Bilabial trill

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Bilabial trill
ʙ
IPA number 121
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ʙ
Unicode (hex) U+0299
X-SAMPA B\
Kirshenbaum b<trl>
Sound

 

The bilabial trill is a consonant. It is used in some spoken languages.

The International Phonetic Alphabet represents this sound as ⟨ʙ⟩. The X-SAMPA symbol of it is B\.

In many of the languages that contains bilabial trill, it only occurs as part of a prenasalised bilabial stop with trilled release, [mbʙ]. This developed historically from a prenasalized stop before a relatively high back vowel, such as [mbu]. In such instances, these sounds are usually still limited to the environment of a following [u].

There is also voiceless alveolar bilabially trilled affricate ([t̪͡ʙ̥], sometimes "tᵖ"), which is not often used. It is found in Pirahã and from a few words in the Chapacuran languages Wari’ and Oro Win. The sound also appears as an allophone of the labialized voiceless alveolar plosive /tʷ/ of Abkhaz and Ubykh, but in those languages it is more often realised by a doubly articulated stop [t͡p]. In the Chapacuran languages, [tʙ̥] is reported almost exclusively before rounded vowels such as [o] and [y].

Features[change | change source]

Features of the bilabial trill:

  • Its behavior is trill. It means that we produce this sound by directing air over the articulator so that it vibrates. In most instances, it is only found as the trilled release of a prenasalized stop.
  • We produce it at bilabial. It means that we produce this sound with both lips.
  • Its phonation is voiced. It means that the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • It is an oral consonant. It means that air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • We do not produce this sound with air flowing over the tongue. So, the centrallateral dichotomy is not suitable.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic. It means that we produce this sound by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.

Occurrence[change | change source]

These are some examples where the bilabial trill is used in various languages:

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Kele[1] [ᵐʙulim] 'face'
Kom [ʙ̥ɨmɨ] 'to believe'
Pirahã kaoáíbogi [kàò̯áí̯ʙòˈɡì] 'evil spirit' allophone of /b/ before /o/
Titan[1] [ᵐʙutukei] 'wooden plate'
Ubykh[1] [t͡ʙ̥aχəbza] 'Ubykh language' allophone of /tʷ/.See Ubykh phonology.
Unua[2] [ᵐʙue] 'pig'
Wari’ [t͡ʙ̥ot͡ʙ̥oweʔ] 'chicken'

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ladefoged, Peter (2005). Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.). Blackwell. p. 165.
  2. Dimock, Laura (2005). "The Bilabial Trill in Unua" (PDF). Wellington Working Papers in Linguistics 17: 19. ISSN 1170-1978 . http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/resources/Publications/wwp/WWP2005v17.pdf. Retrieved 21 Nov. 2011.

Other websites[change | change source]