Voiceless palatal approximant

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Voiceless palatal approximant
IPA Number153 402A
Entity (decimal)j​̊
Unicode (hex)U+006A U+030A

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. This sound is uncommon in English, although it was reported in Harold Orton's The Phonology of a South Durham Dialect.[1]

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


Features of the voiceless palatal approximant:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Jalapa Mazatec[2] [example needed] Contrasts voiceless /j̊/, plain voiced /j/ and glottalized voiced /ȷ̃/ approximants.[2]
Scottish Gaelic[3] a-muigh [əˈmuj̊] 'outside' (directional) Allophone of /j/ and /ʝ/. See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Washo t'á:Yaŋi [ˈťaːj̊aŋi] 'he's hunting' Contrasts voiceless /j̊/ and voiced /j/ approximants.


  1. ^ Orton 2015, see phonetic symbols in introduction
  2. ^ a b Silverman et al. (1995), p. 83.
  3. ^ Bauer, Michael. "Final devoicing or Why does naoidh sound like Nɯiç?". Akerbeltz. Retrieved 11 December 2016.


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