Voiceless alveolar implosive

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Voiceless alveolar implosive

A voiceless alveolar implosive is a rare consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɗ̥⟩ or ⟨tʼ↓⟩. A dedicated IPA letter, ⟨ƭ⟩, was withdrawn in 1993.


Features of the voiceless alveolar implosive:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a plosive.
  • 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 apical and laminal.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
  • 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 implosive (glottalic ingressive), which means it is produced by pulling air in by pumping the glottis downward. As it is voiceless, the glottis is completely closed, and there is no pulmonic airstream at all.


/ɗ̥/ is found in Serer of Senegal, the Owere dialect of Igbo in Nigeria, and in some dialects of the Poqomchi’ and Quiche languages of Guatemala. Owere Igbo has a seven-way contrast among alveolar stops, /tʰ t ɗ̥ dʱ d ɗ n/. Mam has a /ɗ̥/ which alternates between [ɗ̥] and [tʼ] [1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ * England, Nora C. (1983). A grammar of Mam, a Mayan language. Austin: University of Texas Press.

External links[edit]