Retroflex ejective stop

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Retroflex ejective stop
Audio sample

The retroflex ejective is a rare consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʈʼ.


Features of the retroflex ejective:

  • 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 plosive.
  • 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.
  • 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 ejective (glottalic egressive), which means the air is forced out by pumping the glottis upward.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Yokuts Wukchumni ṭʼa∙yʼ [ʈʼaːjˀ] 'down feather' Phonemically distinct, not found in other Yokuts dialects
English Indian beet [biːʈʼ] 'beet' This sound usually occurs at the end of a phrase as an allophone of /t/.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]