Voiced labial–velar stop

Voiced labial–velar stop
IPA number 110 (102)
Entity (decimal) ɡ͡b
Unicode (hex) U+0261U+0361U+0062
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The voiced labial–velar stop 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 stop, [k͡p].

The voiced labial–velar stop 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 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.


EweEwegbe[èβeɡ͡be]'Ewe language'
Kissi gbɛŋgbo ɡ͡bɛŋɡ͡bɔ 'stool'
Mono (Ubangian)[3]gba[ɡ͡ba]'moisten'
Temne[4]gbara[kʌ ɡ͡bara]'coconut'

See also


  1. Connell, Ahoua & Gibbon (2002:100)
  2. Harry (2003:113)
  3. Olson (2004:233); association with Niger-Congo uncertain.
  4. Ladefoged (1964)


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