Voiceless palatal approximant

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Voiceless palatal approximant
IPA number 153 402A
Entity (decimal) j​̊
Unicode (hex) U+006A U+030A
Kirshenbaum j<vls>

The voiceless palatal approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in a few spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ j̊ ⟩, the voiceless homologue of the voiced palatal approximant.

The palatal approximant can in many cases be considered the semivocalic equivalent of the voiceless variant of the close front unrounded vowel [i̥]. The two are almost identical featurally.

This sound is essentially an ordinary English ⟨y⟩ (as in year) pronounced without vibration of the vocal cords.

It is found as a phoneme in Jalapa Mazatec and Washo.


Features of the voiceless palatal approximant:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Jalapa Mazatec[1] [example needed] Contrasts voiceless /j̊/, plain voiced /j/ and glottalized voiced /ȷ̃/ approximants.[1]
Washo t'á:Yaŋi [ˈťaːj̊aŋi] 'he's hunting' Contrasts voiceless /j̊/ and voiced /j/ approximants.



  • Silverman, Daniel; Blankenship, Barbara; Kirk, Paul; Ladefoged, Peter (1995), "Phonetic Structures in Jalapa Mazatec", Anthropological Linguistics, The Trustees of Indiana University, 37 (1): 70–88, JSTOR 30028043