Voiceless retroflex implosive

A voiceless retroflex implosive is a rare consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. There is no official symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound, but ᶑ̊ or ʈʼ↓ may be used.

Voiceless alveolar implosive


Features of the voiceless retroflex implosive:

  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
  • 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 implosive (glottalic ingressive), which means it is produced by pulling air in by pumping the glottis downward. As it is voiceless, the glottis is completely closed, and there is no pulmonic airstream at all.


A rare and evidently unstable sound, /ᶑ̊/ has been described from Oromo of Ethiopia.[1]


  1. Dissassa (1980) Some aspects of Oromo phonology, p. 1011
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