Voiceless retroflex stop

The voiceless retroflex stop is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. This consonant is found as a phoneme mostly (though not exclusively) in two areas: India and Australia.

Voiceless retroflex stop
IPA Number105
Entity (decimal)ʈ
Unicode (hex)U+0288
Audio sample
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The symbol that represents this sound in the International Phonetic Alphabet is ʈ. Like all the retroflex consonants, the IPA symbol is formed by adding a rightward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of tee (the letter used for the equivalent alveolar consonant). In many fonts lowercase tee already has a rightward-pointing hook, but ʈ is distinguished from t by extending the hook below the baseline.


Features of the voiceless retroflex stop:

  • 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.


Bengali[1]টাকা[ʈaka]'taka'Apical postalveolar;[1] contrasts unaspirated and aspirated forms. See Bengali phonology
EnglishIndian dialectstime[ʈaɪm]'time'Corresponds to alveolar /t/ in other dialects. See English phonology
Gujarati[2][ʈə](name of a letter)Subapical;[2] contrasts unaspirated and aspirated forms. See Gujarati phonology
Hindustani[3][4]टोपी/ٹوپی[ʈoːpiː]'hat'Apical postalveolar; contrasts unaspirated and aspirated forms.[4] See Hindustani phonology
Hmongraus[ʈàu]'immerse in liquid'Contrasts with aspirated form (written rh).
Kannadaತಟ್ಟು[tʌʈʈu]'to tap'Contrasts unaspirated and aspirated forms
Lo-TogaLo dialect[5]dege[ʈəɣə]'we (incl.)'Laminal retroflex.
Marathi[2]बटाटा[bəʈaːʈaː]'potato'Subapical;[2] contrasts unaspirated and aspirated forms. See Marathi phonology
Norwegiankort[kɔʈː]'card'See Norwegian phonology
Scottish GaelicSome Hebridean dialects[7]árd[aːʈ]'high'Corresponds to the sequence /rˠt/ in other dialects. See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Swedish[8]karta[ˈkʰɑːʈa]'map'See Swedish phonology
Tamil[2][9]எட்டு[eʈʈɯ]'eight'Subapical.[2] See Tamil phonology
Teluguకొట్టు[koʈʈu]'beat'Contrasts unaspirated and aspirated forms
Torwali[10]ٹىىےل[ʈijɛl̥]'words'Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms.
VietnameseSouthern dialects[11]bạn tr[ɓaɳ˧ˀ˨ʔ ʈa˧˩˧]'you pay'May be somewhat affricated. See Vietnamese phonology

See also


  1. Mazumdar (2000:57)
  2. Khatiwada (2009:374)
  3. Ladefoged (2005:141)
  4. Tiwari (2004:?)
  5. François (2016:) 35, 41); entry dege in François’ Lo-Toga online dictionary.
  6. Ladefoged (2005:158)
  7. Bauer, Michael. Blas na Gàidhlig: The Practical Guide to Gaelic Pronunciation. Glasgow: Akerbeltz, 2011.
  8. Eliasson (1986:278–279)
  9. Keane (2004:111)
  10. Lunsford (2001:11–16)
  11. Thompson (1959:458–461)


  • Eliasson, Stig (1986), "Sandhi in Peninsular Scandinavian", in Anderson, Henning (ed.), Sandhi Phenomena in the Languages of Europe, Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 271–300
  • Keane, Elinor (2004), "Tamil", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 111–116, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001549
  • François, Alexandre (2016), "The historical morphology of personal pronouns in northern Vanuatu" (PDF), in Pozdniakov, Konstantin (ed.), Comparatisme et reconstruction : tendances actuelles, Faits de Langues, 47, Bern: Peter Lang, pp. 25–60.
  • Khatiwada, Rajesh (2009), "Nepali", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 39 (3): 337–380, doi:10.1017/s0025100309990181
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005), Vowels and Consonants (2nd ed.), Blackwell
  • 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
  • Mazumdar, Bijaychandra (2000) [First published 1920], The history of the Bengali language, New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, ISBN 8120614526
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language, 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232
  • Tiwari, Bholanath (2004) [First published 1966], Hindī Bhāshā, Kitāb Mahal: Kitāb Mahal, ISBN 81-225-0017-X
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