- Labial consonant
Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips (bilabial articulation) or with the lower lip and the upper teeth (labiodental articulation). English IPA| [m] is a bilabial nasal
sonorant, IPA| [b] and IPA| [p] are bilabial stops "(plosives)", IPA| [v] and IPA| [f] are labiodental fricatives.
"Bilabial fricatives" and the "bilabial approximant" do not exist in standard English, but do occur in many languages. For example, the Spanish consonant spelt "b" or "v" is pronounced as a voiced "bilabial approximant" between vowels.
Lip rounding, or
labialisationcan also accompany other articulations. English IPA|/w/ is a labialised velar approximant.
Labial consonants are divided into two subplaces of articulation:
Very few languages, however, make a distinction on purely this basis. One example is Ewe, with both kinds of fricatives. For by far the most other languages in the world, "labial" by itself is a sufficient phonemic specification. Whether the sounds will actually be bilabial or labiodental depends on the language, but the most common pattern is that exhibited in English: bilabial stops and nasals, labiodental fricatives.
List of phonetics topics
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