Retroflex consonant

Subapical retroflex plosive

A retroflex (/ˈrɛtrflɛks/ or /ˈrɛtrəflɛks/), apico-domal, or cacuminal[citation needed] (/kæˈkjuːmɪnəl/) consonant is a coronal consonant where the tongue has a flat, concave, or even curled shape, and is articulated between the alveolar ridge and the hard palate. They are sometimes referred to as cerebral consonants—especially in Indology.

The Latin-derived word retroflex means "bent back"; some retroflex consonants are pronounced with the tongue fully curled back so that articulation involves the underside of the tongue tip (subapical). These sounds are sometimes described as "true" retroflex consonants. However, retroflexes are commonly taken to include other consonants having a similar place of articulation without such extreme curling of the tongue; these may be articulated with the tongue tip (apical) or the tongue blade (laminal).

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