Retroflex flap

Retroflex flap
IPA Number125
Entity (decimal)ɽ
Unicode (hex)U+027D
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235)
Audio sample

The retroflex flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɽ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r`.


Features of the retroflex flap:

  • Its manner of articulation is tap or flap, which means it is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (usually the tongue) is thrown against another.
  • Its place of articulation is retroflex, which prototypically means it is articulated subapical (with the tip of the tongue curled up), but more generally, it means that it is postalveolar without being palatalized. That is, besides the prototypical subapical articulation, the tongue contact can be apical (pointed) or laminal (flat).
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • 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
Bengali[1] গাড়ি [ɡäɽiː] 'car' Apical postalveolar.[1] See Bengali phonology
Dutch[2][3] North Brabant[4] riem [ɽim] 'belt' A rare word-initial variant of /r/.[5][6] Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology
Northern Netherlands[4][7]
Elfdalian luv [ɽʏːv] 'permission'
Enga la [jɑɽɑ] 'shame'
Gokana[8] bele [bēɽē] 'we' Apical postalveolar. Allophone of /l/, medially between vowels within the morpheme, and finally in the morpheme before a following vowel in the same word. It can be a postalveolar trill or simply [l] instead.[8]
Hausa bara [bəɽä] 'servant' Represented in Arabic script with ⟨ر⟩
Hindustani[9] ड़ा/بڑا [bəɽäː] 'big' Apical postalveolar; contrasts unaspirated and aspirated forms.[9] See Hindustani phonology
Japanese[10][11][12] /kokoro [ko̞ko̞ɾ̠o̞] 'heart' Apical postalveolar, may be alveolar [ɾ] instead.[10][11][12] See Japanese phonology
Nepali[13] भाड़ा [bʱäɽä] 'rent' Apical postalveolar; postvocalic allophone of /ɖ, ɖʱ/.[14] See Nepali phonology
Norwegian Central dialects[15] blad [bɽɑː] 'leaf' Allophone of /l/ and /r/. In Urban East Norwegian it often alternates with the alveolar [ɾ], save for a small number of words.[15][16] See Norwegian phonology
Eastern dialects[15][16]
Portuguese Some European speakers[17] falar [fəˈläɽ] 'to speak' Allophone of /ɾ/. See Portuguese phonology
Brazilian caipira speakers[18][19] madeira [mɐˈdeɽə] 'wood'
Some sertanejo speakers[20] gargalhar [ɡäɽɡɐˈʎäɽ] 'to chortle'
Punjabi ਘੋੜਾ [kòːɽɑ̀ː] 'horse'
Shipibo[21] ? [ˈɽo̽ɽo̽] 'to break' Apical postalveolar; possible realization of /r/.[21]
Swedish Some dialects[16] blad [bɽɑː(d)] 'leaf' Allophone of /l/. See Swedish phonology
Warlpiri jarda [caɽa] 'sleep' Transcribes /ɽ/ as rd.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]