Voiced bilabial trill

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Bilabial trill
IPA number121
Entity (decimal)ʙ
Unicode (hex)U+0299


The voiced bilabial trill is a consonant. It is used in some spoken languages. The letter for this sound in the International Phonetic Alphabet is ⟨ʙ⟩. The X-SAMPA symbol for this sound is B\.

In many of the languages that contain the voiced 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].

Features[change | change source]

Features of the bilabial trill:

  • The manner of articulation (how the sound is produced) is trill. This means that this sound is produced 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.
  • The place of articulation (where the sound is produced) is bilabial. This means that this sound is produced with both lips.
  • The phonation is voiced. This means that the vocal cords vibrate while the sound is being pronounced.
  • It is an oral consonant. This means that air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • This sound is not produced with air flowing over the tongue. So, the centrallateral dichotomy is not suitable.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic. This means that this sound is produced by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.

Examples[change | change source]

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. ISBN 9781405124591.
  2. Dimock, Laura (2005). "The Bilabial Trill in Unua" (PDF). Wellington Working Papers in Linguistics. 17: 19. ISSN 1170-1978. Retrieved 21 Nov 2011.

Other websites[change | change source]