Apical consonant

Apical consonant

An apical consonant is a phone (speech sound) produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue (i.e. the tip of the tongue). This contrasts with laminal consonants, which are produced by creating an obstruction with the blade of the tongue (which is just behind the apex).

This is not a very common distinction, and typically applied only to fricatives and affricates. Thus many varieties of English have either apical or laminal pairs of [t] / [d] . However, some varieties of Arabic, including Hadhrami Arabic (also spelt Hadrami), realizes [t] as laminal but [d] as apical.

The Basque language uses this distinction for alveolar fricatives, as does Serbo-Croatian. Mandarin Chinese uses it for postalveolar fricatives (the "alveolo-palatal" and "retroflex" series). St'at'imcets uses this as a secondary feature in contrasting velarized and non-velarized affricates. A distinction between apical and laminal is common in Australian languages for the nasals, plosives and usually also the lateral approximants.

ee also

*Coronal consonant
*Laminal consonant
*List of phonetic topics
*Voiceless apicoalveolar fricative
*Voiced apicoalveolar fricative



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  • Sub-apical consonant — A sub apical consonant is a consonant made by contact with the underside of the tip of the tongue. The only common sub apical articulations are in the postalveolar to palatal region; these are called retroflex . However, most so called retroflex… …   Wikipedia

  • Apical — Apical, from the Latin apex (plural apices ) meaning to be at the apex or tip, may refer to:*Apical consonant, a consonant produced with the tip of the tongue *Apical dominance *Apical membrane, a cell biology term *Apical pulse, the heart rate… …   Wikipedia

  • Consonant — Not to be confused with the musical concept of consonance For the alternative rock group, see Consonant (band). Places of articulation Labial Bilabial Labial–velar Labial–coronal Labiodental …   Wikipedia

  • consonant — I (Roget s IV) n. Linguistic terms referring to consonant sounds include: voiceless, voiced; labial, bilabial, labiodental, apical, dental, alveolar, retroflex, frontal, alveopalatal, prepalatal, dorsal, palatal, velar, uvular, glottal,… …   English dictionary for students

  • consonant — Synonyms and related words: accented, accordant, according, affirmative, agreeable, agreeing, alike, allophone, alveolar, answerable, apical, apico alveolar, apico dental, articulated, articulation, aspiration, assimilated, assimilation, assonant …   Moby Thesaurus

  • apical — [ eɪpɪk(ə)l, ap ] adjective 1》 technical relating to or denoting an apex. 2》 Phonetics (of a consonant) formed with the tip of the tongue at or near the front teeth or the alveolar ridge, for example th or trilled r. Origin C19: from L. apex,… …   English new terms dictionary

  • apical —   a. at the summit or tip; Phonetics, pertaining to a consonant formed with help of tip of tongue.    ♦ apicad, adv. towards the summit …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • Fricative consonant — Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of IPA| [f] ; the back of the tongue against the soft… …   Wikipedia

  • Laminal consonant — Laminal ◌̻ IPA number 410 Encoding Entity (decimal) #827; …   Wikipedia

  • Coronal consonant — Places of articulation Labial Bilabial Labial–velar Labial–coronal Labiodental Dentolabial Bidental …   Wikipedia

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