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Apical consonants

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Language: Linguistics · Semiotics · Speech


Apical
◌̺
IPA number 409
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ̺
Unicode (hex) U+033A
Sound
[[File:Template:IPA audio filename| center| 150px]]


[create] Documentation
</noinclude> 
Places of articulation
Labial
Bilabial
Labial-velar
Labial-alveolar
Labiodental
Bidental
Coronal
Linguolabial
Interdental
Dental
Alveolar
Apical
Laminal
Postalveolar
Alveolo-palatal
Retroflex
Dorsal
Palatal
Labial-palatal
Velar
Uvular
Uvular-epiglottal
Radical
Pharyngeal
Epiglotto-pharyngeal
Epiglottal
Glottal

An apical consonant is a phone (speech sound) produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue (i.e. the tip of the tongue). This contrasts with laminal consonants, which are produced by creating an obstruction with the blade of the tongue (which is just behind the apex).

This is not a very common distinction, and typically applied only to fricatives and affricates. Thus many varieties of the English language have either apical or laminal pairs of [t]/[d]. However, some varieties of Arabic, including Hadhrami Arabic, realizes [t] as laminal but [d] as apical.

The Basque language uses this distinction for alveolar fricatives, as does Serbo-Croatian. Mandarin Chinese uses it for postalveolar fricatives (the "alveolo-palatal" and "retroflex" series). St'at'imcets uses this as a secondary feature in contrasting velarized and non-velarized affricates. A distinction between apical and laminal is common in Australian languages for the nasals, plosives and usually also the lateral approximants.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the diacritic for apical consonants is Template:Unichar.

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