The voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʑ⟩ ("z", plus the curl also found in its voiceless counterpart ⟨ɕ⟩), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is z\. It is the sibilant equivalent of the voiced palatal fricative.

The voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative does not occur in any major dialect of English. However, it is the usual realization of /ʒ/ (as in vision) in the Ghanaian variety.[1]


alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives [ɕ, ʑ]

Features of the voiced alveolo-palatal fricative:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz ажьа [aˈʑa] 'hare' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe жьау [ʑaːw] 'shadow'
Catalan Eastern[2] ajut [əˈʑut̪] 'help' (n.) See Catalan phonology
Chinese Jiangshan dialect of Wu [ʑyœʔ] 'ten'
Southern Min 今仔日/kin-á-ji̍t [kɪn˧a˥ʑɪt˥] 'today'
English Ghanaian[1] vision [ˈviʑin] 'vision' Educated speakers may use [ʒ], to which this phone corresponds in other dialects.[1]
Japanese 火事/kaji [kaʑi] 'fire' Found in free variation with [d͡ʑ] between vowels. See Japanese phonology
Kabardian жьэ [ʑa] 'mouth'
Lower Sorbian[3] źasety [ʑäs̪ɛt̪ɨ][stress?] 'tenth'
Luxembourgish[4] héijen [ˈhəi̯ʑə̹n] 'high' Allophone of /ʁ/ after phonologically front vowels; some speakers merge it with [ʒ]. Occurs only in a few words.[4] See Luxembourgish phonology
Pashto Wazirwola dialect ميږ [miʑ] 'we'
Polish[5] źrebię About this sound [ˈʑrɛbjɛ]  'foal' Also denoted by the digraph ⟨zi⟩. See Polish phonology
Portuguese[6][7][8] magia [maˈʑi.ɐ] 'magic' Also described as palato-alveolar [ʒ].[9][10] See Portuguese phonology
Romanian Transylvanian dialects[11] gea [ʑanə][stress?] 'eyelash' Realized as [d͡ʒ] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian Conservative Moscow Standard[12] езжу [ˈjeʑːʊ] 'I drive' Somewhat obsolete; most speakers realize it as hard [ʐː].[12] Present only in a few words, usually written ⟨жж⟩ or ⟨зж⟩. See Russian phonology
Sema[13] aji [à̠ʑì] 'blood' Possible allophone of /ʒ/ before /i, e/; can be realized as [d͡ʑ ~ ʒ ~ d͡ʒ] instead.[13]
Serbo-Croatian Croatian[14] пуж ħе / puž će [pûːʑ t͡ɕe̞] 'the snail will' Allophone of /ʒ/ before /t͡ɕ, d͡ʑ/.[14] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Uzbek[15] [example needed]
Xumi Upper[16] [Hʑɜ] 'beer, wine'
Yi /yi [ʑi˧] 'tobacco'

See also