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The symbolization of central approximants in the IPA

  • Martin J. Ball (a1) and Joan Rahilly (a2)
Abstract

Approximants that can be considered weaker versions of voiced fricatives (termed here ‘frictionless continuants’) are poorly served by the IPA in terms of symbolization as compared to semi-vowel approximants. In this paper we survey the central approximants and the symbols and diacritics used to transcribe them; we focus on evidence for the use of non-rhotic frictionless continuants in both natural language (by which we mean non-clinical varieties) and disordered speech; and we suggest some possible unitary symbols for those that currently require the use of a hard-to-read lowering diacritic beneath the symbol for the corresponding voiced fricative.

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Journal of the International Phonetic Association
  • ISSN: 0025-1003
  • EISSN: 1475-3502
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-phonetic-association
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