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Alveolar approximant facts for kids

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Alveolar approximant
IPA number 151
Entity (decimal) ɹ
Unicode (hex) U+0279
Kirshenbaum r


The alveolar approximant is a consonant. We use it in some spoken languages. International Phonetic Alphabet represents the alveolar and postalveolar approximants as ⟨ɹ⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet represents it as a lowercase letter r rotated 180 degrees, or in broad transcription ⟨r⟩; the X-SAMPA symbol of this is ⟨r\⟩.

Many times the symbol is written as ⟨r⟩ instead of ⟨ɹ⟩ because typing ⟨r⟩ is easier.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Armenian Eastern սուրճ [suɹtʃʰ] 'coffee'
Chukchi ңирэк [ŋiɹek] 'two'
Dutch Goois door [doəɹ] 'through' Most dialects use an alveolar tap or trill. See Dutch phonology
Leiden dialect rat [ɹat] 'rat'
English American dialects red [ɹ̠ˤʷɛd] 'red' Often retracted and labialized. In non-rhotic dialects, it occurs only before a vowel. May also be a labialized retroflex approximant; corresponds to an alveolar trill or alveolar tap in a few other dialects. For convenience it is often transcribed <r>. See English phonology
Received Pronunciation
Faroese róður [ɹɔuwʊɹ] 'rudder'
German Westerwald Rebe [ɹeːbə] 'vine shoot' Most other dialects use a voiced uvular fricative or uvular trill. See German phonology
Upper Lusatian
Portuguese Many Central-Southern Brazilian dialects verde [ˈveɹdʒɪ] 'green' Syllable-final allophone of rhotic consonant and also /l/. See Portuguese phonology
Some countryside Central-Southern Brazilian dialects temporal [tẽjpoˈɾaɹ] 'rainstorm'
Spanish Some dialects doscientos [do̞ɹˈθje̞nto̞s] 'two hundred' Allophone of /s/ in the syllable coda. See Spanish phonology
Vietnamese rơ [ɹəː] 'to clean' See Vietnamese phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan r [ɹd̪ɨ] 'pass' Allophone of /ɾ/ before any consonant.
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