Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate

The voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represent this sound are t͡ɕ, t͜ɕ, c͡ɕ and c͜ɕ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are t_s\ and c_s\, though transcribing the stop component with c (c in X-SAMPA) is rare. The tie bar may be omitted, yielding or in the IPA and ts\ or cs\ in X-SAMPA.

Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate
IPA Number215
Entity (decimal)ʨ
Unicode (hex)U+02A8
Audio sample
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Neither [t] nor [c] are a completely narrow transcription of the stop component, which can be narrowly transcribed as [t̠ʲ] (retracted and palatalized [t]) or [c̟] (advanced [c]). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are t_-' or t_-_j and c_+, respectively. There is also a dedicated symbol ȶ, which is not a part of the IPA. Therefore, narrow transcriptions of the voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant affricate include [t̠ʲɕ], [c̟ɕ] and [ȶɕ].

This affricate used to have a dedicated symbol ʨ, which was one of the six dedicated symbols for affricates in the International Phonetic Alphabet. It occurs in languages such as Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Albanian and Russian, and is the sibilant equivalent of voiceless palatal affricate.


Features of the voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate:

  • 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.


Catalan[1]All dialectsfletxa[ˈfɫet͡ɕə]'arrow'See Catalan phonology
ChineseCantonese / j[t͡ɕyː˥]'pig'Contrasts with aspirated form. Allophone of /t͡s/, usually in front of the front high vowels /iː/, /ɪ/, /yː/. See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin北京 / Běijīng[peɪ˨˩ t͡ɕiŋ˥] 'Beijing'Contrasts with aspirated form. Pronounced by some speakers as a palatalized dental. In complementary distribution with [t͡s], [k], and [ʈ͡ʂ] series. See Standard Chinese phonology
Danish[2]tjener[ˈt͡ɕe̝ːnɐ]'servant'Normal realization of the sequence /tj/.[2] See Danish phonology
IrishSome dialects[3][4][5]Realization of the palatalized alveolar stop /tʲ/ in dialects such as Erris, Teelin and Tourmakeady.[3][4][5] See Irish phonology
Japanese知人 / chijin[t͡ɕid͡ʑĩɴ]'acquaintance'See Japanese phonology
Korean제비 / jebi[t͡ɕebi]'swallow'See Korean phonology
Polish[6]ćma[t͡ɕmä] 'moth'See Polish phonology
RomanianBanat dialect[7]frate[ˈfrat͡ɕe]'brother'One of the most distinct phonological features of the Banat dialect: allophone of /t/ before front vowels. Corresponds to [t] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russianчуть[t͡ɕʉtʲ]'barely'See Russian phonology
Sema[8]akichi[à̠kìt͡ɕì]'mouth'Possible allophone of /t͡ʃ/ before /i, e/; can be realized as [t͡ʃ] instead.[8]
Serbo-Croatian[9]лећа / leća[lět͡ɕä]'lentils'Merges into /t͡ʃ/ in dialects that don't distinguish /ʈ͡ʂ/ from /t͡ɕ/.
SwedishFinlandkjol[t͡ɕuːl]'skirt'See Swedish phonology
Thai[11]จาน[t͡ɕaːn]'dish'Contrasts with aspirated form.
Vietnamesecha[t͡ɕa]'father'See Vietnamese phonology
Yi / ji[t͡ɕi˧]'sour'Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms

See also



  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya (2013), "Xumi, Part 1: Lower Xumi, the Variety of the Lower and Middle Reaches of the Shuiluo River" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (3): 363–379, doi:10.1017/S0025100313000157
  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya; Kocjančič Antolík, Tanja (2013), "Xumi, Part 2: Upper Xumi, the Variety of the Upper Reaches of the Shuiluo River" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (3): 381–396, doi:10.1017/S0025100313000169
  • de Búrca, Seán (1958), The Irish of Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, ISBN 0-901282-49-9
  • Grønnum, Nina (2005), Fonetik og fonologi, Almen og Dansk (3rd ed.), Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, ISBN 87-500-3865-6
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191
  • Mhac an Fhailigh, Éamonn (1968), The Irish of Erris, Co. Mayo, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, ISBN 0-901282-02-2
  • Pop, Sever (1938), Micul Atlas Linguistic Român, Muzeul Limbii Române Cluj
  • Sjoberg, Andrée F. (1963), Uzbek Structural Grammar, Uralic and Altaic Series, 18, Bloomington: Indiana University
  • Teo, Amos B. (2014), A phonological and phonetic description of Sumi, a Tibeto-Burman language of Nagaland (PDF), Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics, ISBN 978-1-922185-10-5
  • Tingsabadh, M.R. Kalaya; Abramson, Arthur S. (1993), "Thai", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (1): 24–26, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004746
  • Wagner, Heinrich (1959), Gaeilge Theilinn (in Irish), Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, ISBN 1-85500-055-5
  • Wheeler, Max W. (2005), The Phonology of Catalan, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-925814-7
  • Zygis, Marzena (2003), "Phonetic and Phonological Aspects of Slavic Sibilant Fricatives" (PDF), ZAS Papers in Linguistics, 3: 175–213
  • Landau, Ernestina; Lončarića, Mijo; Horga, Damir; Škarić, Ivo (1999), "Croatian", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 66–69, ISBN 978-0-521-65236-0
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