Affricate Consonant - Notation


Affricates are transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet by a combination of two letters, one for the stop element and the other for the fricative element. In order to show that these are parts of a single consonant, a tie bar is generally used. The tie bar appears most commonly above the two letters, but may be placed under them if it fits better there, or simply because this is more legible. Thus:

  • ⟨p͡f, t͡sʼ, d͡z, t͡ɬ, d͡ɮ, t͡ʃʼ, d͡ʒ, t͡ɕʼ, d͡ʑ, t͡ʂʼ, d͡ʐ , k͡xʼ⟩


  • ⟨p͜f, t͜sʼ, d͜z, t͜ɬ, d͜ɮ, t͜ʃʼ, d͜ʒ, t͜ɕʼ, d͜ʑ, t͜ʂʼ, d͜ʐ , k͜xʼ⟩.

A less common notation is to indicate the release of the affricate with a superscript:

  • ⟨pᶠ, tˢ, dᶻ, tᶴ, dᶾ, kˣ⟩.

This is derived from the IPA convention of indicating other releases with a superscript. Though they are no longer standard IPA, ligatures are available in Unicode for the six common affricates

  • ⟨ʦ, ʣ, ʧ, ʤ, ʨ, ʥ⟩.

Any of these notations distinguishes affricates from sequences of stop plus fricative, a difference which distinguishes words in languages such as Polish. However, in languages where there is no such distinction, such as English, the tie bars are commonly dropped.

In other phonetic transcription systems, such as the Americanist system, the affricates, are transcribed respectively as ⟨c⟩ or ⟨¢⟩; ⟨j⟩, ⟨ƶ⟩, or (older) ⟨ʒ⟩; ⟨c⟩ or ⟨č⟩; ⟨ǰ⟩, ⟨ǧ⟩, or (older) ⟨ǯ⟩; ⟨ƛ⟩; and ⟨λ⟩ or ⟨dl⟩. Within the IPA, and are sometimes transcribed with the symbols for the palatal stops, ⟨c⟩ and ⟨ɟ⟩.

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