|Voiceless retroflex lateral flap|
The voiceless retroflex lateral flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages (as in Wahgi). It has no explicitly approved symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet, but may be represented as a short ⟨ɭ̥̆⟩, with the old dot diacritic ⟨ɺ̣̊⟩ or with a retroflex tail, ⟨ɺ̢̊⟩ (= ⟨̊⟩).
Features of the voiceless retroflex lateral flap:
- Its manner of articulation is tap or flap, which means it is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (usually the tongue) is thrown against another.
- Its place of articulation is retroflex, which prototypically means it is articulated subapical (with the tip of the tongue curled up), but more generally, it means that it is postalveolar without being palatalized. That is, besides the prototypical subapical articulation, the tongue contact can be apical (pointed) or laminal (flat).
- 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 lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.
- The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.
This phoneme is an allophone of /ɺ̥/ in the Wahgi language of Papua New Guinea.