As far as I know, there are some unvoiced vowels in Japanese. For example, when 「す」 is at the end od a sentence, it will sound like [s]. Such process is referred to as 「無声化」. I wonder how to represent these unvoiced vowels in IPA?

1 Answer 1


IPA has the devoicing diacritic ◌̥ (ring below) — you can see this used in the narrow transcriptions on Wiktionary for Japanese words that have devoicing such as 好き.

  • Thanka a lot for your answer!It's helpful. And I have another question. Is such diacritic also used in broad transcription?
    – Sophiefy
    Aug 13, 2023 at 1:07
  • @Francis Komizu It is not used in phonemic transcription of Japanese. But there are languages, which have contrasting voiceless and voiced consonants (not just one being allophone of another), e.g. /m̥/ versus /m/ (e.g. Burmese, White Hmong, Jalapa Mazatec, Kildin Sámi, Xumi).
    – Arfrever
    Aug 13, 2023 at 9:05

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