Palatal consonant

consonant articulated with the body of the tongue against the hard palate

A palatal consonant is a consonant that is pronounced with the body (the middle part) of the tongue against the hard palate (which is the middle part of the roof of the mouth). There is only one palatal consonant in English which is [j], which is the sound for "y" in the English word "yes". The most common palatal consonant used in the world is [j].

Palatal consonant in IPA


These are the palatal consonants in the International Phonetic Alphabet:

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
  palatal nasal French agneau [aɲo] lamb
  voiceless palatal plosive Hungarian hattyú [hɒuː] swan
  voiced palatal plosive Latvian ģimene [ɟimene] family
  voiceless palatal fricative German nicht [nɪçt] not
  voiced palatal fricative Spanish yema [ʝema] egg yolk
  palatal approximant English yes [jɛs] yes
  palatal lateral approximant Italian gli [ʎi] the (masculine plural)
  voiced palatal implosive Swahili hujambo [huʄambo] hello
  palatal click Nǁng ǂoo [ǂoo] man, male