Voiced velar stop

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Because of technical restrictions the symbol for the voiced velar stop might be rendered as ‘ɡMSReferenceSansSerif.png’ instead of a single-story lower-case g on your system.
Voiced velar stop
IPA number 110
Entity (decimal) ɡ
Unicode (hex) U+0261
Kirshenbaum g
Braille ⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245)

The voiced velar stop is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɡ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is g. Strictly, the IPA symbol is the so-called single-story G Opentail g.svg, though the double-story G Looptail g.svg is considered an acceptable alternative. The Unicode character "Latin small letter G" (U+0067) renders as either a single-story G or a double-story G depending on font, while the character "Latin small letter script G" (U+0261) is always a single-story G, but is generally available only in fonts with the IPA Extensions character block.


Features of the voiced velar stop:

Varieties of [ɡ][edit]

IPA Description
ɡ plain ɡ
ɡʱ or ɡ̈ breathy voiced or murmured ɡ
ɡʲ palatalized ɡ
ɡʷ labialized ɡ
ɡ̚ ɡ with no audible release
ɡ̊ voiceless or slack voiced ɡ


Of the six stops that would be expected from the most common pattern world-wide—that is, three places of articulation plus voicing ([p b, t d, k ɡ])—[p] and [ɡ] are the most frequently missing, being absent in about 10% of languages that otherwise have this pattern. Absent stop [p] is an areal feature (see also Voiceless bilabial stop). Missing [ɡ], on the other hand, is widely scattered around the world. (A few languages, such as Modern Standard Arabic, are missing both.) It seems that [ɡ] is somewhat more difficult to articulate than the other basic stops. Ian Maddieson speculates that this may be due to a physical difficulty in voicing velars: Voicing requires that air flow into the mouth cavity, and the relatively small space allowed by the position of velar consonants means that it will fill up with air quickly, making voicing difficult to maintain in [ɡ] for as long as it is in [d] or [b]. This could have two effects: [ɡ] and [k] might become confused, and the distinction is lost, or perhaps a [ɡ] never develops when a language first starts making voicing distinctions. With uvulars, where there is even less space between the glottis and tongue for airflow, the imbalance is more extreme: Voiced [ɢ] is much rarer than voiceless [q].

Many Indo-Aryan languages, such as Hindustani, have a two-way contrast between aspirated and plain [ɡ].


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz ажыга [aˈʐəɡa] 'shovel' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe Shapsug гьанэ [ɡʲaːna] 'shirt' Dialectal. Corresponds to [dʒ] in other dialects.
Arabic[2] Egyptian راجل [ˈɾˤɑːɡel] 'man' Corresponds to [dʒ] or [ʒ] in other dialects. See Arabic phonology
Yemeni قال [ɡɑːl] 'he said' Some dialects.
Armenian Eastern[3] գանձ About this sound [ɡɑndz]  'treasure'
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic ɡana [ɡa:na] 'self' Used predominantly in Iraqi Koine. Corresponds to [dʒ] in Urmia, some Tyari and Jilu dialects.
Azerbaijani qara [ɡɑɾɑ] 'black'
Basque galdu [ɡaldu] 'lose'
Bengali গান [ɡan] 'song' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Bengali phonology
Bulgarian гора [ɡora] 'wood'
Catalan[4] gros [ɡɾɔs] 'large' See Catalan phonology
Czech gram [ɡram] 'gram' See Czech phonology
Dutch All dialects zakdoek About this sound [ˈzɑɡduk]  'handkerchief' Allophone of /k/, occurring only before voiced consonants in native words. See Dutch phonology
Many speakers goal About this sound [ɡoːɫ]  'goal' Only in loanwords. Some speakers may realize it as [ɣ] ~ [ʝ] ~ [χ] ~ [x] (like a normal Dutch g), or as [k].
Amelands goëd [ɡuə̯t] 'good'
English gaggle [ˈɡæɡɫ̩] 'gaggle' See English phonology
French[6] gain [ɡɛ̃] 'earnings' See French phonology
Georgian[7] ული [ˈɡuli] 'heart'
German ge [ˈlyːɡə] 'lie' See German phonology
Greek γκάρισμα gkárisma [ˈɡaɾizma] 'donkey's bray' See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati ગાવું vu [needs IPA] 'to sing' See Gujarati phonology
Hebrew גב [ɡav] 'back' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindustani गाना / گانا [ɡɑːnɑː] 'song' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian engedély [ɛŋɡɛdeːj] 'permission' See Hungarian phonology
Irish gaineamh [ˈɡanʲəw] 'sand' See Irish phonology
Italian[8] gare [ˈɡare] 'competitions' See Italian phonology
Japanese[9] がん•癌 gan [ɡaɴ] 'cancer' See Japanese phonology
Kabardian Baslaney гьанэ [ɡʲaːna] 'shirt' Corresponds to [dʒ] in other dialects.
Turkish Kabardians
Kagayanen[10] ? [kað̞aɡ] 'spirit'
Korean 메기 megi [meɡi] 'catfish' See Korean phonology
Macedonian гром [ɡrɔm] 'thunder' See Macedonian phonology
Malay guni [ɡuni] 'sack'
Marathi वत [ɡəʋət] 'grass' See Marathi phonology
Norwegian gull [ɡʉl] 'gold' See Norwegian phonology
Polish[11] gmin About this sound [ɡmʲin̪]  'plebs' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[12] língua [ˈɫĩɡwɐ] 'tongue' See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi ਗਾਂ [ɡɑ̃ː] 'cow'
Romanian[13] gând [ɡɨnd] 'thought' See Romanian phonology
Russian[14] голова About this sound [ɡəlɐˈva]  'head' See Russian phonology
Slovak miazga [mjazɡa] 'lymph' See Slovak phonology
Somali gaabi [ɡaːbi] 'to shorten' See Somali phonology
Spanish[15] gato [ˈɡät̪o̞] 'cat' See Spanish phonology
Swedish god [ɡuːd̪] 'tasty' May be an approximant in casual speech. See Swedish phonology
Turkish salgın [säɫˈɡɯn] 'epidemic' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian ґанок [ˈɡɑ.n̪ok] 'steps' See Ukrainian phonology
West Frisian gasp [ɡɔsp] 'buckle' (n.)
Yi gge [ɡɤ˧] 'hear'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[16] gan [ɡaŋ] 'will be able' Depending on speaker and carefulness of speech, [ɡ] may be lenited to [ɣ]

Voiced pre-velar stop[edit]

Voiced pre-velar stop

The voiced pre-velar stop or voiced pre-velar plosive is a consonant occurring in standard Modern Greek. It's equally valid to use the term post-palatal instead of pre-velar, since they're essentially equivalent.


Features of the voiced pre-velar stop:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a stop.
  • Its place of articulation is pre-velar, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue raised between the hard and the soft palate.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • 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
Catalan[17] guix [g̟iɕ] 'chalk' Allophone of /g/ before front vowels.[17] See Catalan phonology
English Australian[18] geese [g̟ɪi̯s] 'geese' Allophone of /ɡ/ before /iː ɪ e eː æ æɪ æɔ ɪə j/,[18] less commonly palatal.[18] See Australian English phonology
Greek[19] μετάγγιση metággisi [me̞ˈtɐŋ̟ɟ̠is̠i] 'transfusion' See Modern Greek phonology
Italian Standard[20] ghianda [ˈg̟jän̪ːd̪ä] 'acorn' Allophone of /g/ before /i e ɛ j/.[20] See Italian phonology
Yanyuwa[21] [ɡ̄ug̟uɭu] 'sacred' Contrasts plain and prenasalized versions

Voiced post-velar stop[edit]

Voiced post-velar stop

The voiced post-velar stop or voiced post-velar plosive is a consonant occurring in Australian English. It's equally valid to use the term pre-uvular instead of post-velar, since they're essentially equivalent.


Features of the voiceless post-velar stop:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
English Australian[18] gaudy [ˈɡ̄oːdɪi̯] 'gaudy' Allophone of /g/ before /ʊ oː ɔ oɪ ʊə/.[18] See Australian English phonology
Yanyuwa[21] [ɡ̄uɟ̠uɭu] 'sacred' Contrasts plain and prenasalized versions

See also[edit]