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Labial-velar consonant: Wikis

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Places of
articulation

 • Labial
Bilabial
Labial-velar
Labial-alveolar
Labiodental

 • Bidental

 • Coronal
Linguolabial
Interdental
Dental
Denti-alveolar
Alveolar
Apical
Laminal
Postalveolar
Alveolo-palatal
Retroflex

 • Dorsal
Palatal
Labial-palatal
Velar
Uvular
Uvular-epiglottal

 • Radical
Pharyngeal
Epiglotto-pharyngeal
Epiglottal

 • Glottal

This page contains phonetic information in IPA, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

Labial-velar consonants are doubly articulated at the velum and the lips. They are sometimes called "labiovelar consonants", a term which can also refer to labialized velars, such as [kʷ] and the approximant [w].

Truly doubly articulated labial-velars occur as plosives and nasal stops in the majority of languages in West and Central Africa, and are relatively common in the eastern end of New Guinea. They include [k͡p, ɡ͡b, ŋ͡m]. The Yélî Dnye language of Rossel Island, Papua New Guinea, has both labial-velars and labial-alveolar consonants. Labial velar unvoiced plosives and nasals also occur in Vietnamese, albeit only at the end of words.

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
k͡p voiceless labial-velar plosive Logba ò-kpàyɔ̀ [ò-k͡pàjɔ̀] 'God'
ɡ͡b voiced labial-velar plosive Ewe Ewegbe [ɛβɛɡ͡be] 'the Ewe language'
ŋ͡m labial-velar nasal Vietnamese cung [kuŋ͡m] 'sector'

To pronounce these, try saying [k, ɡ, ŋ], but close your lips as you would for [p, b, m]. Then release just as you would do to produce these sounds. Note that while 90% of the occlusion overlaps, the onset of the velar occurs slightly before that of the labial, and the release of the labial occurs slightly after that of the velar, so that the preceding vowel sounds like it's followed by a velar, while the following vowel sounds like it's following a labial. Thus the order of the symbols in k͡p and ɡ͡b is motivated by the phonetic details of these sounds.

These sounds are clearly single consonants rather than consonant clusters. The Eggon language, for example, contrasts these possibilities, with /bɡ/ and /ɡb/ both distinct from /ɡ͡b/. Ignoring tone, we have:

Single consonant Two-consonant sequence
pom to pound kba to dig
abu a dog bɡa to beat, to kill
aku a room ak͡pki a stomach
ɡom to break ɡ͡bɡa to grind
k͡pu to die kpu to kneel
ɡ͡bu to arrive ɡba to divide

For transcribing these sounds, occasionally ligatures will be seen instead of digraphs with a tie bar:

Labial velars.png

Note that although such symbols are readily understood, they are not sanctioned by the IPA, and have no Unicode values. They can, however, be specified as the way an OpenType font displays gb and kp digraphs.

Labial-velar plosives also occur as ejective [k͡pʼ] and implosive [ɠɓ] (the tie bar has been removed for legibility). There may be labial-velar approximants in languages like Japanese; see labiovelar consonant. Bilabial clicks are sometimes considered to be labial-velar consonants as well, though the validity of this classification is debated.

See also

References

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