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Voiced retroflex implosive

Voiced retroflex implosive
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The voiced retroflex implosive is a type of consonantal sound that has not been confirmed to exist and to be phonemically distinct in any language. It has been claimed that Ngad'a, an Austronesian language spoken in Flores, contains such a sound.[1] Sindhi also has an implosive that varies between dental and retroflex articulation.

The symbol for this, (a D with a tail for retroflex and a hook-top for implosive), is not explicitly recognized by the IPA, but is supported in the Unicode Phonetic Extensions Supplement.


Features of the voiced retroflex implosive:

  • 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 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 sub-apical 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 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 implosive (glottalic ingressive), which means it is produced by pulling air in by pumping the glottis downward. Since it is voiced, the glottis is not completely closed, but allows a pulmonic airstream to escape through it.


  1. ^ Djawanai, Stephanus. (1977). A description of the basic phonology of Nga'da and the treatment of borrowings. NUSA linguistic studies in Indonesian and languages in Indonesia, 5, 10-18.

See also