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Bilabial consonant

Tongue shape

In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are:

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
File:Xsampa-m.png bilabial nasal English man [mæn] man
File:Xsampa-p.png voiceless bilabial stop English spin [spɪn] spin
File:Xsampa-b.png voiced bilabial stop English bed [bɛd] bed
File:Xsampa-pslash.png voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese 富士山 (fujisan) [ɸuʑisaɴ] Mount Fuji
File:Xsampa-B2.png voiced bilabial fricative Ewe ɛʋɛ [ɛ̀βɛ̀] Ewe
File:IPA-voiced bilabial approximant.png bilabial approximant Spanish lobo [loβ̞o] wolf
File:Xsampa-Bslash.png bilabial trill Nias simbi [siʙi] lower jaw
22px bilabial ejective Adyghe пӀэ [a] meat
File:Xsampa-Oslash.png bilabial click 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; these include Tlingit, Chipewyan, Oneida, and Wichita.[1]

See also



  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 Accessed on 2008-09-15.

General references