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A labio-palatalized sound is one that is simultaneously labialized and palatalized. Typically the roundedness is compressed, like [y], rather than protruded like [u]. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for this secondary articulation is , a superscript ɥ, the symbol for the labialized palatal approximant. If such sounds pattern with other, labialized, consonants, they may instead be transcribed as palatalized consonants plus labialization, ʷ, as with the [sʲʷ] = [sᶣ] of Abkhaz or the [nʲʷ] = [nᶣ] of Akan.

A voiced labialized palatal approximant [ɥ] occurs in Mandarin Chinese and French, but elsewhere is uncommon, as it is generally dependent upon the presence of front rounded vowels such as [ø] and [y], which are themselves not common.[1] However, a labialized palatal approximant and labio-palatalized consonants appear in some languages without front rounded vowels in the Caucasus and in West Africa,[2] such as Abkhaz, and as allophones of labialized consonants before /i/, including the [tsᶣ] at the beginning of the language name Twi. In Russian, /o/ and /u/ trigger labialization of any preceding consonant, including palatalized consonants, so that нёс 'he carried' is phonetically [nᶣɵs].

Iaai has a voiceless labialized palatal approximant /ɥ̊/.

Labial–palatal consonants[edit]

Truly co-articulated labial–palatal consonants such as [p͡c, b͡ɟ, m͡ɲ] are theoretically possible.[3] However, the closest sounds attested from the world's languages are the labial–postalveolar consonants of Yélî Dnye in New Guinea, which are sometimes transcribed as labial–palatals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maddieson, Ian (1984). Patterns of Sounds. Cambridge Studies in Speech Science and Communication. Cambridge University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-521-26536-3.
  2. ^ Maddieson, Ian (1984). Patterns of Sounds. pp. 92, 292.
  3. ^ Howe, Darin (2003). Segmental phonology (PDF). University of Calgary. pp. 7–8.