Voiceless velar approximant

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Voiceless velar approximant
IPA number 154 402A

The voiceless velar approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɰ̊⟩, but this symbol is not suitable in case of the voiceless velar approximant that is unspecified for rounding (the sound represented by the symbol ⟨ɰ̊⟩ is specified as unrounded), which is best transcribed as ⟨⟩, ⟨ɣ̞̊⟩ or ⟨ɣ̊˕⟩ - see voiced velar approximant.


Features of the voiceless velar approximant:

  • Its manner of articulation is approximant, which means it is produced by narrowing the vocal tract at the place of articulation, but not enough to produce a turbulent airstream.
  • Its place of articulation is velar, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the soft palate.
  • 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.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian Brekke dialect[1] seg [sɛɰ̊] 'oneself' Coda allophone of /ɡ/; reported to occur only in this word.[1] See Norwegian phonology
Kaldfarnes dialect[1]
Sørkjosen dialect[1] [sæɰ̊]
Undheim dialect[1] [seɰ̊]
Bryne dialect[1] sterkeste [stæɰ̊kɑstə] 'strongest' Allophone of /r/ when it is in contact with voiceless consonants. Exact distribution may differ between dialects. In the Hafrsfjord dialect, [ɰ̊] may also occur in the word seg. See Norwegian phonology
Hafrsfjord dialect[1]
Raundalen dialect[1]
Stanghelle dialect[1]
Fyllingsdalen dialect[1] [stæɰ̊kestɛ]
Spanish Standard European[2] Predrag [ˈpɾe̞ð̞ɾäɣ̞̊] 'Predrag' Allophone of /ɡ/ before a pause.[2] See Spanish phonology

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Nordavinden og sola: Opptak og transkripsjoner av norske dialekter". Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Wetzels & Mascaró (2001), p. 224.


  • Wetzels, W. Leo; Mascaró, Joan (2001), "The Typology of Voicing and Devoicing" (PDF), Language, 77 (2): 207–244, doi:10.1353/lan.2001.0123 
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