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The palatal approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in very many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is j, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is j.
Features of the palatal approximant:
- Its manner of articulation is approximant, which means it is produced by bringing one articulator close to another but without the vocal tract being narrowed to such an extent that a turbulent airstream is produced.
- Its place of articulation is palatal which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate.
- Its phonation type is voiced, which means the vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation.
- It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth.
- It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by allowing the airstream to flow over the middle of the tongue, rather than the sides.
- The airstream mechanism is pulmonic egressive, which means it is articulated by pushing air out of the lungs and through the vocal tract, rather than from the glottis or the mouth.
The palatal approximant occurs in English, and it is the sound denoted by the letter "y" in you or yesterday.
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