Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Apical Vowels
(1,488 words)

Four types of apical vowels occur in the Chinese dialects: the unrounded and rounded alveolar apical vowels symbolized as [ɿ ʮ] and the unrounded and rounded post-alveolar or retroflex apical vowels symbolized as [ʅ ʯ ]. The [ɿ ʮ ʅ ʯ ] are widely used by dialectologists in China. Phonologically, the apical vowels occur only in CV syllables and function as syllable nucleus. In an overwhelmingly large number of the Chinese dialects, the apical vowel is obligatorily preceded by a homorganic sibilant. In a limited number of d…

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Wai-Sum LEE and Eric ZEE, “Apical Vowels”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000018>
First published online: 2015

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