Voiced bilabial fricative

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Voiced bilabial fricative
IPA number 127
Entity (decimal) β
Unicode (hex) U+03B2
Kirshenbaum B
Braille ⠨ (braille pattern dots-46) ⠃ (braille pattern dots-12)
Voiced bilabial approximant

The voiced bilabial fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is β (or more properly ), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is B. The symbol β is the Greek letter beta. This symbol is also sometimes used to represent the bilabial approximant, though that is more clearly written with the lowering diacritic, that is β̞. Theoretically, it could also be transcribed as an advanced labiodental approximant ʋ̟, but this symbol is hardly (if ever) used in this manner. Very few languages are known to make a phonemic contrast between the voiced bilabial fricative and the bilabial approximant, but one language that does make this contrast is the Tarahumara language of the Uto-Aztecan family. The bilabial fricative is diachronically unstable and is likely to shift to [v].[1] In the English language, this sound is not used, but can be made by approximating the normal "v" sound between the two lips.


Features of the voiced bilabial fricative:


In the following transcriptions, the undertack diacritic is used to indicate an approximant [β̞].

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Akei [βati] 'four'
Alekano hanuva [hɑnɯβɑ] 'nothing'
Amharic[2] አበባ [aβ̞əβ̞a] 'flower' Allophone of /b/ medially between sonorants.[2]
Angor fufung [ɸuβuŋ] 'horn'
Basque[3] alaba [alaβ̞a] 'daughter' Allophone of /b/
Berta [βɑ̀lɑ̀ːziʔ] 'no'
Catalan[4] rebost [rəˈβ̞ɔst] 'larder' Fricative or approximant. Allophone of /b/. See Catalan phonology
Chinese Fuzhou[5] [example needed] Allophone of /p/ and /pʰ/ in certain intervocalic positions.[5]
Dahalo [koːβo] 'to want'
English Chicano very [βɛɹi] 'very' May be realized as [b] instead.
Ewe[6] Eʋe [ɛβɛ] 'Ewe language' Contrasts with both [v] and [w]
German[7][8] aber [ˈaːβɐ] 'but' Intervocalic and pre-lateral allophone of /b/ in casual speech.[7][8] See German phonology
Hopi tsivot [tsi:βot] 'five'
Japanese[9] 神戸市/be-shi [ko̞ːβ̞e̞ ɕi] 'Kobe' Allophone of /b/ only in fast speech between vowels. See Japanese phonology
Kabyle bri [βri] 'to cut'
Kinyarwanda abana [aβana] 'children'
Limburgish[10][11][12][13] wèlle [ˈβ̞ɛ̝lə] 'to want' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Occitan Gascon la-vetz [laβ̞ets] 'then' Allophone of /b/
Portuguese European[14][15] bado [ˈsaβɐðu] 'Saturday' Allophone of /b/. See Portuguese phonology
Ripuarian Colognian[citation needed] wing [βɪŋ] 'wine' Allophone of syllable-initial /v/ for some speakers; can be [ʋ ~ w ~ ɰ] instead.[citation needed] See Colognian phonology
Kerkrade dialect[16] sjwaam [ʃβ̞aːm] 'smoke' Weakly rounded; contrasts with /v/.[16]
Sardinian Logudorese dialect[17] paba About this sound [ˈpäːβä]  'Pope' Intervocalic allophone of /b/ as well as word-initial /p/ when the preceding word ends with a vowel and there is no pause between the words.[17]
Spanish[18] lava [ˈläβ̞ä] 'lava' Ranges from close fricative to approximant.[19]Allophone of /b/. See Spanish phonology
Swedish Central Standard[20] aber [ˈɑːβ̞eɾ] 'problem' Allophone of /b/ in casual speech. See Swedish phonology
Turkish[21] vücut [βy̠ˈd͡ʒut̪] 'body' Allophone of /v/ before and after rounded vowels.[21] See Turkish phonology
Turkmen watan [βatan] 'country'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[22] [example needed] Allophone of /b/

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Picard (1987:364), citing Pope (1966:92)
  2. ^ a b Hayward & Hayward (1999:48)
  3. ^ Hualde (1991:99–100)
  4. ^ Wheeler (2005:10)
  5. ^ a b Zhuqing (2002:?)
  6. ^ Ladefoged (2005:156)
  7. ^ a b Krech et al. (2009:108)
  8. ^ a b Sylvia Moosmüller (2007). "Vowels in Standard Austrian German: An Acoustic-Phonetic and Phonological Analysis" (PDF). p. 6. Retrieved March 9, 2013. . This source mentions only intervocalic [β].
  9. ^ Okada (1991:95)
  10. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:155)
  11. ^ Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:107)
  12. ^ Peters (2006:117)
  13. ^ Verhoeven (2007:219)
  14. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:92)
  15. ^ Mateus & d'Andrade (2000:11)
  16. ^ a b Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997:17)
  17. ^ a b (Italian) http://www.antoninurubattu.it/rubattu/grammatica-sarda-italiano-sardo.html
  18. ^ Martínez-Celdrán et al. (2003:257)
  19. ^ Phonetic studies such as Quilis (1981) have found that Spanish voiced stops may surface as spirants with various degrees of constriction. These allophones are not limited to regular fricative articulations, but range from articulations that involve a near complete oral closure to articulations involving a degree of aperture quite close to vocalization
  20. ^ Engstrand (2004:167)
  21. ^ a b Göksel & Kerslake (2005:6)
  22. ^ Merrill (2008:109)