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 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.

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
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 [pä.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