In phonetics, alveolo-palatal (alveolopalatal, alveo-palatal or alveopalatal) consonants, sometimes synonymous with pre-palatal consonants, are intermediate in articulation between the coronal and dorsal consonants, or which have simultaneous alveolar and palatal articulation. In the official IPA chart, alveolo-palatals would appear between the retroflex and palatal consonants but for "lack of space". Ladefoged and Maddieson characterize the alveolo-palatals as palatalized postalveolars (palato-alveolars), articulated with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge and the body of the tongue raised toward the palate, whereas Esling describes them as advanced palatals (pre-palatals), the furthest front of the dorsal consonants, articulated with the body of the tongue approaching the alveolar ridge. These descriptions are essentially equivalent, since the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue (see schematic at right). They are front enough that the fricatives and affricates are sibilants, the only sibilants among the dorsal consonants.
According to Daniel Recasens, alveolo-palatal consonants are realized through the formation of a simultaneous closure or constriction at the alveolar and palatal zones with a primary articulator which encompasses the blade and the tongue dorsum. Their place of articulation may include the postalveolar zone and the prepalate, but also a larger contact area extending towards the front alveolar zone and the back palate surface. The tongue tip is bent downwards and the tongue dorsum is raised and fronted during the production of these consonants.
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