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In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips.

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The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are:

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
  bilabial nasal English man [mæn]
  voiceless bilabial stop English spin [spɪn]
  voiced bilabial stop English bed [bɛd]
  voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese 富士山 (fujisan) [ɸuʑisaɴ] Mount Fuji
  voiced bilabial fricative Ewe ɛʋɛ [ɛ̀βɛ̀] Ewe
  bilabial approximant Spanish lobo [loβ̞o] wolf
  bilabial trill Nias simbi [siʙi] lower jaw
  bilabial ejective Adyghe пӀэ [a] meat
 
ʘ̬
ʘ̃
ʘ̥̃ʰ
ʘ̃ˀ
bilabial click release (many distinct consonants) Nǁng ʘoe [ʘoe] meat

Owere Igbo has a six-way contrast among bilabial stops: [p pʰ ɓ̥ b b̤ ɓ]. Approximately 0.7% of the world's languages lack bilabial consonants altogether, including Tlingit, Chipewyan, Oneida, and Wichita.[1]

The extensions to the IPA also define a bilabial percussive ([ʬ]) for striking the lips together (smacking the lips). A lip-smack in the non-percussive sense of the lips noisily parting would be [ʬ↓].[2]

The IPA chart shades out bilabial lateral consonants, which is sometimes read as indicating that such sounds are not possible. The fricatives [ɸ] and [β] are often lateral, but no language makes a distinction for centrality so the allophony is not noticeable.

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NotesEdit

  1. ^ Maddieson, Ian. 2008. Absence of Common Consonants. In: Haspelmath, Martin & Dryer, Matthew S. & Gil, David & Comrie, Bernard (eds.) The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Munich: Max Planck Digital Library, chapter 18. Available online at http://wals.info/feature/18. Accessed on 2008-09-15.
  2. ^ Heselwood (2013: 121)[citation not found]

General referencesEdit