Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate

Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate
IPA number 215
Entity (decimal) ʨ
Unicode (hex) U+02A8
X-SAMPA t_s\
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The voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represent this sound are t͡ɕ, t͜ɕ, c͡ɕ and c͜ɕ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are t_s\ and c_s\, though transcribing the stop component with c (c in X-SAMPA) is rare. The tie bar is sometimes omitted, yielding or in the IPA and ts\ or cs\ in X-SAMPA. This is potentially problematic in case of at least some affricates, because there are languages that contrast certain affricates with stop-fricative sequences. Polish words czysta ('clean (f.)', pronounced with an affricate /ʈ͡ʂ/) and trzysta ('three hundred', pronounced with a sequence /ʈʂ/) are an example of a minimal pair based on such a contrast.

Neither [t] nor [c] are a completely narrow transcription of the stop component, which can be narrowly transcribed as [t̠ʲ] (retracted and palatalized [t]) or [c̟] (advanced [c]). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are t_-' or t_-_j and c_+, respectively. There is also a dedicated symbol ȶ, which is not a part of the IPA. Therefore, narrow transcriptions of the voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant affricate include [t̠ʲɕ], [c̟ɕ] and [ȶɕ].

This affricate used to have a dedicated symbol ʨ, which was one of the six dedicated symbols for affricates in the International Phonetic Alphabet. It occurs in languages such as Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, and Russian, and is the sibilant equivalent of voiceless palatal affricate.


Features of the voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate:

  • 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.


Catalan[1]All dialectsfletxa[ˈfɫet͡ɕə]'arrow'See Catalan phonology
ChineseCantonese/j [tɕyː˥]'pig'Contrasts with aspirated form. Allophone of /t͡s/, usually in front of the front high vowels /iː/, /ɪ/, /yː/. See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin北京 / Běijīng [peɪ˨˩ t͡ɕiŋ˥] 'Beijing'Contrasts with aspirated form. Pronounced by some speakers as a palatalized dental. In complementary distribution with [t͡s], [k], and [ʈ͡ʂ] series. See Standard Chinese phonology
Danish[2]tjener[ˈt͡ɕe̝ːnɐ]'servant'Normal realization of the sequence /tj/.[2] See Danish phonology
IrishSome dialects[3][4][5]Realization of the palatalized alveolar stop /tʲ/ in dialects such as Erris, Teelin and Tourmakeady.[3][4][5] See Irish phonology
Japanese知人 / chijin[t͡ɕid͡ʑĩɴ]'acquaintance'See Japanese phonology
Korean제비 / jebi[t͡ɕebi]'swallow'See Korean phonology
Polish[6]ćma [t͡ɕmä] 'moth'See Polish phonology
RomanianBanat dialect[7]frate[frat͡ɕe]'brother'One of the most distinct phonological features of the Banat dialect. Corresponds to [t] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russianчуть[t͡ɕʉtʲ]'barely'See Russian phonology
Sema[8]akichi[à̠kìt͡ɕì]'mouth'Possible allophone of /t͡ʃ/ before /i, e/; can be realized as [t͡ʃ] instead.[8]
Serbo-CroatianЛовћен / Lovćen[ɫǒ̞ʋt͡ɕe̞n]'Lovćen'Merges into /t͡ʃ/ in dialects that don't distinguish /ʈ͡ʂ/ from /t͡ɕ/.
SwedishFinlandkjol[t͡ɕuːl]'skirt'See Swedish phonology
Thai[10]จาน[t͡ɕaːn]'dish'Contrasts with aspirated form.
Vietnamesecha[t͡ɕa]'father'See Vietnamese phonology
Yi/ji[t͡ɕi˧]'sour'Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms

See also



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