Voiceless alveolar and postalveolar approximants
The voiceless alveolar approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the alveolar and postalveolar voiceless approximants is ⟨ɹ̥⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r\_0.
Features of the voiceless alveolar approximant:
- 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.