Voiced retroflex nasal -

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Voiced retroflex nasal
IPA Number117
Entity (decimal)ɳ
Unicode (hex)U+0273
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠝ (braille pattern dots-1345)
Audio sample

The voiced retroflex nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɳ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is n`.

Like all the retroflex consonants, the IPA symbol is formed by adding a rightward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of an en (the letter used for the corresponding alveolar consonant). It is similar to ⟨ɲ⟩, the letter for the palatal nasal, which has a leftward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of the left stem, and to ⟨ŋ⟩, the letter for the velar nasal, which has a leftward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of the right stem.


Features of the voiced retroflex nasal:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Because the consonant is also nasal, the blocked airflow is redirected through the nose.
  • 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 voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • It is a nasal consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the nose, either exclusively (nasal stops) or in addition to through the mouth.
  • 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
Enindhilyagwa yingarna [jiŋaɳa] 'snake'
Faroese ørn [œɻɳ] 'eagle'
Hindustani Hindi ठंडा [ʈʰəɳɖaː] 'cold' See Hindustani phonology
Urdu ٹھنڈا
Kannada ಅಣೆ [ʌɳe] 'dam'
Khanty Eastern dialects еңә [eɳə] 'large'
Some northern dialects
Malayalam[1] അണ [aɳə] 'jaw'
Marathi बा [baːɳə] 'arrow' See Marathi phonology
Nepali अण्डा [ʌɳɖä] 'egg' See Nepali phonology
Marshallese Ņadikdik [ɳˠɑrʲiɯɡɯirʲiɯk] 'Knox Atoll'
Norwegian garn About this sound[ɡɑːɳ]  'yarn' See Norwegian phonology
Odia ବଣି [bɔɳi] 'old'
Pashto اتڼ‎/Ata About this sound[at̪aɳ]  'Attan'
Punjabi Gurmukhi ਪੁਰਾਣਾ [puraːɳaː] 'old'
Shahmukhi پُراݨا
Swedish[2] garn About this sound[ɡɑːɳ]  'yarn' See Swedish phonology
Tamil[3] அணல் [aɳal] 'neck' See Tamil phonology
Telugu గొణుగు [goɳugu] 'murmur'
Vietnamese[4] anh trả [aɳ˧ ʈa˨˩˦] 'you pay' Allophone of /n/ before /ʈ/ in Saigon dialect. See Vietnamese phonology

See also


  1. ^ Ladefoged (2005:165)
  2. ^ Eliasson (1986:278–279)
  3. ^ Keane (2004:111)
  4. ^ Thompson (1959:458–461)


  • Eliasson, Stig (1986), "Sandhi in Peninsular Scandinavian", in Anderson, Henning (ed.), Sandhi Phenomena in the Languages of Europe, Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 271–300
  • Keane, Elinor (2004), "Tamil", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 111–116, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001549
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005), Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.), Blackwell
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language, 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232

External links