|Voiced labiodental nasal|
The voiced labiodental nasal is a type of consonantal sound. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɱ⟩. The IPA symbol is a lowercase letter m with a leftward hook protruding from the lower right of the letter. Occasionally it is instead transcribed as an m with a dental diacritic: ⟨m̪⟩ (for example in extIPA, where the two transcriptions are presented as variants).
The labiodental pronunciation of [ɱ] is very similar to that of the bilabial nasal [m], but instead of the lips touching each other, the lower lip touches the upper teeth. The position of the lips and teeth is generally the same as for the production of the labiodental fricatives [f] and [v], though air escapes between the lip and the teeth in the case of the fricatives.
Although commonly appearing in languages, it is overwhelmingly an allophone restricted to a position before the labiodental consonants [f] and [v]. A phonemic /ɱ/ has only been reported for the Kukuya language, which contrasts it with /m, mpf, mbv/ and is "accompanied by strong protrusion of both lips". It is [ɱʷ] before /a/ and [ɱ] before /i/ and /e/, perhaps because labialization is constrained by the spread front vowels; it does not occur before the back (rounded) vowels /o/ and /u/.
It is doubted by some scholars that true closure can be made by a labiodental gesture because of gaps between the incisors, which for many speakers would allow air to flow during the occlusion. This is particularly pertinent considering that one of the Kukuya words with this consonant, /ɱáá/, means a 'gap between filed incisors,' a practice of the local people. The /ɱ/ might therefore be better characterized as a labiodental nasal approximant than as a nasal occlusive.
Nonetheless, [ɱ] is extremely common around the world phonetically, as it is the universal allophone of /m/ and a very common allophone of /n/ before the labiodental fricatives [f] and [v], as for example in English comfort and circumvent, and, for many people, infinitive and invent. In the Angami language, [ɱ] occurs as an allophone of /m/ before /ə/. In Drubea, [ɱ] is reported as an allophone of /v/ before nasal vowels.
A proposal to retire the letter ⟨ɱ⟩ was made in the run-up to the Kiel Convention of 1989, with the labiodental nasal to be transcribed solely by ⟨m̪⟩, but the proposal was defeated in committee.
Features of the voiced labiodental nasal:
- Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Because the consonant is also nasal, the blocked airflow is redirected through the nose.
- Its place of articulation is labiodental, which means it is articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.
- Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
- It is a nasal consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the nose, either exclusively (nasal stops) or in addition to through the mouth.
- Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the central–lateral dichotomy does not apply.
- The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the intercostal muscles and diaphragm, as in most sounds.
Phonemic /ɱ/ is extremely rare. As an allophone of nasal consonants before [f] or [v], however, [ɱ] is very common.
|Arabic||Hejazi||قُرُنْفُل/gurunful||[gʊrʊɱfʊl]||'clove'||See Hejazi Arabic phonology|
|Catalan||limfa||[ˈlĩɱfɐ]||'lymph'||See Catalan phonology|
|Czech||tramvaj||[ˈtraɱvaj]||'tram'||See Czech phonology|
|Danish||symfoni||[syɱfoˈniˀ]||'symphony'||See Danish phonology|
|Dutch||omvallen||[ˈʔɔɱvɑlə(n)]||'to fall over'||See Dutch phonology|
|English||symphony||ⓘ||'symphony'||Allophone of /m/ before /f/ and /v/ See English phonology.|
|Finnish||kamferi||[ˈkɑɱfe̞ri]||'camphor'||See Finnish phonology|
|German||fünf||[fʏɱf]||'five'||See German phonology|
|Greek||έμβρυο/émvryo||[ˈe̞ɱvrio̞]||'embryo'||Learned or careful pronunciation. See Modern Greek phonology|
|Hebrew||סימפוניה/simfonya||[siɱˈfonja]||'symphony'||See Modern Hebrew phonology|
|Hungarian||hamvad||[ˈhɒɱvɒd]||'smoulder'||See Hungarian phonology|
|Italian||invece||[iɱˈveːt͡ʃe]||'instead'||See Italian phonology|
|Kukuya||[ɱíì]||'eyes'||Phonemic, distinguishes /m/ and /ɱ/.|
|Macedonian||трамвај/tramvaj||[traɱˈvaj]||'tram'||See Macedonian phonology|
|Norwegian||komfyr||[kɔɱˈfyːɾ]||'stove'||See Norwegian phonology|
|Polish||symfonia||[sɘ̟ɱˈfɔɲ̟ä]||'symphony'||See Polish phonology|
|Romanian||învăța||[ɨɱvəˈt͡sä]||'to learn'||See Romanian phonology|
|Russian||амфора/amfora||['aɱfərə]||'amphora'||See Russian phonology|
|Serbo-Croatian||трамвај / tramvaj||[trǎɱʋäj]||'tram'||Allophone of /m/ and /n/ before /f/ and /ʋ/. See Serbo-Croatian phonology|
|Slovene||simfonija||[siɱfoˈníːjà]||'symphony'||Allophone of /m/ and /n/ before /f/ and /ʋ/.|
|Spanish||influir||[iɱfluˈiɾ]||'to have influence'||See Spanish phonology|
|Swedish||amfibie||[aɱˈfiːbjɛ]||'amphibia'||See Swedish phonology|
|West Frisian||ûnwis||[uːɱ'ʋɪs]||'unsure'||Allophone of /n/ before labiodental sounds.|
|戴 (帽子)||[ɱoː⁶]||'wear'||Was briefly phonemic before merging with /m/.|
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