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Voiced uvular plosive

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Voiced uvular plosive
IPA Number112
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɢ
Unicode (hex)U+0262
Braille⠔ (braille pattern dots-35)⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245)

The voiced uvular plosive or stop is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɢ⟩, a small capital version of the Latin letter g, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is G\.

[ɢ] is a rare sound, even compared to other uvulars.[1] Vaux proposes a phonological explanation: uvular consonants normally involve a neutral or a retracted tongue root, whereas voiced stops often involve an advanced tongue root: two articulations that cannot physically co-occur. This leads many languages of the world to have a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ] instead as the voiced counterpart of the voiceless uvular plosive. Examples are Inuit; several Turkic languages such as Uyghur and Yakut; several Northwest Caucasian languages such as Abkhaz; several Mongolic languages such as Mongolian and Kalmyk, as well as several Northeast Caucasian languages such as Ingush.

There is also the voiced pre-uvular plosive[2] in some languages, which is articulated slightly more front compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical uvular plosive, though not as front as the prototypical velar plosive. The International Phonetic Alphabet does not have a separate symbol for that sound, though it can be transcribed as ⟨ɢ̟⟩ (advancedɢ⟩), ⟨ɡ̠⟩ or ⟨ɡ˗⟩ (both symbols denote a retractedɡ⟩). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are G\_+ and g_-, respectively.


Features of the voiced uvular stop:


Family Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Semitic Arabic Sudanese بقرة [bɑɢɑrɑ] 'cow' Corresponds to /q/ in Standard Arabic. See Arabic phonology
Yemeni[3] قات [ɢɑːt] 'Khat' Some dialects.[3] Corresponds to /q/ in Standard Arabic. See Arabic phonology
Germanic English Australian[4] gaudy [ˈɡ̠oːɾi] 'gaudy' Pre-uvular; allophone of /ɡ/ before ɔ ʊə/.[4] See Australian English phonology
Yeniseian Ket[5] báŋquk [baŋ˩˧ɢuk˧˩] 'cave in the ground'

Allophone of /q/ after /ŋ/.[5]

Wakashan Kwak'wala ǥilakas'la [ɢilakasʔla] 'thank you'
Semitic Lishan Didan Urmi Dialect בקא‎/baqqa [baɢːɑ] 'frog' Allophone of /q/ when between a vowel/sonorant and a vowel.
Dravidian Malto तेंग़े [t̪eɴɢe] 'to tell' Allophone of /ʁ/ after /ŋ/, /ʁ, ŋʁ/ is /h/ in Southern and Western dialects.
Mongolic Mongolian Монгол
[mɔɴɢɔ̆ɮ] 'Mongolian' Allophone of /g/ before back vowels, phonemic word-finally.
Isolate Nivkh ньыӈ ӷан [ɲɤŋ ɢæn] 'our dog' Allophone of /q/
Indo-Iranian Persian Iranian قهوه [ɢæhˈve] 'coffee' See Persian phonology.
Cushitic Somali Muqdisho [muɢdiʃɔ] 'Mogadishu' Allophone of /q/. See Somali phonology
Northeast Caucasian Tabasaran дугу [d̪uɢu] 'he' (ergative)
Na-Dene Tlingit ghooch [ɢuːt͡ʃʰ] 'hill' Among some younger speakers, for standard [quːt͡ʃʰ]. See Tlingit phonology
Northeast Caucasian Tsakhur къгяйэ [ɢajɛ] 'stone'
Turkic Turkmen gar [ɢɑɾ] 'snow' An allophone of /ɡ/ next to back vowels
Qiangic Xumi Lower[6] [ɢʶo˩˥] 'to stew' Slightly affricated; occurs only in a few words.[7] Corresponds to the cluster /Nɡ/ in Upper Xumi.[8]
Pama-Nyungan Yanyuwa[9] kuykurlu [ɡ̠uɡ̟uɭu] 'sacred' Pre-uvular.[9] Contrasts plain and prenasalized versions

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vaux (1999).
  2. ^ Instead of "pre-uvular", it can be called "advanced uvular", "fronted uvular", "post-velar", "retracted velar" or "backed velar". For simplicity, this article uses only the term "pre-uvular".
  3. ^ a b Watson (2002), p. 13.
  4. ^ a b Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009).
  5. ^ a b Georg (2007), pp. 49, 67 and 77.
  6. ^ Chirkova & Chen (2013), p. 365.
  7. ^ Chirkova & Chen (2013), pp. 365–366.
  8. ^ Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013), pp. 383, 387.
  9. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), pp. 34–35.


  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya (2013). "Xumi, Part 1: Lower Xumi, the Variety of the Lower and Middle Reaches of the Shuiluo River" (PDF). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 43 (3): 363–379. doi:10.1017/S0025100313000157. JSTOR 26347850. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-07.
  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya; Kocjančič Antolík, Tanja (2013). "Xumi, Part 2: Upper Xumi, the Variety of the Upper Reaches of the Shuiluo River" (PDF). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 43 (3): 381–396. doi:10.1017/S0025100313000169. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-04-23.
  • Georg, Stefan (2007). A Descriptive Grammar of Ket (Yenisei-Ostyak). Languages of Asia. Vol. 1. Brill. p. 78. doi:10.1163/ej.9781901903584.i-328. ISBN 978-90-04-21350-0.
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996), The Sounds of the World's Languages, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-19815-6
  • Mannell, R.; Cox, F.; Harrington, J. (2009). "Phonetic (Narrow) Transcription of Australian English". An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Macquarie University. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25.
  • Watson, Janet C. E. (2002). The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic. The Phonology of the World's Languages. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199257591.
  • Vaux, Bert (December 2001) [orig. pub. 1999, Harvard Working Papers in Linguistics, vol. 7]. A Note on Pharyngeal Features (Report). Version 2.

External links[edit]