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Labial-velar approximant: Wikis


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IPA – number 170
IPA – text w
IPA – image {{{imagesize}}}
Entity w
Kirshenbaum w
About this sound Sound sample

The voiced labiovelar approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in certain spoken languages, including English. It is the sound denoted by the letter "w" in the English alphabet[1]; likewise, the symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is w, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is w. In most languages it is a labialized velar approximant ([ɰʷ]), and the semivocalic counterpart of the close back rounded vowel [u]. As labio-velar consonants do not easily fit into consonant charts with only labial and velar columns, [w] may be put in either the velar column, (bi)labial column, or both, though the latter is rare outside of the official IPA chart; the placement may have more to do with phonological criteria than phonetic ones.[2]



Features of the voiced labialized velar approximant:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz ауаҩы [owoˈɥy] 'human' See Abkhaz phonology
Arabic Standard[3] وَرْد [ward] 'roses' See Arabic phonology
Catalan[4] blau [blaw] 'blue' (m.) See Catalan phonology
Chinese Mandarin /wáng [wɑŋ˧˥] 'king' See Mandarin phonology
English weep [wiːp] 'weep' See English phonology
French[5] oui [wi] 'yes' See French phonology
Hawaiian[6] wikiwiki [wikiwiki] 'fast' May also be realized as [v]. See Hawaiian phonology
Irish vóta [ˈwoːt̪ˠə] 'vote' See Irish phonology
Italian[7] uomo [ˈwɔmo] 'man' See Italian phonology
Japanese /watashi [ɰ͡β̞ataɕi] 'I' Pronounced with lip compression. See Japanese phonology
Malay wang [waŋ] 'money'
Pashto ﻭﺍﺭ [wɑr] 'one time'
Polish[8] łaska Pl-łaska.ogg [ˈwaska] 'grace' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[9] água [ˈaɡwɐ] 'water' See Portuguese phonology
Romanian dulău [duˈləw] 'mastiff' See Romanian phonology
Seri cmiique [ˈkw̃ĩːkːɛ] 'person' Allophone of /m/.
Sesotho sewa [ˈsewa] 'epidemic' See Sesotho phonology
Spanish[10] cuanto [ˈkwãn̪t̪o̞] 'how much' See Spanish phonology
Swahili mwanafunzi [mwɑnɑfunzi] 'student'
Tagalog araw [aˈraw] 'day' See Tagalog phonology

See also



  • Barbosa, Plínio A.; Albano, Eleonora C. (2004), "Brazilian Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (2): 227–232 
  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1-2): 53–56 
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73–76 
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (1): 103–107 
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255–259 
  • Ohala, James; Lorentz (1977), "Story of [w]: An exercise in the phonetic explanation for sound patterns", Berkeley Linguistics Society annual meeting 3 proceedings, pp. 577–599 
  • Pukui, Mary Kawena; Elbert, Samuel H. (1986), Hawaiian Dictionary, Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, ISBN 0-8248-0703-0 
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117–121 
  • Watson, Janet (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic, New York: Oxford University Press 


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