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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 ⟨⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet represents it as a lowercase letter r rotated 180 degrees, or in broad transcription ⟨⟩; the X-SAMPA symbol of this is ⟨r\⟩.

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


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Armenian Eastern սուրճ 'coffee'
Chukchi ңирэк 'two'
Dutch Goois door 'through' Most dialects use an alveolar tap or trill. See Dutch phonology
Leiden dialect rat 'rat'
English American dialects red '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 'rudder'
German Westerwald Rebe '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 'green' Syllable-final allophone of rhotic consonant and also. See Portuguese phonology
Some countryside Central-Southern Brazilian dialects temporal 'rainstorm'
Spanish Some dialects doscientos 'two hundred' Allophone of in the syllable coda. See Spanish phonology
Vietnamese rơ 'to clean' See Vietnamese phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan r 'pass' Allophone of before any consonant.
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