I once saw [ʐ͇] and couldn't figure out what the diacritic meant.

Any help is appreciated.

  • Can be a tone mark. Which language is it used for? – Yellow Sky Aug 27 '20 at 23:58
  • English, actually, which definitely does not have tones. – merrybot Aug 28 '20 at 0:10
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alveolar_stop – In the end of this article it's said ◌͇ is used to mark a consonant as alveolar. But frankly speaking, I cannot imagine how retroflex [ʐ] can be at the same time alveolar. Maybe it was [z]? Also here: “Comment IPA: alveolar” – Yellow Sky Aug 28 '20 at 0:26

If you saw it on PHOIBLE, it means the sound is a non-sibilant fricative. See here for documentation.


Based on Laver (1999), this page infers that doubling the under-bar diacritic ("retracted") can be used to mean "very retracted". It it true that the double-bar appears on pp. 559-560 of Laver, but there is no exegesis, it's simply there in some examples. This is not officially sanctioned IPA practice. Phoible claims the existence of [ʐ͇] in Burushaski, Hopi, (Eastern) Armenian and Araucanian. It appears to have been added to the Wiki page here. The associated claim (about "alveolar") appears to be an interpolation from the appendix in the IPA handbook in the section of IPA extensions for disordered speech. However, although it is exemplified in the diacritic box under [t], it is only used for "labio-alveolars". The diacritic is never used to indicate alveolar, in ordinary phonetic descriptions. If you saw it in English, your guess is as good as mine what they meant.

  • The extIPA section of the Handbook does define the "subscript equals sign" explicitly as "alveolarized", on p. 190. – Nardog Sep 14 '20 at 20:45

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