Voiced retroflex sibilant

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Voiced retroflex sibilant
IPA number 137
Entity (decimal) ʐ
Unicode (hex) U+0290
Kirshenbaum z.
Braille ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256) ⠵ (braille pattern dots-1356)

The voiced retroflex sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʐ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is z`.Like all the retroflex consonants, the IPA symbol is formed by adding a rightward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of a z (the letter used for the corresponding alveolar consonant).

Some scholars transcribe the laminal variant of this sound as /ʒ/, even though it is not palatalized. In such cases the voiced palato-alveolar sibilant is transcribed /ʒʲ/.


Features of the voiced retroflex fricative:


In the following transcriptions, diacritics may be used to distinguish between apical [ʐ̺] and laminal [ʐ̻].

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz абжа [ˈabʐa] 'half' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe жъы About this sound [ʐ̻ə]  'old' Laminal.
Chinese Mandarin /ròu About this sound [ʐoʊ̯˥˩]  'meat' May also be a retroflex approximant ([ɻ]). See Mandarin phonology
Faroese renn [ʐɛn] 'run'
Italian Marked accents of Emilia-Romagna[1] caso [ˈkäːʐo] 'case' Apical;[1] may be [z̺ʲ] or [ʒ] instead.[1] It corresponds to [z] in standard Italian. See Italian phonology
Lower Sorbian[2][3] Łužyca [ˈwuʐɨt͡sa] 'Lusatia'
Mapudungun[4] 'rayen [ʐɜˈjën] 'flower' May be [ɻ] or [ɭ] instead.[4]
Marrithiyel Marri Tjevin dialect [wiˈɲaʐu] 'they are laughing' Voicing is non-contrastive.
Pashto Southern dialect تږى‎ [ˈtəʐai] 'thirsty' See Pashto phonology
Polish Standard[5] żona About this sound [ˈʐ̻ɔn̪ä]  'wife' Also represented by ⟨rz⟩ and when written so, it can be instead pronounced as the raised alveolar non-sonorant trill by few speakers.[6] It is transcribed as /ʒ/ by most Polish scholars. See Polish phonology
Southeastern Cuyavian dialects[7] zapłacił [ʐäˈpwät͡ɕiw] 'he paid' Some speakers. It's a result of hypercorrecting the more popular merger of /ʐ/ and /z/ into [z].
Suwałki dialect[8]
Russian[5] жена About this sound [ʐɨ̞ˈna]  'wife' See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian жут / žut [ʐûːt̪] 'yellow' Laminal. It may be palato-alveolar instead, depending on the dialect. See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak[9] žaba [ˈʐaba] 'frog'
Tilquiapan Zapotec[10] ? [ʐan] 'bottom'
Torwali[11] ? [ʂuʐ] 'straight'
Ubykh [ʐa] 'firewood' See Ubykh phonology
Upper Sorbian Some villages north of Hoyerswerda[12][13] [example needed] Corresponds to [ʒ] in standard language. See Upper Sorbian phonology
Vietnamese Southern dialects rô [ʐow] 'diamond' See Vietnamese phonology
Yi ry [ʐʐ̩˧] 'grass'

See also



  • Canepari, Luciano (1992), Il MªPi – Manuale di pronuncia italiana (in Italian), Bologna: Zanichelli, ISBN 88-08-24624-8 Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hamann, Silke (2004), "Retroflex fricatives in Slavic languages" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 53–67, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001604<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hanulíková, Adriana; Hamann, Silke (2010), "Slovak" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 40 (3): 373–378, doi:10.1017/S0025100310000162<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lunsford, Wayne A. (2001), "An overview of linguistic structures in Torwali, a language of Northern Pakistan" (PDF), M.A. thesis, University of Texas at Arlington<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquiapan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 38 (1): 107–114, doi:10.1017/S0025100308003344<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sadowsky, Scott; Painequeo, Héctor; Salamanca, Gastón; Avelino, Heriberto (2013), "Mapudungun", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 87–96, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000369<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Šewc-Schuster, Hinc (1984), Gramatika hornjo-serbskeje rěče, Budyšin: Ludowe nakładnistwo Domowina<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Zygis, Marzena (2003), "Phonetic and Phonological Aspects of Slavic Sibilant Fricatives" (PDF), ZAS Papers in Linguistics, 3: 175–213<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>