Voiceless palatal affricate

Voiceless palatal affricate
IPA number 107 (138)
Entity (decimal) c͡ç
Unicode (hex) U+0063U+0361U+00E7
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The voiceless palatal affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represent this sound are c͡ç and c͜ç, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is c_C. The tie bar is sometimes omitted, yielding in the IPA and cC in X-SAMPA. This is potentially problematic in case of at least some affricates, because there are languages that contrast certain affricates with stop-fricative sequences. Polish words czysta ('clean (f.)', pronounced with an affricate /t͡ʂ/) and trzysta ('three hundred', pronounced with a sequence /tʂ/) are an example of a minimal pair based on such a contrast.

This sound is the non-sibilant equivalent of the voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate.

The voiceless palatal affricate occurs in such languages as Hungarian and Skolt Sami, among others. The consonant is quite rare; it is mostly absent from Europe (with the Uralic languages and Albanian being exceptions). It usually occurs with its voiced counterpart, the voiced palatal affricate.

There is also the voiceless post-palatal affricate[1] in some languages, which is articulated slightly more back compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical voiceless palatal affricate, though not as back as the prototypical voiceless velar affricate. The International Phonetic Alphabet does not have a separate symbol for that sound, though it can be transcribed as c̠͡ç̠, c͡ç˗ (both symbols denote a retracted c͡ç) or k̟͡x̟ (advanced k͡x) - this article uses only the first symbol. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are c_-_C_- and k_+_x_+, respectively.

Especially in broad transcription, the voiceless post-palatal affricate may be transcribed as a palatalized voiceless velar affricate (k͡xʲ or k͜xʲ in the IPA, k_x' or k_x_j in X-SAMPA).


Features of the voiceless palatal affricate:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Dutch[2] bakje [ˈbɑc̠͡ç̠ə] 'tray' (dim.) Post-palatal; phonetic realization of the sequence /kj/.[2] See Dutch phonology
Hungarian tyúk [c͡çuːk] 'hen' See Hungarian phonology
Kaingang[3] [c͡çɔi̯ɟ] 'cranefly' Possible word-initial realization of /ç/.[4]
Korean Allophone of /kʰ/ before /i/ and /j/. See Korean phonology
Lushootseed ɬičáʔa [ɬic͡çaʁˀa] 'nets'
Norwegian Central dialects[5] ikkje [ic͡çə] 'not' See Norwegian phonology
Western dialects[5]
Skolt Sami sääˊmǩiõll [sʲaamc͡çiɘl] 'Skolt Sami'

See also


  1. Instead of "post-palatal", it can be called "retracted palatal", "backed palatal", "palato-velar", "pre-velar", "advanced velar", "fronted velar" or "front-velar". For simplicity, this article uses only the term "post-palatal".
  2. 1 2 Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 155, 193.
  3. Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676, 681.
  4. Jolkesky (2009), p. 681.
  5. 1 2 Skjekkeland (1997), pp. 96–100.


  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003) [First published 1981], The Phonetics of English and Dutch (PDF) (5th ed.), Leiden: Brill Publishers, ISBN 9004103406 
  • Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2009), "Fonologia e prosódia do Kaingáng falado em Cacique Doble", Anais do SETA, Campinas: Editora do IEL-UNICAMP, 3: 675–685 
  • Skjekkeland, Martin (1997), Dei norske dialektane: Tradisjonelle særdrag i jamføring med skriftmåla (in Norwegian), Høyskoleforlaget (Norwegian Academic Press) 
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