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Bilabial flap

Bilabial flap
IPA number 184 413
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The bilabial flap is an uncommon non-rhotic flap. It is usually, and perhaps always, an allophone of the labiodental flap, though it is the preferred allophone in a minority of languages such as Banda and some of its neighbors.

In the literature it has often been transcribed by a w modified by the extra-short diacritic, .[1][2] (Since flaps are similar to brief stops, it could alternatively be transcribed as , but this could lead to interference between the diacritic and the ascender of the base character.)

In 2005 the International Phonetic Association adopted the right hook v symbol to represent the labiodental flap.[3] Since then, the received transcription of the bilabial flap involves employing the labiodental flap symbol modified by an advanced diacritic: ⱱ̟.[4]


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Mono[5] vwa [ⱱ̟a] 'send' Contrasts with /v/ and /w/. In free variation with labiodental flap


External links


  • International Phonetic Association (1989), "Report on the 1989 Kiel Convention", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 19: 67–80, doi:10.1017/S0025100300003868 
  • International Phonetic Association (2005), "IPA news", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (2): 261–262, doi:10.1017/S0025100305002227 
  • Olson, Kenneth (2004), "Mono", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (2): 233–238, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001744 
  • Olson, Kenneth S; Hajek, John (1999), "The phonetic status of the labial flap", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 29 (2): 101–114, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006484 
  • Olson, Kenneth S; Hajek, John (2003), "Crosslinguistic insights on the labial flap", Linguistic Typology 7 (2): 157–186, doi:10.1515/lity.2003.014 

Further reading

  • Olson, Kenneth; Schrag, Brian (2000), "An overview of Mono phonology", in Wolff, H.E.; Gensler, O., Proceedings from the 2nd World Congress of African Linguistics, Leipzig 1997, Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe, pp. 393–409  Missing |last2= in Editors list (help)

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