Voiced bilabial fricative

The voiced bilabial fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨β⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is B. The official symbol ⟨β⟩ is the Greek letter beta.

Voiced bilabial fricative
β
IPA Number127
Encoding
Entity (decimal)β
Unicode (hex)U+03B2
X-SAMPAB
Braille⠨ (braille pattern dots-46)⠃ (braille pattern dots-12)
Audio sample
Voiced bilabial approximant
β̞
ʋ̟
Audio sample

This letter is also often used to represent the bilabial approximant, though that is more precisely written with a lowering diacritic, that is ⟨β̞⟩. That sound may also be transcribed as an advanced labiodental approximantʋ̟⟩, in which case the diacritic is again frequently omitted, since no contrast is likely.[1][2] It has been proposed that either a turned ⟨β⟩ or reversed ⟨β⟩ be used as a dedicated symbol for the bilabial approximant, but despite occasional usage this has not gained general acceptance.[3]

It is extremely rare for a language to make a phonemic contrast between the voiced bilabial fricative and the bilabial approximant. The Mapos Buang language of New Guinea contains this contrast. Its bilabial approximant is analyzed as filling a phonological gap in the labiovelar series of the consonant system rather than the bilabial series.[4] Proto-Germanic[5] and Proto-Italic[6] are also reconstructed as having had this contrast, albeit with [β] being an allophone for another consonant in both cases.

The bilabial fricative is diachronically unstable (likely to be considerably varied between dialects of a language that makes use of it) and is likely to shift to [v].[7]

The sound is not used in English dialects except for Chicano English, but it can be produced by approximating the normal English [v] between the lips.

FeaturesEdit

Features of the voiced bilabial fricative:

OccurrenceEdit

Voiced bilabial fricativeEdit

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Akei [βati] 'four'
Alekano hanuva [hɑnɯβɑ] 'nothing'
Angor fufung [ɸuβuŋ] 'horn'
Bengali ভিসা [βisa] 'Visa' Allophone of /bʱ/. See Bengali phonology
Berta [βɑ̀lɑ̀ːziʔ] 'no'
Catalan[8] abans [əˈβans] 'before' Approximant or fricative. Allophone of /b/. Mainly found in betacist (/b/ and /v/ merging) dialects. See Catalan phonology
Min Dong Chinese Fuzhou[9]
chĕ̤ báik
[t͡sœ˥˧βaiʔ˨˦] 'eighth day of the month' Allophone of /p/ and /pʰ/ in certain intervocalic positions.[9]
Wu Chinese Chuansha 碗哉
ve tze
[βe̝˧˧˦tsɛ̝˥] 'bowl' Usually [v] in other Wu Chinese dialects[10]
Comorian upvendza [uβendza] 'to love' Contrasts with both [v] and [w]
Coptic Bohairic ⲧⲱⲃⲓ [ˈdoːβi] 'brick' Shifted to [w] with a syllable coda allophone of [b] in a later stage.
Sahidic ⲧⲱⲱⲃⲉ [ˈtoːβə]
Dahalo[11] [koːβo] 'to want' Weak fricative or approximant. It is a common intervocalic allophone of /b/, and may be simply a plosive [b] instead.[11]
English Chicano very [βɛɹi] 'very' May be realized as [b] instead.
Ewe[12] Eʋe [èβe] 'Ewe' Contrasts with both [v] and [w]
German[13][14] aber [ˈaːβɐ] 'but' Intervocalic and pre-lateral allophone of /b/ in casual speech.[13][14] See Standard German phonology
Hopi tsivot [tsi:βot] 'five'
Kabyle bri [βri] 'to cut'
Kinyarwanda abana [aβa:na] 'children'
Korean /chuhu/ [ˈt͡ɕʰuβʷu] 'later' Allophone of /h/. See Korean phonology
Luhya Wanga Dialect Nabongo [naβonɡo] 'title for a king'
Mapos Buang[4] venġévsën [βəˈɴɛβt͡ʃen] 'prayer' Mapos Buang has both a voiced bilabial fricative and a bilabial approximant as separate phonemes. The fricative is transcribed as ⟨v⟩, and the approximant as ⟨w⟩.[4]
Nepali भा [sʌβä] 'Meeting' Allophone of /bʱ/. See Nepali phonology
Portuguese European[15][16] bado [ˈsaβɐðu] 'Saturday' Allophone of /b/. See Portuguese phonology
Ripuarian Colognian[citation needed] wing [βɪŋ] 'wine' Allophone of syllable-initial /v/ for some speakers; can be [ʋ ~ w ~ ɰ] instead.[citation needed] See Colognian phonology
Sardinian Logudorese dialect[17] paba  [ˈpäːβä]  'pope' Intervocalic allophone of /b/ as well as word-initial /p/ when the preceding word ends with a vowel and there is no pause between the words.[17]
Turkish[18] vücut [βy̠ˈd͡ʒut̪] 'body' Allophone of /v/ before and after rounded vowels.[18] See Turkish phonology
Turkmen watan [βatan] 'country'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[19] [example needed] Allophone of /b/

Bilabial approximantEdit

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Amharic[20] አበባ [aβ̞əβ̞a] 'flower' Allophone of /b/ medially between sonorants.[20]
Basque[21] alaba [alaβ̞a] 'daughter' Allophone of /b/
Catalan[22] abans [əˈβ̞ans] 'before' Approximant or fricative. Allophone of /b/. Mainly found in betacist (/b/ and /v/ merging) dialects. See Catalan phonology
Japanese[23] 神戸市/be-shi [ko̞ːβ̞e̞ ɕi] 'Kobe' Allophone of /b/ only in fast speech between vowels. See Japanese phonology
Limburgish[24][25] wèlle [ˈβ̞ɛ̝lə] 'to want' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lombard el nava via [el ˈnaβ̞a ˈβ̞ia] 'he was going away' Regular pronunciation of /v/ when intervocalic. Used also as an allophone for other positions.
Mapos Buang[4] wabeenġ [β̞aˈᵐbɛːɴ] 'kind of yam' Mapos Buang has both a voiced bilabial fricative and a bilabial approximant as separate phonemes. The fricative is transcribed as {v}, and the approximant as {w}.[4]
Occitan Gascon lavetz [laˈβ̞ets] 'then' Allophone of /b/
Ripuarian Kerkrade[26] sjwaam [ʃβ̞aːm] 'smoke' Weakly rounded; contrasts with /v/.[26] See Kerkrade dialect phonology
Spanish[27] lava [ˈläβ̞ä] 'lava' Ranges from close fricative to approximant.[28] Allophone of /b/. See Spanish phonology
Swedish Central Standard[29] aber [ˈɑːβ̞eɾ] 'problem' Allophone of /b/ in casual speech. See Swedish phonology
Ukrainian[30] вона [β̞oˈnɑ] 'she' An approximant; the most common prevocalic realization of /w/. Can vary with labiodental [ʋ].[30] See Ukrainian phonology

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Peter Ladefoged (1968) A Phonetic Study of West African Languages: An Auditory-instrumental Survey, p. 26.
  2. ^ Joyce Thambole Mogatse Mathangwane (1996), Phonetics and Phonology of Ikalanga: A Diachronic and Synchronic Study, vol. 1, p. 79
  3. ^ Ball, Martin J.; Howard, Sara J.; Miller, Kirk (2018). "Revisions to the extIPA chart". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 48 (2): 155–164. doi:10.1017/S0025100317000147.
  4. ^ a b c d e Mose Lung Rambok and Bruce Hooley (2010). Central Buang‒English Dictionary (PDF). Summer Institute of Linguistics Papua New Guinea Branch. ISBN 978-9980-0-3589-9.
  5. ^ R.D. Fulk, A Comparative Grammar of the Early Germanic Languages, Studies in Germanic Linguistics, 3 (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2018), doi:10.1075/sigl.3, ISBN 978 90 272 6312 4, p. 102.  
  6. ^ Silvestri, Domenico (1998), "The Italic Languages", in Ramat, Anna Giacalone; Ramat, Paolo (eds.), The Indo-European languages, Taylor & Francis Group, pp. 322–344

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit