Voiced alveolo-palatal fricative

Voiced alveolo-palatal fricative
IPA number 183
Entity (decimal) ʑ
Unicode (hex) U+0291
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The voiced alveolo-palatal 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 ʑ ("z", plus the curl also found in its voiceless counterpart ɕ), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is z\. It is the sibilant equivalent of the voiced palatal fricative.

The voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative does not occur in any major dialect of English. However, it is the usual realization of /ʒ/ (as in vision) in the Ghanaian variety.[1]


Features of the voiced alveolo-palatal fricative:

  • Its manner of articulation is sibilant fricative, which means it is generally produced by channeling air flow along a groove in the back of the tongue up to the place of articulation, at which point it is focused against the sharp edge of the nearly clenched teeth, causing high-frequency turbulence.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.


Abkhazажьа[aˈʑa]'hare'See Abkhaz phonology
CatalanEastern[2]ajut[əˈʑut̪]'help' (n.)See Catalan phonology
ChineseJiangshan dialect of Wu[ʑyœʔ]'ten'
Southern Min今仔日/kin-á-ji̍t[kɪn˧a˥ʑɪt˥]'today'
EnglishGhanaian[1]vision[ˈviʑin]'vision'Educated speakers may use [ʒ], to which this phone corresponds in other dialects.[1]
Japanese火事/kaji[kaʑi]'fire'Found in free variation with [d͡ʑ] between vowels. See Japanese phonology
Lower Sorbian[3]źasety[ʑäs̪ɛt̪ɨ]'tenth'
Luxembourgish[4]héijen[ˈhəi̯ʑə̹n]'high'Allophone of /ʁ/ after phonologically front vowels; some speakers merge it with [ʒ]. Occurs only in a few words.[4] See Luxembourgish phonology
PashtoWazirwola dialectميږ[miʑ]'we'
Polish[5]źrebię [ˈʑrɛbjɛ] 'foal'Also denoted by the digraph zi. See Polish phonology
Portuguese[6][7][8]magia[maˈʑi.ɐ]'magic'Also described as palato-alveolar [ʒ].[9][10] See Portuguese phonology
RomanianTransylvanian dialects[11]gea[ʑanə]'eyelash'Realized as [d͡ʒ] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
RussianConservative Moscow Standard[12]езжу[ˈjeʑːʊ]'I drive'Somewhat obsolete; most speakers realize it as hard [ʐː].[12] Present only in a few words, usually written жж or зж. See Russian phonology
Sema[13]aji[à̠ʑì]'blood'Possible allophone of /ʒ/ before /i, e/; can be realized as [d͡ʑ ~ ʒ ~ d͡ʒ] instead.[13]
Serbo-CroatianCroatian[14]пуж ħе / puž će[pûːʑ t͡ɕe̞]'the snail will'Allophone of /ʒ/ before /t͡ɕ, d͡ʑ/.[14] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
XumiUpper[16][Hʑɜ]'beer, wine'

See also



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