Voiceless palatal stop

Voiceless palatal stop
IPA number 107
Entity (decimal) c
Unicode (hex) U+0063
Kirshenbaum c
Braille ⠉ (braille pattern dots-14)
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The voiceless palatal stop or voiceless palatal plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in some vocal languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is c, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is c.

If distinction is necessary, the voiceless alveolo-palatal stop may be transcribed as (advanced c) or t̠ʲ (retracted and palatalized t), but these are essentially equivalent, because the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are c_+ and t_-' or t_-_j, respectively. There is also a non-IPA letter ȶ ("t", plus the curl found in the symbols for alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives ɕ, ʑ), used especially in Sinological circles.

It is common for the phonetic symbol c to be used to represent voiceless postalveolar affricate [t͡ʃ] or other similar affricates, for example in the Indic languages. This may be considered appropriate when the place of articulation needs to be specified and the distinction between stop and affricate is not contrastive.

There is also the voiceless post-palatal stop[1] in some languages, which is articulated slightly more back compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical voiceless palatal stop, though not as back as the prototypical voiceless velar stop. The International Phonetic Alphabet does not have a separate symbol for that sound, though it can be transcribed as (retracted c) or (advanced k). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are c_- and k_+, respectively.

Especially in broad transcription, the voiceless post-palatal stop may be transcribed as a palatalized voiceless velar stop ( in the IPA, k' or k_j in X-SAMPA).


Features of the voiceless palatal stop:


Palatal or alveolo-palatal

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian[2] shqip [ʃcip] 'Albanian' Merged with [t͡ʃ] in Gheg Albanian and some speakers of Tosk Albanian.[3]
Aranda Dento-alveolo-palatal and alveolar.[4]
Basque ttantta [cäɲcä] 'droplet'
Blackfoot ᖳᖽᖳᐡ/akikoan [aˈkicoan] 'girl' Allophone of /k/ after front vowels.
Bulgarian Banat dialect kaćétu [kacetu] 'as' See Bulgarian phonology
Catalan Majorcan[5] qui [ˈci̞] 'who' Simultaneous dento-alveolo-palatal and palatal.[4] Corresponds to /k/ in other varieties. See Catalan phonology
Chinese Taiwanese Hokkien 機車/ki-tshia [ciː˧˧ t͡ɕʰia˥˥] 'motorcycle'
Corsican chjodu [ˈcoːdu] 'nail' Also present in the Gallurese dialect
Czech čeština [ˈt͡ʃɛʃc̟ɪna] 'Czech' Alveolar and alveolo-palatal.[4] See Czech phonology
Dawsahak [cɛːˈnɐ] 'small'
Dinka car [car] 'black'
Dutch mietje [ˈmicə] 'wimp' See Dutch phonology
Ega[6] [cá] 'understand'
French[4] qui [ci] 'who' (int.) Ranges from alveolar to palatal with more than one closure point. See French phonology
Friulian cjase [case] 'house'
Ganda caayi [caːji] 'tea'
Gweno [ca] 'to come'
Hungarian[7] tyúk [c̟uːk] 'hen' Alveolo-palatal.[4] See Hungarian phonology
Icelandic gjóla [ˈc̟ouːlä] 'light wind' Alveolo-palatal.[4] See Icelandic phonology
Irish ceist [cɛʃtʲ] 'question' Simultaneous alveolo-palatal and palatal.[4] See Irish phonology
Khmer ចាប [caap] 'bird' Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms.
Kinyarwanda ikintu [iciːntu] 'question'
Latvian ķirbis [ˈcirbis] 'pumpkin' See Latvian phonology
Low German Plautdietsch kjoakj [coac] 'church' Corresponds to [kʲ] in all other dialects.
Macedonian вреќа [ˈvrɛca] 'sack' See Macedonian phonology
Norwegian Central dialects[8] fett [fɛcː] 'fat' See Norwegian phonology
Northern dialects[8]
Occitan Limousin tireta [ciˈʀetɒ] 'drawer'
Auvergnat tirador [ciʀaˈdu] 'drawer'
Romanian[9] chin [cin] 'torture' Allophone of /k/ before /i/ and /e/. See Romanian phonology
Romansh Sursilvan[10] notg [nɔc] 'night'
Sutsilvan[11] tgàn [caŋ] 'dog'
Surmiran[12] vatgas [ˈvɑcɐs] 'cows'
Puter[13] cher [ˈtsycər] 'sugar'
Vallader[14] müs-chel [ˈmyʃcəl] 'moss'
Slovak[4] deväť [ˈɟ̟e̞ʋe̞c̟] 'nine' Alveolar.[4] See Slovak phonology
Turkish köy [cʰœj] 'village' See Turkish phonology
Vietnamese[15] ch [ci˧ˀ˨ʔ] 'elder sister' May be slightly affricated [t͡ɕ]. See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian tjems [cɛms] 'strainer' See West Frisian phonology
Western Desert kutju [kucu] 'one'


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Belarusian кіслы [ˈk̟is̪ɫ̪ɨ] 'acidic' Typically transcribed with . See Belarusian phonology
Catalan[16] qui [k̟i] 'who' Allophone of /k/ before front vowels.[16] See Catalan phonology
German Standard[17][18] Kind [k̟ʰɪnt] 'child' Allophone of /k/ before and after front vowels.[17][18] See Standard German phonology
Greek[19] Μακεδνός  [mɐc̠e̞ˈðno̞s̠]  'Makedon' See Modern Greek phonology
Italian Standard[20] chi  [k̟i]  'who' Allophone of /k/ before /i, e, ɛ, j/.[20] See Italian phonology
Portuguese qui [k̟i] 'Chi' Allophone of /k/ before front vowels. See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[21] ochi [o̞k̟] 'eye' Typically transcribed with . See Romanian phonology
Ukrainian кінчик  [ˈk̟int͡ʃek]  'tip' Typically transcribed with . See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese Final allophone of /c/. See Vietnamese phonology


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
English[22][23] keen [cʰiːn] 'keen' Allophone of /k/ before front vowels and /j/. Varies between post-palatal and palatal.[22][23] See English phonology

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. Newmark, Hubbard & Prifti (1982), p. 10.
  3. Kolgjini (2004).
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Recasens (2013), pp. 11–13.
  5. Recasens & Espinosa (2005), p. 1.
  6. Connell, Ahoua & Gibbon (2002), p. 100.
  7. Ladefoged (2005), p. 164.
  8. 1 2 Skjekkeland (1997), pp. 105–107.
  9. DEX Online :
  10. Menzli (1993), p. 92.
  11. Liver (1999), pp. 53–54.
  12. Liver (1999), pp. 56–57.
  13. Liver (1999), pp. 59–60.
  14. Liver (1999), pp. 63–64.
  15. Thompson (1959), pp. 458–461.
  16. 1 2 Rafel (1999), p. 14.
  17. 1 2 Wiese (1996), p. 271.
  18. 1 2 Krech et al. (2009), pp. 49, 92.
  19. Arvaniti (2007), p. 20.
  20. 1 2 Canepari (1992), p. 62.
  21. Sarlin (2014), p. 17.
  22. 1 2 Gimson (2014), p. 181.
  23. 1 2 Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009).


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