A retroflex ( from Lat Retro & flectere " turn ", " back ") is an apico - postalveolar or sublamino - präpalataler speech sound, that is, in its formation, the tongue tip or tongue blade is placed behind the alveolar ridge. The tongue flexes back to top. Another common especially in Indology name for Retroflex is cerebral ( from Latin cerebrum ' brain, skull ").
The contrast between dental and retroflex plosives and nasal consonants is characteristic of the spoken languages in the Indian region, regardless of their membership of a particular language family. Retro flexes occur in both Indo-Aryan, Dravidian than in some Eastern Iranian languages (eg Pashto ). Indian speakers often substitute the alveolar sounds of English or German, not found in their native language by retro flexes, which is one of the reasons for the distinctive sound of Indian English.
In Chinese retroflex fricatives occur, contrasting with the alveopalatalen fricatives. Similarly, there are retro flexes in Jaqaru in central Peru, the voiceless retroflex affricate ( IPA: ʈ͡ʂ about as English pronounced "tr" ) in some variants of the Quechua in northern and central Peru ( Wanka, Cajamarca, Inkawasi - Kanaris ), here mostly with ĉ the letter or reproduced with ch '.
In the Swedish and partly of the Norwegian language, some consonants merge preceded by r to a retroflex. Even the English r can, particularly in the U.S., are pronounced retroflex. The Sardinian dd ( h) is a retro flexes [ ɖɖ ].