Voiceless labial–velar stop

Voiceless labial–velar stop
IPA number 109 (101)
Entity (decimal) k͡p
Unicode (hex) U+006BU+0361U+0070
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The voiceless labial–velar stop is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. It is a [k] and [p] pronounced simultaneously. To make this sound, one can say Coe but with the lips closed as if one were saying Poe; the lips are to be released at the same time as or a fraction of a second after the C of Coe is pronounced. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is k͡p.

The voiceless labial–velar stop is found in Vietnamese and various languages in West and Central Africa. In Yoruba it is written with a simple p.


Features of the voiceless 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 voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
  • 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.


Ega[2][k͡pá]'build a hedge to enclose a field'
Hebrewמקפיא[mak͡pi]'freezer'Attach of two phonemes: /k/ and /p/. See Hebrew phonology
Ibibio[3]kpa[k͡pɐ́]'to die'
Vietnamese[6]c[luk͡p˧ˀ˥]'time'Allophone of /k/ after /u, o, ɔ/. See Vietnamese phonology

Rounded variant

Some languages, especially in Papua New Guinea and in Vanuatu, combine this voiceless labial–velar stop with a labial–velar approximant release, hence [k͡pʷ]. Thus Mwotlap (Banks Islands, north Vanuatu) has [k͡pʷɪlɣɛk] ('my father-in-law').[7]

In the Banks Islands languages which have it, the phoneme /k͡pʷ/ is written q in local orthographies. In other languages of Vanuatu further south (such as South Efate, or Lenakel), the same segment is spelled .

See also



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