French Belgian[5] ara [aɰa] 'macaw' Intervocalic allophone of /ʀ/ for some speakers,[6] unless /ʀ/ is realized as a liaison consonant – then it's most often pronounced [ʀ].[7] See French phonology
Greek Cypriot[8] μαγαζί [maɰaˈzi] 'shop' Allophone of /ɣ/
Guarani Gyresia [ɰɨˈɾe̞sia] 'Greece' Contrasts with [w]
Ibibio[9] [úfʌ̟̀ɰɔ̞] [translation needed] Intervocalic allophone of /k/; may be a uvular tap [ɢ̆] instead.[9]
Icelandic saga [ˈsaɰa] 'saga' See Icelandic phonology
Irish naoi [n̪ˠɰiː] 'nine' Occurs only between broad consonants and front vowels. See Irish phonology
Korean 의사/uisa [ɰi.sä] 'doctor' Occurs only before /i/. See Korean phonology
Ripuarian Colognian[citation needed] wing [ɰɪŋ] 'wine' Allophone of syllable-initial /v/ for some speakers; can be [β ~ ʋ ~ w] instead.[citation needed] See Colognian phonology
Shipibo[10] igi [i̞ɰi̞] [translation needed] Allophone of /k/ in certain high-frequency morphemes; can be realized as a fricative [ɣ] instead.[10]
Spanish[11] pagar [päˈɰäɾ] 'to pay' Also described as a fricative. Intervocalic allophone of /ɡ/. See Spanish phonology
Swedish Central Standard[12] agronom [äɰɾʊˈn̪oːm] 'agronomist' Allophone of /g/ in casual speech. See Swedish phonology
Tagalog igriega [iːɡɾɪˈje̞ɰɐ] 'letter y' See Tagalog phonology
Tiwi ngaga [ˈŋaɰa] 'we (inclusive)'
Turkish ağır [a'ɰɯɾ] 'heavy' Only occurs before back vowels, in careful pronunciation. Represented by the letter ğ. See Turkish phonology

The sound in Japanese often denoted by w in IPA notation and described as unrounded is actually pronounced with lip compression and is therefore labio-velar, albeit with acoustic differences from other labio-velar consonants.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]