Voiceless alveolar and postalveolar approximants

Voiceless alveolar approximant
IPA number 151 402A
X-SAMPA r\_0

The voiceless alveolar approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the alveolar and postalveolar voiceless approximants is ɹ̥, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r\_0.


Features of the voiceless alveolar approximant:

  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
  • 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.



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Faroese[1] okkurt [ˈɔʰkʊɹ̥t] 'around' Allophone of /r/.[1] See Faroese phonology


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bengali[2] আবার [ˈäbäɹ̠̊] 'again' Apical; possible allophone of /ɹ/ in the syllable coda.[3] See Bengali phonology


  1. 1 2 Árnason (2011), p. 115.
  2. Khan (2010), p. 224.
  3. Khan (2010), pp. 223–224.


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