Voiceless bilabial nasal

The voiceless bilabial nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨⟩, a combination of the letter for the voiced bilabial nasal and a diacritic indicating voicelessness. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is m_0.

Voiceless bilabial nasal
IPA Number114+402A
Braille⠍ (braille pattern dots-134)⠠ (braille pattern dots-6)⠫ (braille pattern dots-1246)



Features of the voiceless bilabial nasal:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Because the consonant is also nasal, the blocked airflow is redirected through the nose.
  • Its place of articulation is bilabial, which means it is articulated with both lips.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
  • It is a nasal consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the nose, either exclusively (nasal stops) or in addition to through the mouth.
  • Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Burmese[1] မှာ/hma: [m̥à] 'notice'
Central Alaskan Yup'ik[2] pisteḿun [ˈpistəm̥un] 'to the servant'
Estonian[3] lehm [ˈlehm̥] 'cow' Word-final allophone of /m/ after /t, s, h/.[3] See Estonian phonology
French prisme [pχism̥] 'prism' Allophone of word-final /m/ before voiceless consonants.[4] See French phonology
Hmong White Hmong Hmoob [m̥ɔ̃́] 'Hmong' Contrasts with voiced /m/. In Green Mong, it has merged with /m/.[5]
Icelandic kempa [cʰɛm̥pa] 'hero' Allophonic variation of /m/ before voiceless plosives. Minimally contrastive with /m/ before voiced plosives: kemba [cʰɛmpa] 'to comb'.[6] See Icelandic phonology
Jalapa Mazatec[7] hma [m̥a] 'black' Contrasts with a voiced and a laryngealized bilabial nasal.
Kildin Sami[8] лēӎӎьк/ljeehmhmk [lʲeːm̥ʲːk] 'strap'
Muscogee camhcá:ka [t͡ʃəm̥t͡ʃɑːɡə] 'bell' Allophone of /m/ before /h/ when in the same syllable.[9]
Ukrainian[10] ритм/ritm [rɪt̪m̥] 'rhythm' Word-final allophone of /m/ after voiceless consonants.[10] See Ukrainian phonology
Washo[11] Mášdɨmmi [ˈm̥aʃdɨmmi] 'he's hiding'
Welsh[12] fy mhen [və m̥ɛn] 'my head' Occurs as the nasal mutation of /p/. See Welsh phonology
Xumi Lower[13] [m̥ɛ̃˦] 'medicine' Contrasts with the voiced /m/.[13][14]
Yi Language[15] hmi [m̥i] 'name'

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