Voiced labial–velar plosive

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Voiced labial–velar plosive
IPA Number110 (102)
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɡ​͡​b
Unicode (hex)U+0261 U+0361 U+0062

The voiced labial–velar plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. It is a [ɡ] and [b] pronounced simultaneously. To make this sound, one can say go but with the lips closed as if one were saying Bo; the lips are to be released at the same time as or a fraction of a second after the g of go is pronounced. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɡ͡b. Its voiceless counterpart is voiceless labial–velar plosive, [k͡p].

The voiced labial–velar plosive is commonly found in Niger-Congo languages, e.g. in Igbo (Volta-Congo, in the name [iɡ͡boː] itself) or in Bété (Atlantic-Congo), e.g. in the surname of Laurent Gbagbo ([ɡ͡baɡ͡bo]), former president of Ivory Coast.


Features of the voiced labial–velar 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 plosive.
  • Its place of articulation is labial–velar, which means it is simultaneously articulated with the lips and with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the velum). The dorsal closure is made and released slightly before the labial closure, but they overlap for most of their duration.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the intercostal muscles and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Dyula gba [ɡ͡bɑ] 'bench'
Ega[1] [ɡ͡bá] 'finish'
Ewe Èʋegbe [èβeɡ͡be] 'Ewe language'
Igbo Igbo [iɡ͡boː] 'Igbo'
Kalabari[2] ágbá [áɡ͡bá] 'paint'
Kissi gbɛŋgbo ɡ͡bɛŋɡ͡bɔ 'stool'
Mono (Ubangian)[3] gba [ɡ͡ba] 'moisten'
Nigerian Pidgin[4] [example needed] Phonemic. Found in substrate words and later loanwords from native Nigerian languages. See Languages of Nigeria.
Temne[5] gbara [kʌ ɡ͡bara] 'coconut'
Tyap a̠mgba̠m [əmɡ͡bəm] 'all'
Volow[6] n-leevēn [n.lɛᵑᵐɡ͡bʷɛβɪn] 'woman' usually labialized
Yoruba gbogbo [ɡ͡boɡ͡bo] 'all'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Connell, Ahoua & Gibbon (2002:100)
  2. ^ Harry (2003:113)
  3. ^ Olson (2004:233); association with Niger-Congo uncertain.
  4. ^ Faraclas (1996), pp. 248–249.
  5. ^ Ladefoged (1964)
  6. ^ François (2005:445)


  • Connell, Bruce; Ahoua, Firmin; Gibbon, Dafydd (2002), "Ega", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 32 (1): 99–104, doi:10.1017/S002510030200018X
  • François, Alexandre (2005), "Unraveling the history of the vowels of seventeen northern Vanuatu languages", Oceanic Linguistics, 44 (2): 443–504, doi:10.1353/ol.2005.0034
  • Harry, Otelemate (2003), "Kalaḅarị-Ịjo", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 113–120, doi:10.1017/S002510030300121X
  • Kropp Dakubu, M. E. (1987), The Dangme Language: An Introductory Survey, London: Macmillan
  • Ladefoged, Peter (1964), A phonetic study of West African languages, Cambridge University Press
  • Olson, Kenneth S. (2004), "Mono" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (2): 233–238, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001744

External links[edit]