The voiced palato-alveolar sibilant fricative or voiced domed postalveolar sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spokenlanguages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʒ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is Z. An alternative symbol used in some older and American linguistic literature is ⟨ž⟩, a z with a háček. The sound occurs in many languages and, as in English and French, may have simultaneous lip rounding ([ʒʷ]), although this is rarely indicated in transcription.
Although present in English, the sound is not represented by a specific letter or digraph, but is formed by yod-coalescence of [z] and [j] in words such as measure. It also appears in some loanwords, mainly from French (thus written with ⟨g⟩ and ⟨j⟩). In some transcriptions of alphabets such as Cyrillic, as well as the Wikipedia pronunciation respelling for English, the sound is represented by the digraph zh.
Its manner of articulation is sibilantfricative, 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.
The voiced postalveolar non-sibilant fricative is a consonantal sound. As the International Phonetic Alphabet does not have separate symbols for the post-alveolar consonants (the same symbol is used for all coronal places of articulation that aren't palatalized), this sound is usually transcribed ⟨ɹ̠˔⟩ (retracted constricted [ɹ]). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r\_-_r.
Its manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence. However, it does not have the grooved tongue and directed airflow, or the high frequencies, of a sibilant.
^Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:156). The authors state that /ʒ/ is "pre-palatal, articulated with the blade of the tongue against the post-alveolar place of articulation". This makes it unclear whether this sound is palato-alveolar (somewhat palatalized post-alveolar) or alveolo-palatal (strongly palatalized post-alveolar).
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