Labial–coronal consonant

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Template:Short description Template:No footnotes Template:Place of articulation

A labial–coronal consonant is a consonant produced with two simultaneous articulators: With the lips ('labial'; a Template:IPAblink, Template:IPAblink, or Template:IPAblink sound), and with the tongue (at the gums, an 'alveolar' Template:IPAblink, Template:IPAblink, or Template:IPAblink sound, or further back, a 'post-alveolar' Template:IPAblink, Template:IPAblink sound).

Several languages have been claimed to have such sounds, such as Margi and Bura in Nigeria. However, most researchers interpret them as having sequences of labial and coronal consonants, a rather common occurrence in Africa. The Yélî Dnye language of Rossel Island, Papua New Guinea, appears to be unique in having distinct labial–alveolar and labial–postalveolar places of articulation, as illustrated below. (The alveolars are fronted, and the post-alveolars only slightly retracted, so it may be best not to consider the latter to be retroflex as they are sometimes described.)

Stops in Yelî Dnye Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar Velar
Stop Template:IPA side Template:IPA knife Template:IPA tongue Template:IPA spear
Prenasalized stop Template:IPA carry Template:IPA food Template:IPA firewood Template:IPA tree
Nasal Template:IPA road Template:IPA juice Template:IPA feast Template:IPA lease
Stops in Yelî Dnye Labial-alveolar Labial–postalveolar Labial–velar
Stop Template:IPA lung Template:IPA horn Template:IPA coconut bag
Prenasalized stop Template:IPA pulp Template:IPA many Template:IPA fog
Nasal Template:IPA bird Template:IPA we Template:IPA breast

Labial–coronal allophones

In some Ghanaian languages such as Dagbani, and Nzema, there are palatalized allophones of labial–velars. These are sometimes mistakenly referred to as labial–alveolars, though they actually have a post-alveolar or palatal articulation instead of a true alveolar one.

Something similar is found with the labialized alveolar stops in several Northwest and Northeast Caucasian languages such as Abkhaz and Lak. Although the double stop articulation may be more common, they are generally considered to be essentially labialized alveolars because the labial contact is light, and moreover the contact is between the inner surfaces of the lips, which are protruded as they are for [w]. This is quite different from the normal contact for [p] in these languages. The labial contact may also be realized as a trill. Compare the following minimal sets in Ubykh:

Template:IPA now Template:IPA awl Template:IPA if
Template:IPA pregnant Template:IPA cherry Template:IPA to weave
Template:IPA ram Template:IPA to take out

Some speakers of !Xóõ have a labial–dental allophone, Template:IPA (or Template:IPA), of the bilabial click Template:IPAslink in some cases (Traill 1985: 103–104).

Discounting clicks otherwise as having a velar/lingual airstream mechanism rather than a double articulation, nearly all other doubly articulated consonants in the world are labial–velars. The labial-alveolars reported from some Chadic languages have upon investigation turned out to be Template:IPA, Template:IPA, Template:IPA and Template:IPA sequences, not single consonants. (See Margi language.)

References