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Uvular flap

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Subject: Uvular consonant, Afrikaans phonology, Okanagan language, Handwritten IPA, Velar ejective affricate
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Uvular flap

Uvular flap
IPA number 112 505
Entity (decimal) ɢ​̆
Unicode (hex) U+0262 U+0306

The uvular flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. There is no dedicated symbol for this sound in the IPA. It can specified by adding a 'short' diacritic to the letter for the uvular plosive, ɢ̆, but normally it is covered by the unmodified letter for the uvular trill, ʀ,[1] since the two have never been reported to contrast.

The uvular flap is not known to exist as a phoneme in any language.

More commonly, it is said to vary with the much more frequent uvular trill, and is most likely a single-contact trill [ʀ̆] rather than an actual flap in these languages. (The primary difference between a flap and a trill is that of the airstream, not the number of contacts.)


Features of the uvular flap:

  • Its manner of articulation is flap, which means it is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (usually the tongue) is thrown against another.
  • Its place of articulation is uvular, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the uvula.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. However, in some languages, such as Swiss German, it can just mean that this consonant is pronounced shorter and weaker than its voiceless counterpart, while its voicedness or lack thereof is not relevant. In such cases it's more accurate to call such sounds lenis or lax.
  • 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.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Dutch[2] rood [ʀ̆oːt] 'red' More common than a uvular trill.[3] Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology
German Standard[4] ehre [ˈʔeːʀ̆ə] 'honour' Common intervocallic realization of /ʀ/.[4] See German phonology
Okanagan Southern[5] [ɢ̆àlə́p] 'lose' Allophone of /ʕ/;[5] it corresponds to [ʕ] in other dialects.[5]
Supyire[6] tadugugo [taduɢ̆uɢ̆o] 'place to go up' May be in free variation [ɡ].[6]
Wahgi[7] Allophone of /ʟ̝/.[7]


  1. ^ Bruce Connell, Lower Cross Wordlist[1]
  2. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:42 and 199)
  3. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:42)
  4. ^ a b Lodge (2009:46)
  5. ^ a b c Kinkade (1967:232)
  6. ^ a b Carlson (1994:10)
  7. ^ a b Phillips (1976:?)


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