Voiceless retroflex affricate

Voiceless retroflex affricate
IPA number 105 (136)
Entity (decimal) ʈ͡ʂ
Unicode (hex) U+0288U+0361U+0282
Kirshenbaum ts.
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The voiceless retroflex sibilant affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʈ͡ʂ, sometimes simplified to ,[1] and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is ts`.

The affricate occurs in a number of languages:


Features of the voiceless retroflex 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.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adygheчъыгы [t͡ʂəɣə] 'tree'
Asturian Some dialects[2][3] ḷḷobu [ʈ͡ʂoβu] 'wolf' Corresponds to standard /ʎ/
Belarusian пачатак [paʈ͡ʂatak] 'the beginning' Laminal. See Belarusian phonology
Chinese Mandarin[4] 中文/Zhōngwén  [ʈ͡ʂʊŋ˥ u̯ən˧˥]  'Chinese language' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Mandarin phonology
Khanty Eastern dialects ҷӓңҷ [ʈ͡ʂaɳʈ͡ʂ] 'knee' Corresponds to a voiceless retroflex fricative /ʂ/ in the northern dialects
Southern dialects
Northern Qiang zhes [ʈ͡ʂəs] 'day before yesterday' Contrasts with aspirated and voiced forms
Polish Standard[5][6] czas  [ˈʈ͡ʂäs̪]  'time' Laminal. Transcribed /t͡ʃ/ by most Polish scholars. See Polish phonology
Southeastern Cuyavian dialects[7] cena [ˈʈ͡ʂɛn̪ä] 'price' Some speakers. It is a result of hypercorrecting the more popular merger of /ʈ͡ʂ/ and /t͡s/ into [t͡s]
Suwałki dialect[8]
Quechua Cajamarca–Cañaris chupa [ʈ͡ʂupə] 'tail'
Russian Smolensk, Bryansk dialects кирпич [kɪrˈpɪt͡ʂ] 'brick'
Serbo-Croatian čokoláda / чоколада [ʈ͡ʂo̞ko̞ˈɫǎ̠ːd̪a̠] 'chocolate' Laminal. It may be palato-alveolar instead, depending on the dialect. See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak[9] čakať [ˈʈ͡ʂäkäc̟] 'to wait' Laminal
Torwali[10] ڇووو [ʈ͡ʂuwu] 'to sew' Contrasts with aspirated form
Yi /zha [ʈ͡ʂa˧] 'a bit' Contrasts with aspirated form

See also


  1. Unlike the palato-alveolar and alveolar affricates, there is no obsolete ligature.
  2. (in Asturian) Normes ortográfiques, Academia de la Llingua Asturiana Archived 2013-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Page 14
  3. García Arias (2003:34)
  4. Ladefoged & Wu (1984:?)
  5. Jassem (2003:103)
  6. Hamann (2004:65)
  7. "Gwary polskie - Gwara regionu". Gwarypolskie.uw.edu.pl. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  8. "Gwary polskie - Szadzenie". Gwarypolskie.uw.edu.pl. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  9. Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:374)
  10. Lunsford (2001:16–20)


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