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Title: IPA c  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The voiceless palatal stop is a type of consonantal sound used in some vocal languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨c⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is c.

It is common for the symbol ⟨c⟩ to represent voiceless postalveolar affricate [t͡ʃ] or other similar affricates, for example in the Indic languages. This may be considered appropriate when the place of articulation needs to be specified and the distinction between stop and affricate is not contrastive.


Features of the voiceless palatal stop:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a stop.
  • Its place of articulation is palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to the hard palate.
  • 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.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian[1] kuq [kuc] 'red' Merged with [t͡ʃ] in Gheg Albanian for all speakers and in Tosk for some speakers.[2]
Aranda [example needed] Dento-alveolo-palatal and alveolar.[3]
Basque ttantta [caɲca] 'droplet'
Blackfoot ᖳᖽᖳᐡ akikoan [aˈkicoan] 'girl' Allophone of /k/ after front vowels.
Catalan Majorcan[4] mags [ˈmacs] 'wizards' Simultaneous dento-alveolo-palatal and palatal.[3] Corresponds to // in other varieties. See Catalan phonology
Corsican chjodu [ˈcoːdu] 'nail' Also present in the Gallurese dialect
Czech čeština [ˈtʃɛʃcɪna] 'Czech language' Alveolar and alveolo-palatal.[3] See Czech phonology
Dawsahak [cɛːˈnɐ] 'small'
Dinka car [car] 'black'
Ega[5] [cá] 'understand'
French qui [ci] 'who' (int.) Ranges from alveolar to palatal with more than one closure point.[3] See French phonology
Friulian cjase [case] 'house'
Ganda caayi [caːji] 'tea'
German Matjes [macəs] 'soused herring' Allophone of more frequent [tj].
Greek[6] καί k [c̠e̞] 'and' Somewhat retracted. See Modern Greek phonology
Gweno [ca] 'to come'
Hungarian[7] tyúk [cuːk] 'hen' Alveolo-palatal.[3] See Hungarian phonology
Icelandic gjóla [couːla] 'light wind' Alveolo-palatal.[3] See Icelandic phonology
Irish ceist [cɛʃtʲ] 'question' Simultaneous alveolo-palatal and palatal.[3] See Irish phonology
Khmer ចាប [caap] 'bird' Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms.
Latvian ķirbis [ˈcirbis] 'pumpkin'
Low German Plautdietsch kjoakj [coac] 'church' Corresponds to [kʲ] in all other dialects.
Macedonian вреќа [ˈvrɛca] 'sack' See Macedonian phonology
Norwegian Northern and central dialects[8] fett [fɛcː] 'fat' See Norwegian phonology
Occitan Limousin tireta [ciˈʀetɒ] 'drawer'
Auvergnat tirador [ciʀaˈdu] 'drawer'
Portuguese Fluminense pequeno [piˈcẽnu] 'small' Allophone of stressed // after ~ ] and before /ẽ/ or /ĩ/. Generally absent among many speakers and in careful pronunciation. See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[9] chin [cin] 'torture' Allophone of /k/ before /i/ and /e/. See Romanian phonology
Romansh Sursilvan[10] notg [nɔc] 'night'
Sutsilvan[11] tgàn [caŋ] 'dog'
Surmiran[12] vatgas [ˈvɑcɐs] 'cows'
Puter[13] cher [ˈtsycər] 'sugar'
Vallader[14] müs-chel [ˈmyʃcəl] 'moss'
Kinyarwanda ikintu [iciːntu] 'question'
Serbo-Croatian Chakavian dialect Ćićarija [cicaˈɾija] 'Ćićarija'
Slovak deväť [ˈɟɛvæc] 'nine' Alveolar.[3]
Spanish Canarian dialect muchacho [muˈcaco̞] 'boy' See Canarian Spanish.
Turkish köy [cʰœj] 'village' See Turkish phonology
Vietnamese[15] ch [ci˧ˀ˨ʔ] 'elder sister' May be slightly affricated [t͡ɕ]. See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian tjems [cɛms] 'strainer'
Western Desert Language kutju [kucu] 'one'

See also



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