Voiceless bilabial stop

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Voiceless bilabial stop
p
IPA number 101
Encoding
Entity (decimal) p
Unicode (hex) U+0070
X-SAMPA p
Kirshenbaum p
Braille ⠏ (braille pattern dots-1234)
Sound

The voiceless bilabial stop is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is p, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is p. The voiceless bilabial stop in English is spelled with 'p', as in speed.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiceless bilabial 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 bilabial, which means it is articulated with both lips.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • 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.

Varieties[edit]

IPA Description
p plain p
aspirated p
palatalized p
labialized p
p with no audible release
voiced p
ejective p

Occurrence[edit]

The stop [p] is missing from about 10% of languages that have a [b]. (See voiced velar stop for another such gap.) This is an areal feature of the "circum-Saharan zone" (Africa north of the equator, including the Arabian peninsula). It is not known how old this areal feature is, and whether it might be a recent phenomenon due to Arabic as a prestige language (Arabic lost its /p/ in prehistoric times), or whether Arabic was itself affected by a more ancient areal pattern. It is found in other areas as well; for example, in Europe, Proto-Celtic and Old Basque are both reconstructed as having [b] but no [p].

Nonetheless, the [p] sound is very common cross-linguistically. Most languages have at least a plain [p], and some distinguish more than one variety. Many Indo-Aryan languages, such as Hindustani, have a two-way contrast between the aspirated [pʰ] and the plain [p] (also transcribed as [p⁼] in extensions to the IPA).

Examples[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe паӀуэ [paːʔʷa] 'hat'
Armenian Eastern[1] պապիկ About this sound [pɑpik]  'grandpa' Contrasts with aspirated form
Basque harrapatu [(h)arapatu] 'to catch'
Bengali পাল [pal] 'sail' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Bengali phonology
Catalan[2] parlar [pərˈɫa] 'to speak' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Cantonese pao [paːu˧˧] 'to explode' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin 爆炸 bàozhà [pɑʊ˥˩ tʂa˥˩] 'to explode' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Mandarin phonology
Czech pes [pɛs] 'dog' See Czech phonology
Dutch[3] plicht [plɪxt] 'duty' See Dutch phonology
English pack [pʰæk] 'pack' See English phonology
Finnish pappa [pappa] 'grandpa' See Finnish phonology
French[4] pomme [pɔm] 'apple' See French phonology
German Pack [pʰak] 'pile' See German phonology
Greek πόδι pódi [ˈpo̞ði] 'leg' See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati [pəɡ] 'foot' See Gujarati phonology
Hebrew פּקיד [pakid] 'clerk' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindustani पल / پرچم [pəl] 'moment' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian pápa [ˈpaːpɒ] 'pope' See Hungarian phonology
Italian[5] papà [paˈpa] 'dad' See Italian phonology
Japanese[6] ポスト posuto [posɯto] 'mailbox' See Japanese phonology
Korean pul [pʰul] 'grass' See Korean phonology
Lakota púza [ˈpʊza] 'dry'
Macedonian пее [pɛː] 'sing' See Macedonian phonology
Malay panas [pänäs] 'hot'
Maltese aptit [apˈtit] 'appetite'
Marathi पाऊस [pɑːˈuːs] 'rain' See Marathi phonology
Norwegian pappa [pɑpːɑ] 'dad' See Norwegian phonology
Pashto پانير [pɑˈnir] 'cheese'
Pirahã pibaóí [ˈpìbàóí̯] 'otter'
Polish[7] pas About this sound [päs]  'belt' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[8] pai [paj] 'father' See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi ਪੱਤਾ [pət̪ːäː] 'leaf'
Romanian pas [pas] 'step' See Romanian phonology
Russian[9] плод [pɫot̪] 'fruit' Contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Slovak pes [pɛs] 'dog'
Spanish[10] peso [ˈpe̞so̞] 'weight' See Spanish phonology
Swedish apa [ˈɑːpʰa] 'ape' See Swedish phonology
Tsez пу [pʰu] 'side' Contrasts with ejective form.
Turkish kap [kʰäp] 'pot' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian павук [pɐ.ˈvuk] 'spider' See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese [11] nhíp [ɲip˧ˀ˥] 'tweezers' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian panne [ˈpɔnə] 'pan'
Yi ba [pa˧] 'exchange' Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms.
Zapotec Tilquiapan[12] pan [paŋ] 'bread'

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1–2): 53–56, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618 
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223 
  • Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (2): 45–47, doi:10.1017/S002510030000459X 
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191 
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373 
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquiapan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107–114, doi:10.1017/S0025100308003344 
  • Okada, Hideo (1991), "Phonetic Representation:Japanese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 21 (2): 94–97, doi:10.1017/S002510030000445X 
  • Padgett, Jaye (2003), "Contrast and Post-Velar Fronting in Russian", Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 21 (1): 39–87, doi:10.1023/A:1021879906505 
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628 
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232