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Retroflex lateral flap: Wikis


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The retroflex lateral flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. It has no symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet, but an ad hoc symbol may be easily created (see below).



Features of the retroflex flap:

  • Its manner of articulation is flap, which means it is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator is thrown against another.
  • Its place of articulation is retroflex, which prototypically means it is articulated with the tip of the tongue curled up, but more generally means that it is postalveolar without being palatalized.
  • Its phonation type is voiced, which means the vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth.
  • It is a lateral consonant, which means it is produced by allowing the airstream to flow over the sides of the tongue, rather than the middle of the tongue.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic egressive, which means it is articulated by pushing air out of the lungs and through the vocal tract, rather than from the glottis or the mouth.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Iwaidja ŋaɺ̢uli my foot
Pashto ړوند [ɺ̢und] 'blind'
Tamil example needed -- -- allophone of /ɭ/. See Tamil phonology


There is no official symbol for the retroflex lateral flap. However, an ad hoc symbol may be created by combining the symbol for the alveolar lateral flap with the tail of the retroflex consonants,

Alveolar and retroflex lateral flaps.

This is not supported by Unicode, and so for normal typography requires the use of a diacritic, <ɺ̢>. However, SIL International has added this symbol to the Private Use Areas of their Charis and Doulos fonts, as U+F269 ().




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