Voiceless retroflex sibilant

Voiceless retroflex sibilant
IPA number 136
Entity (decimal) ʂ
Unicode (hex) U+0282
Kirshenbaum s.
Braille ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠎ (braille pattern dots-234)
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The voiceless retroflex sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʂ. Like all the retroflex consonants, the IPA letter is formed by adding a rightward-pointing hook to the bottom of the ess (the letter used for the corresponding alveolar consonant). A distinction can be made between laminal, apical, and sub-apical articulations. Only one language, Toda, appears to have more than one voiceless retroflex sibilant, and it distinguishes subapical palatal from apical postalveolar retroflex sibilants; that is, both the tongue articulation and the place of contact on the roof of the mouth are different.

Some scholars transcribe the laminal variant of this sound as /ʃ/, even though it is not palatalized. In such cases the voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant is transcribed /ʃʲ/.


Features of the voiceless retroflex fricative:


In the following transcriptions, diacritics may be used to distinguish between apical [ʂ̺] and laminal [ʂ̻].

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz амш [amʂ] 'day' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe пшъашъэ  [pʂ̻aːʂ̻a]  'girl' Laminal.
Faroese rs [fʊʂ] 'eighty'
Hindustani Hindi ऋषि [rɪʂi] 'sage'
Italian Marked accents of Emilia-Romagna[1] sali [ˈʂäːli] 'you go up' Apical;[1] may be [s̺ʲ] or [ʃ] instead.[1] It corresponds to [s] in standard Italian. See Italian phonology
KhantyMost northern dialectsшаш[ʂɑʂ]'knee'Corresponds to a voiceless retroflex affricate /ʈ͡ʂ/ in the southern and eastern dialects.
Malayalam കഷ്ടി [kəʂʈi] 'scarce'
Mandarin /shí [ʂ̻ɻ̩˧˥] 'stone' Apical. See Mandarin phonology
Mapudungun[2] trukur [ʈ͡ʂʊ̝ˈkʊʂ] 'fog' Possible allophone of /ʐ/ in post-nuclear position.[2]
Marathi ऋषि [ruʂi] 'sage'
Norwegian Norsk [nɔʂk] 'Norwegian' Allophone of the sequence /ɾs/ in many dialects, including Standard Eastern Norwegian. See Norwegian phonology
Pashto Southern dialect ښودل [ʂ̺odəl] 'to show'
Polish Standard[3] szum  [ʂ̻um]  'rustle' After voiceless consonants it is also represented by rz. When written so, it can be instead pronounced as the voiceless raised alveolar non-sonorant trill by few speakers.[4] It is transcribed /ʃ/ by most Polish scholars. See Polish phonology
Southeastern Cuyavian dialects[5] schowali [ʂxɔˈväli] 'they hid' Some speakers. It's a result of hypercorrecting the more popular merger of /ʂ/ and /s/ into [s].
Suwałki dialect[6]
Romanian Moldavian dialects[7] șură [ʂurə] 'barn' Apical.[7] See Romanian phonology
Transylvanian dialects[7]
Russian[3] шут [ʂut̪] 'jester' See Russian phonology
Sanskrit ऋषि [r̩ʂi] 'sage'
Serbo-Croatian шума / šuma [ʂûmä] 'forest' Laminal. It may be palato-alveolar instead, depending on the dialect. See Serbo-Croatian phonology.
Slovak[8] šatka [ˈʂatka] 'kerchief'
Sorbian Lower[9][10] glažk [ˈɡläʂk] 'glass'
Some Upper Sorbian dialects[11][12] Used in dialects spoken in villages north of Hoyerswerda; corresponds to [ʃ] in standard language.[9] See Upper Sorbian phonology
Swedish fors [fɔʂ] 'rapids' Allophone of the sequence /rs/ in many dialects, including Central Standard Swedish. See Swedish phonology
Tamil கஷ்டம் [kəʂʈəm] 'difficult'
Telugu కష్టం [kʌʂʈəm] 'difficult'
Toda[13] [pɔʂ] '(clan name)' Subapical
Torwali[14] ? [ʂeʂ] 'thin rope'
Ubykh [ʂ̺a] 'head' See Ubykh phonology
VietnameseSouthern dialects[15] sữa [ʂɨə˧ˀ˥] 'milk'See Vietnamese phonology
Yi /shy [ʂ̺ɿ̄˧] 'gold'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[16] Allophone of /ʃ/ before [a] and [u].

See also



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