Voiceless bilabial nasal

Voiceless bilabial nasal

The voiceless bilabial nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨⟩, a combination of the letter for the voiced bilabial nasal and a diacritic indicating voicelessness. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is m_0.


Features of the voiceless bilabial 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 phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
  • 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 centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.


Central Alaskan Yup'ik[2]pisteḿun[ˈpistəm̥un]'to the servant'
Estonian[3]lehm[ˈlehm̥]'cow'Word-final allophone of /m/ after /t, s, h/.[3] See Estonian phonology
Frenchprisme[pχis̪m̥]'prism'Allophone of /m/. See French phonology
Icelandichampur[ˈham̥pʏr]'hemp'See Icelandic phonology
Jalapa Mazatec[4][m̥a]'black'Contrasts with a voiced and a laryngealized bilabial nasal.
Kildin Sami[5]лēӎӎьк[lʲeːm̥ʲːk]'strap'
Ukrainian[6]ритм[rɪt̪m̥]'rhythm'Word-final allophone of /m/ after voiceless consonants.[6] See Ukrainian phonology
WashoMášdɨmmi[ˈm̥aʃdɨmmi]'he's hiding'
Welsh[7]fy mhen[və m̥ɛn]'my head'Occurs as the nasal mutation of /p/. See Welsh phonology
XumiLower[8][Hm̥ɛ̃]'medicine'Contrasts with the voiced /m/.[8][9]

See also



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