Voiceless velar affricate

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Voiceless velar affricate

The voiceless velar affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨k͡x⟩.


Features of the voiceless velar affricate:

  • Its manner of articulation is affricate, which means it is produced by first stopping the airflow entirely, then allowing air flow through a constricted channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is velar, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue 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
Bavarian Dialects spoken in Tyrol Kchind [ˈk͡xind̥] 'child'
Dutch Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[1] blik [ˈblɪk͡x] 'plate' Optional pre-pausal allophone of /k/.[1] See Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect phonology
English Broad Cockney[2] cab [ˈk͡xɛˑb̥] 'cab' Possible word-initial, intervocalic and word-final allophone of /k/.[3] See English phonology
New Zealand[4] Word-initial allophone of /k/.[4] See English phonology
Received Pronunciation[5] [ˈk͡xaˑb̥] Occasional allophone of /k/.[5] See English phonology
North Wales[6] Word-initial and word-final allophone of /k/; in free variation with a strongly aspirated stop [kʰ].[6] See English phonology
Scouse[7] Possible syllable-initial and word-final allophone of /k/.[7] See English phonology
German Standard Austrian[8] Kübel [ˈk͡xyːbœl] 'bucket' Possible realization of /k/ before front vowels.[8] See Standard German phonology
Old dialect of Dinkelberg Anke [ˈɑŋk͡xə] 'butter'
Swiss dialects Sack [z̥ɑk͡x] 'bag' May be actually uvular [q͡χ] in some dialects.
Korean[9] [example needed] Allophone of /kʰ/ before /ɯ/.[9] See Korean phonology
Lakota lakhóta [laˈk͡xota] 'Lakota' Allophone of /kʰ/ before /a/, /ã/, /o/, /ĩ/, and /ũ/.
Navajo ashkii [aʃk͡xiː] 'boy' See Navajo phonology
!Xóõ [example needed] Used in pulmonic-contour clicks.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Peters (2010), p. 240.
  2. Wells (1982), pp. 322-323.
  3. Wells (1982), p. 323.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bauer et al. (2007), p. 100.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cruttenden (2014), p. 172.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Penhallurick (2004), pp. 108-109.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Wells (1982), p. 372.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Moosmüller, Schmid & Brandstätter (2015), p. 341.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Shin, Kiaer & Cha (2012), p. 77.


  • Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul; Bardsley, Dianne; Kennedy, Marianna; Major, George (2007), "New Zealand English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (1): 97–102, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002830<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Moosmüller, Sylvia; Schmid, Carolin; Brandstätter, Julia (2015), "Standard Austrian German", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 45 (03): 339–348, doi:10.1017/S0025100315000055<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Penhallurick, Robert (2004), "Welsh English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 98–112, ISBN 3-11-017532-0<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Peters, Jörg (2010), "The Flemish–Brabant dialect of Orsmaal–Gussenhoven", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 40 (2): 239–246, doi:10.1017/S0025100310000083<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Shin, Ji-young; Kiaer, Ji-eun; Cha, Jae-eun (2012). The Sounds of Korean. ISBN 9781107030053.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Wells, John C. (1982). Accents of English 2: The British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24224-X.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also