Voiceless alveolar flap

Voiceless alveolar tap
IPA number 124 402A

The voiceless alveolar tap or flap is rare as a phoneme. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɾ̥, a combination of the letter for the voiced alveolar tap/flap and a diacritic indicating voicelessness. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is 4_0.

The voiceless alveolar tapped fricative reported from some languages is actually a very brief voiceless alveolar non-sibilant fricative.


Features of the voiceless alveolar flap:

  • 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.



Bengali[1]আবার[ˈäbäɾ̥]'again'Possible allophone of /ɹ/ in the syllable coda.[1] See Bengali phonology
GreekCypriotαδερφός[ɐðe̞ɾ̥ˈfo̞s]'brother'Allophone of /ɾ/ before voiceless consonants. May be a voiceless alveolar trill instead
Icelandichrafn[ˈɾ̥apn̪̊]'raven'Realization of /r̥/ for some speakers. Also illustrates /n̥/. See Icelandic phonology
PortugueseEuropean[2]assar[əˈsäɾ̥]'to bake'Apparent allophone of /ɾ/; distribution unclear, but common in the coda in Jesus (2001)'s corpus. See Portuguese phonology

See also



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