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The voiced palatal stop is a type of consonantal sound, used in some vocal languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ ɟ⟩, a barred dotless ⟨j⟩ which was initially created by turning the type for a lowercase letter ⟨f⟩. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is J\.
The sound does not exist as a phoneme in English, but is perhaps most similar to a voiced postalveolar affricate [dʒ], as in English jump (although it is a stop, not an affricate; the most similar stop phoneme to this sound in English is [ɡ], as in argue), and because it is difficult to get the tongue to touch just the hard palate without also touching the back part of the alveolar ridge,1 [ɟ] is a less common sound worldwide than [dʒ]. It is also common for the symbol /ɟ/ to be used to represent a palatalized voiced velar stop, or other similar affricates, for example in the Indic languages. This may be considered appropriate when the place of articulation needs to be specified and the distinction between stop and affricate is not contrastive, and therefore of secondary importance.
Features of the voiced palatal stop:
- 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 stop.
- Its place of articulation is palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to the hard palate.
- Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
- 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 pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.
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