Voiceless palatal plosive
IPA Number107
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)c
Unicode (hex)U+0063
Braille⠉ (braille pattern dots-14)
Voiceless alveolo-palatal plosive

The voiceless palatal plosive or 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.

If distinction is necessary, the voiceless alveolo-palatal plosive may be transcribed as ⟨⟩ (advancedc⟩) or ⟨t̠ʲ⟩ (retracted and palatalizedt⟩), but these are essentially equivalent, because the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are c_+ and t_-' or t_-_j, respectively. There is also a non-IPA letter U+0236 ȶ LATIN SMALL LETTER T WITH CURL; ȶ ("t", plus the curl found in the symbols for alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives ɕ, ʑ) is used especially in sinological circles.

It is common for the phonetic symbol ⟨c⟩ to be used 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 plosive and affricate is not contrastive.

There is also the voiceless post-palatal plosive[1] in some languages, which is articulated slightly more back compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical palatal consonant, though not as back as the prototypical velar consonant. The International Phonetic Alphabet does not have a separate symbol for that sound, though it can be transcribed as ⟨⟩ (retracted ⟨c⟩) or ⟨⟩ (advanced ⟨k⟩). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are c_- and k_+, respectively.

Especially in broad transcription, the voiceless post-palatal plosive may be transcribed as a palatalized voiceless velar plosive (⟨⟩ in the IPA, k' or k_j in X-SAMPA).


Features of the voiceless palatal stop:


Palatal or alveolo-palatal

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian[2] shqip [ʃcip] 'Albanian' Merged with [t͡ʃ] in Gheg Albanian and some speakers of Tosk Albanian.[3]
Asturian Western dialects[4] muyyer [muˈceɾ] 'woman' Alternate evolution of -lj-, -c'l-, pl-, cl- and fl- in the Brañas Vaqueiras area of Western Asturias. May be also realized as [c͡ç] or [ɟ͡ʝ]
Amuzgo Xochistlahuaca variety[5] tyaáⁿ [cã́] 'clumsy; a clumsy person'
Basque ttantta [cäɲcä] 'droplet'
Blackfoot ᖳᖽᖳᐡ / akikoan [aˈkicoan] 'girl' Allophone of /k/ after front vowels.
Bulgarian Banat dialect kaćétu (каќету or какьету) [kacetu] 'as' See Bulgarian phonology
Catalan Majorcan[6] qui [ˈci̞] 'who' Dento-alveolo-palatal or palatal.[7] Corresponds to /k/ in other varieties. See Catalan phonology
Corsican chjodu [ˈcoːdu] 'nail' Also present in the Gallurese dialect
Croatian već [vec] 'already' Dialect of the Croatian Littoral
Czech čeština [ˈt͡ʃɛʃc̟ɪna] 'Czech' (language) Alveolo-palatal or alveolar.[7] See Czech phonology
Dawsahak [cɛːˈnɐ] 'small'
Dinka car [car] 'black'
Ega[8] [cá] 'understand'
French[7] qui [ci] 'who' (int.) Ranges from alveolar to palatal. See French phonology
Friulian cjase [caze] 'house'
Ganda caayi [caːji] 'tea'
Gweno [ca] 'to come'
Hakka Meixian 飛機 / fi1 gi1 [fi˦ ci˦] 'plane' Allophone of /k/ before /i/.
Hokkien Taiwanese 機車 / ki-tshia [ciː˧ t͡ɕʰia˥] 'motorcycle'
Hungarian[9] tyúk [c̟uːk] 'hen' Alveolo-palatal.[7] See Hungarian phonology
Icelandic gjóla [ˈc̟ouːlä] 'light wind' Alveolo-palatal.[7] See Icelandic phonology
Irish ceist [cɛʃtʲ] 'question' Alveolo-palatal or palatal.[7] See Irish phonology
Khasi boit [bɔc] 'dwarf'
Khmer ចាប / chab [caːp] 'bird' Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms.
Kinyarwanda ikintu [iciːnɦuʰ] 'thing'
Kurdish Northern kîso [cʰiːsoː] 'tortoise' Allophone of /kʰ/ before /ɨ/, /ɛ/, /iː/, and /eː/. See Kurdish phonology
Central کیسەڵ [cʰiːsæɫ]
Southern [cʰiːsaɫ]
Latvian ķirbis [ˈcirbis] 'pumpkin' See Latvian phonology
Low German Plautdietsch kjoakj [coac] 'church' Corresponds to [kʲ] in all other dialects.[clarification needed]
Macedonian вреќа [ˈvrɛca] 'sack' See Macedonian phonology
Malay Kelantan-Pattani cita [ci.tɔʔ] 'feeling' Palatal,[10] allophone of /tʃ/. See Malay phonology
Indonesian cari [cari] 'to find'
Norwegian Central dialects[11] fett [fɛcː] 'fat' See Norwegian phonology
Northern dialects[11]
Occitan Limousin tireta [ciˈʀetɒ] 'drawer'
Auvergnat tirador [ciʀaˈdu]
Western Gascon chifra [ˈcifrə] 'digit' Corresponds to [tʃ] and sometimes [dʒ] in eastern dialects
Romanian[12] chin [cin] 'torture' Allophone of /k/ before /i/ and /e/. See Romanian phonology. Also in some northern dialects
Romansh Sursilvan[13] notg [nɔc] 'night'
Sutsilvan[14] tgàn [caŋ] 'dog'
Surmiran[15] vatgas [ˈvɑcɐs] 'cows'
Puter[16] cher [ˈtsycər] 'sugar'
Vallader[17] müs-chel [ˈmyʃcəl] 'moss'
Slovak[7] ťava [ˈcava] 'camel' See Slovak phonology
Spanish Canarian choco [ˈc̟oko] 'cuttlefish' Alveolo-palatal. Used to be voiced.[18] Corresponds to [t͡ʃ] in other dialects of Spanish (speakers from other areas of Spain mishear it as [ʝ]).
Turkish köy [cʰœj] 'village' See Turkish phonology
Vietnamese[19] ch [ci˧ˀ˨ʔ] 'elder sister' May be slightly affricated [tᶝ ]. See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian tjems [cɛms] 'strainer' See West Frisian phonology
Western Desert kutju [kucu] 'one'
Damin dunji-kan [t̺un̺t̠ʲi kan̺] 'go'


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Belarusian кіслы [ˈk̟is̪ɫ̪ɨ] 'acidic' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩. See Belarusian phonology
Catalan[20] qui [k̟i] 'who' Allophone of /k/ before front vowels.[20] See Catalan phonology
Danish Standard[21] gidsel [ˈk̟isəl] 'hostage' Allophone of /ɡ/ before front vowels.[21] See Danish phonology
English[22][23] keen [k̟ʰiːn] 'keen' Allophone of /k/ before front vowels and /j/.[22][23] See English phonology
back bæc̠ back Mainstream Irish English realisation of /k/ after front vowels.[24]
German Standard[25][26] Kind [k̟ʰɪnt] 'child' Allophone of /k/ before and after front vowels.[25][26] See Standard German phonology
Greek[27] Μακεδνός [mɐc̠e̞ˈðno̞s̠] 'Makedon' See Modern Greek phonology
Italian Standard[28] chi [k̟i] 'who' Allophone of /k/ before /i, e, ɛ, j/.[28] See Italian phonology
Japanese / kyū [k̟ÿː] 'nine' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨kʲ⟩, allophone of /kj/. See Japanese phonology
Polish kiedy [ˈk̟ɛdɨ] 'when' See Polish phonology
Portuguese qui [k̟i] 'Chi' Allophone of /k/ before front vowels. See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[29] ochi [o̞k̟] 'eye' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩. See Romanian phonology
Russian Standard[30] кит / kit [k̟it̪] 'whale' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩. See Russian phonology
Spanish[31] kilo [ˈk̟ilo̞] 'kilo(gram)' Allophone of /k/ before front vowels.[31] See Spanish phonology
Tidore yaci [jaci] 'to rip'
Ukrainian кінчик [ˈk̟inʲt͡ʃɪk] 'tip' Can also be transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩, but is an allophone of /k/ before front vowels. See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese [example needed] Final allophone of /c/. See Vietnamese phonology

See also


  1. ^ Instead of "post-palatal", it can be called "retracted palatal", "backed palatal", "palato-velar", "pre-velar", "advanced velar", "fronted velar" or "front-velar". For simplicity, this article uses only the term "post-palatal".
  2. ^ Newmark, Hubbard & Prifti (1982), p. 10.
  3. ^ Kolgjini (2004).
  4. ^ "Tinéu. Mapa del conceyu | El Teixu" (in Asturian). Archived from the original on 2019-08-29. Retrieved 2019-11-24.
  5. ^ Dobui (2021).
  6. ^ Recasens & Espinosa (2005), p. 1.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Recasens (2013), pp. 11–13.
  8. ^ Connell, Ahoua & Gibbon (2002), p. 100.
  9. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 164.
  10. ^ Jiang Wu (2023). Malayic varieties of Kelantan and Terengganu. Amsterdam: LOT Publications. p. 42. ISBN 978-94-6093-436-0.
  11. ^ a b Skjekkeland (1997), pp. 105–107.
  12. ^ DEX Online: [1][permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Menzli (1993), p. 92.
  14. ^ Liver (1999), pp. 53–54.
  15. ^ Liver (1999), pp. 56–57.
  16. ^ Liver (1999), pp. 59–60.
  17. ^ Liver (1999), pp. 63–64.
  18. ^ Herrera Santana, Juana (2007). "Variación dialectal: procesos de convergencia y divergencia en el español de Canarias". Revista de Filología de la Universidad de la Laguna (in Spanish) (25): 337–346. ISSN 0212-4130.
  19. ^ Thompson (1959), pp. 458–461.
  20. ^ a b Rafel (1999), p. 14.
  21. ^ a b Grønnum (2005), p. 124.
  22. ^ a b Cruttenden (2014), p. 181.
  23. ^ a b Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009).
  24. ^ "Variation and Change in Dublin English, (c) Raymond Hickey". www.raymondhickey.com. Retrieved 2023-12-14.
  25. ^ a b Wiese (1996), p. 271.
  26. ^ a b Krech et al. (2009), pp. 49, 92.
  27. ^ Arvaniti (2007), p. 20.
  28. ^ a b Canepari (1992), p. 62.
  29. ^ Sarlin (2014), p. 17.
  30. ^ Yanushevskaya & Bunčić (2015), p. 223.
  31. ^ a b Canellada & Madsen (1987), p. 20.