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Labiodental nasal: Wikis


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IPA – number 115
IPA – text ɱ
IPA – image {{{imagesize}}}
Entity ɱ
Kirshenbaum M
About this sound Sound sample

The labiodental nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɱ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is F. The IPA symbol is a lowercase letter m with a leftward hook protruding from the lower right of the letter. Occasionally it is instead transcribed as an <m> with a dental diacritic: [m̪].

It is pronounced very similarly to the bilabial nasal [m], except instead of the lips touching each other, the lower lip touches the upper teeth. The position of the lips and teeth is generally the same as for the production of the other labiodental consonants, like [f] and [v], though closure is obviously incomplete for the fricatives.

The labiodental nasal has not been confirmed to exist as a separate phoneme in any language. It has been reported from the Kukuya dialect of Teke, where it is "accompanied by strong protrusion of both lips". However, there is some doubt that a true stop can be made by this gesture.[1]

Nevertheless, it is common phonetically, as it is a typical allophone of /m/ and /n/ before the labiodental fricatives [f] and [v], as in English comfort, circumvent, infinitive, or invent. In Angami, it occurs as an allophone of /m/ before /ə/.



Features of the labiodental nasal:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Czech tramvaj [ˈtraɱvaj] 'tram' See Czech phonology
Danish symfoni [syɱfo'niˀ] 'symphony' See Danish phonology
Dutch Belgian[2] omvallen [ˈʔɔɱvɑlə] 'to fall over' See Dutch phonology
English symphony [ˈsɪɱfəni] 'symphony' See English phonology
Finnish kamferi [ˈkɑɱfe̞ri] 'camphor' See Finnish phonology
Greek έμβρυο [ˈe̞ɱvrio̞] 'embryo' See Modern Greek phonology
Gweno [ɱwiː] 'white/gray hair'
Italian[3] invece [iɱˈvetʃe] 'on the contrary' See Italian phonology
Norwegian komfyr [kɔɱˈfyːɾ] 'stove' See Norwegian phonology
Slovene simfonija [siɱfɔˈnija] 'symphony'
Spanish[4] influencia [ĩɱˈflwẽ̞nθja] 'influence' See Spanish phonology
Swedish amfibie [aɱˈfiːˌbjɛ] 'amphibia' See Swedish phonology

See also



  • Ladefoged, Peter & Ian Maddieson (1996), Sounds of the World's Languages, Blackwells
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Ana Ma. Fernández-Planas & Josefina Carrera-Sabaté (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255-259
  • Rogers, Derek & Luciana d'Arcangeli (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117-121
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (2): 243-247


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