Voiced labiodental fricative

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Voiced labiodental fricative
IPA number 129
Entity (decimal) v
Unicode (hex) U+0076
Kirshenbaum v
Braille ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236)

The voiced labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is v, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is v.

Although this is a familiar sound to most European listeners, it is cross-linguistically a fairly uncommon sound, being only a quarter as frequent as [w]. The presence of [v] and absence of [w], along with the presence of otherwise unknown front rounded vowels [y, ø, œ], is a very distinctive areal feature of European languages and those of adjacent areas of Siberia and Central Asia.[citation needed] Speakers of East Asian languages that lack this sound tend to pronounce it as [p] (Mandarin), [b] (Japanese), or [f]/[w] (Cantonese), thus failing to distinguish a number of English minimal pairs.[citation needed]


Features of the voiced labiodental fricative:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz европа [evˈropʼa] 'Europe' See Abkhaz phonology
Afrikaans wees [ˈveə̯s] 'to be' See Afrikaans phonology
Albanian valixhe [vaˈlidʒɛ] 'case'
Arabic Siirt[1] ذهب [vaˈhab] 'gold' See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[2] վեց About this sound [vɛtsʰ]  'six'
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic ktava [kta:va] 'book' Only in the Urmia dialects. [ʋ] is also predominantly used. Corresponds to [w] in the other varieties.
Bai Dali  ? [ŋv˩˧] 'fish'
Bulgarian вода [vɔda] 'water' See Bulgarian phonology
Catalan Balearic[3] viu [ˈviw] 'live' See Catalan phonology
Southern Catalonia[4]
Chechen вашa / vaṣa [vaʃa] 'brother'
Chinese Wu [vɛ] 'cooked rice'
Czech voda [voda] 'water' See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[5] véd [ve̝ːˀð̠˕ˠ] 'know(s)' Most often an approximant [ʋ].[6] See Danish phonology
Dutch All dialects wraak [vraːk] 'revenge' Allophone of /ʋ/ before /r/. See Dutch phonology
Most dialects vreemd [vreːmt] 'strange' Often devoiced to [f] by speakers from the Netherlands. See Dutch phonology
English valve [væɫv] 'valve' See English phonology
Ewe[8] evlo [évló] 'he is evil'
Faroese[9] veður [ˈveːʋuɹ] 'speech' Word-initial allophone of /v/, in free variation with an approximant [ʋ].[9] See Faroese phonology
French[10] valve [valv] 'valve' See French phonology
Georgian[11] იწრო [ˈvitsʼɾo] 'narrow'
German Wächter [ˈvɛçtɐ] 'guard' See German phonology
Greek βερνίκι verníki [ve̞rˈnici] 'varnish' See Modern Greek phonology
Hebrew גב [ɡav] 'back' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindi[12] व्र [vrət̪] 'fast' See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian veszély [vɛseːj] 'danger' See Hungarian phonology
Irish bhaile [vaːlə] 'home' See Irish phonology
Italian[13] avare [aˈvare] 'miserly' (f.pl.) See Italian phonology
Judaeo-Spanish mueve [ˈmwɛvɛ] 'nine'
Kabardian вагъуэ About this sound [vaːʁʷa]  'star' Corresponds to [ʒʷ] in Adyghe
Macedonian вода [vɔda] 'water' See Macedonian phonology
Maltese iva [iva] 'yes'
Norwegian Standard Eastern[14][15][16][17] venn [vɛ̝nː] 'friend' Allophone of /ʋ/ before a pause and in emphatic speech.[17] See Norwegian phonology
Occitan Auvergnat vol [vɔl] 'flight' See Occitan phonology
Polish[18] wór About this sound [vur]  'bag' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[19] vila [ˈvilɐ] 'town' See Portuguese phonology
Romanian val [val] 'wave' See Romanian phonology
Russian[20] волосы [ˈvoləsɨ] 'hair' Contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[21] гроф би / grof bi [ɡrô̞v bi] 'the earl would' Allophone of /f/ before voiced consonants.[21] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak voda About this sound [voda]  'water'
Spanish[22] afgano [ävˈɣ̞äno̞] 'Afghan' Allophone of /f/ before voiced consonants. See Spanish phonology
Swedish vägg [ˈvɛɡː] 'wall' See Swedish phonology
Turkish cetvel [dʒetvæl] 'ruler' Allophone of /ʋ/ after voiceless consonants. See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian вона [vɔˈnɑ] 'she' See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese[23] và [vaː˨˩] 'and' In southern dialects, is in free variation with [j]. See Vietnamese phonology
Welsh fi [vi] 'I'
West Frisian weevje [ˈʋeːvjə] 'to weave' Never occurs in word-initial positions
Yi /vu [vu˧] 'intestines'

See also[edit]



  • Árnason, Kristján (2011). The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199229317. 
  • Basbøll, Hans (2005), The Phonology of Danish, ISBN 0-203-97876-5 
  • 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), "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 
  • Kristoffersen, Gjert (2000), The Phonology of Norwegian, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-823765-5 
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005), Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.), Blackwell 
  • Landau, Ernestina; Lončarić, Mijo; Horga, Damir; Škarić, Ivo (1999), "Croatian", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 66–69, ISBN 0-521-65236-7 
  • 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 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Chikovani, Vakhtang (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002659 
  • Skaug, Ingebjørg (2003) [First published 1996], Norsk språklydlære med øvelser (3rd ed.), Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk Forlag AS, ISBN 82-456-0178-0 
  • Strandskogen, Åse-Berit (1979), Norsk fonetikk for utlendinger, Oslo: Gyldendal, ISBN 82-05-10107-8 
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232 
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetikk, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6 
  • Watson, Janet (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic, New York: Oxford University Press 
  • Wheeler, Max W. (2005), The Phonology Of Catalan, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-925814-7