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Voiced velar plosive: Wikis


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IPA – number 110
IPA – text ɡ
IPA – image {{{imagesize}}}
Entity ɡ
Kirshenbaum g
About this sound Sound sample

The voiced velar plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɡ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is g. Strictly, the IPA symbol is the so-called "opentail G" Opentail g.svg, though the "looptail G" Looptail g.svg is considered an acceptable alternative. The Unicode character "Latin small letter G" (U+0067) renders as either an opentail G or a looptail G depending on font, while the character "Latin small letter script G" (U+0261) is always an opentail G, but is generally available only in fonts with the IPA Extensions character block.

Of the six plosives that would be expected from the most common pattern world-wide—that is, three places of articulation plus voicing ([p b, t d, k ɡ])—[p] and [ɡ] are the most frequently missing, being absent in about 10% of languages that otherwise have this pattern. The former is an areal feature (see Voiceless bilabial plosive). Missing [ɡ], on the other hand, is widely scattered around the world. (A few languages, such as Ket, are missing both.) It seems that [ɡ] is somewhat more difficult to articulate than the other basic plosives. Ian Maddieson speculates that this may be due to a physical difficulty in voicing velars: Voicing requires that air flow into the mouth cavity, and the relatively small space allowed by the position of velar consonants means that it will fill up with air quickly, making voicing difficult to maintain in [ɡ] for as long as it is in [d] or [b]. This could have two effects: [ɡ] and [k] might become confused, and the distinction is lost, or perhaps a [ɡ] never develops when a language first starts making voicing distinctions. (with uvulars, where there is even less space between the glottis and tongue for airflow, the imbalance is more extreme: Voiced [ɢ] is much rarer than voiceless [q]). Many Indo-Aryan languages, such as Hindustani, have a two-way contrast between aspirated and plain [g].



Features of the voiced velar plosive:

Varieties of [ɡ]

IPA Description
ɡ plain g
ɡʱ or ɡ̈ breathy voiced or murmured g
ɡʲ palatalized g
ɡʷ labialized g
ɡ̚ unreleased g
ɡ̊ voiceless or slack voice g


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz ажыга [aˈʐəɡa] 'shovel' See Abkhaz phonology
Arabic[1] Egyptian راجل [ˈɾˤɑːɡel] 'man' See Arabic phonology
Some Yemeni dialects قال [ɡɑːl] 'he said'
Catalan[2] gros [ˈɡɾɔs] 'large' See Catalan phonology
Czech gram [ɡram] 'gramme' See Czech phonology
Dutch[3] zakdoek [ˈzɑɡduk] 'handkerchief' See Dutch phonology
English gasp [ˈɡæsp] 'gasp' See English phonology
French[4] gain [ɡɛ̃] 'earnings' See French phonology
Georgian[5] ული [ˈɡuli] 'back'
German ge [ˈlyːɡə] 'lie' See German phonology
Greek γκάρισμα [ˈɡarizma] 'donkey's bray' See Modern Greek phonology
Hindi गाना [ɡɑːnɑː] 'song' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Hungarian engedély [ɛŋɡɛdeːj] 'permission' See Hungarian phonology
Italian[6] gare [ˈɡare] 'competitions' See Italian phonology
Japanese[7] がん•癌/gan [ɡaɴ] 'cancer' See Japanese phonology
Malay guni [ɡuni] 'sack'
Norwegian gull [ɡʉl] 'gull' See Norwegian phonology
Polish[8] gmin Pl-gmin.ogg [ɡmʲin] 'plebs' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[9] língua [ˈlĩɡwɐ] 'tongue' See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[10] gând [ˈgɨnd] 'thought'
Russian[11] голова [ɡəlɐˈva] 'head' See Russian phonology
Slovak gram [ɡram] 'gramme'
Somali gaabi [ɡaːbi] 'to shorten' See Somali phonology
Spanish[12] gato [ˈɡato̞] 'cat' See Spanish phonology
Turkish göl [ɡœl] 'lake' See Turkish phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[13] gan [ɡaŋ] 'will be able' Depending on speaker and carefulness of speech, [ɡ] may be lenited to [ɣ]

See also



  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1-2): 53–56  
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94  
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73–76  
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (2): 45–47  
  • 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  
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquipan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107–114  
  • Okada, Hideo (1991), "Phonetic Representation:Japanese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 21 (2): 94–97  
  • Padgett, Jaye (2003), "Contrast and Post-Velar Fronting in Russian", Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 21 (1): 39–87  
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117–121  
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Vakhtang, Chikovani (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264  
  • Watson, Janet (2002). The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic. New York: Oxford University Press.  

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