Voiced Velar Plosive
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Voiced Velar Plosive
Voiced velar plosive
IPA Number110
Entity (decimal)ɡ
Unicode (hex)U+0261
Braille? (braille pattern dots-1245)
Audio sample

The voiced velar plosive or stop is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages.

Some languages have the voiced pre-velar plosive,[1] which is articulated slightly more front compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical velar plosive, though not as front as the prototypical palatal plosive.

Conversely, some languages have the voiced post-velar plosive,[2] which is articulated slightly behind the place of articulation of the prototypical velar plosive, though not as back as the prototypical uvular plosive.

IPA symbol

The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨?⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is g. Strictly, the IPA symbol is the so-called single-storey G Opentail g.svg, but the double-storey G Looptail g.svg is considered an acceptable alternative. The Unicode character g LATIN SMALL LETTER G renders as either a single-storey G or a double-storey G depending on font; the character ɡ LATIN SMALL LETTER SCRIPT G is always a single-storey G, but it is generally available only in fonts with the IPA Extensions Unicode character block.


Features of the voiced velar stop:


Of the six stops that would be expected from the most common pattern worldwide--that is, three places of articulation plus voicing ([p b, t d, k ?])--[p] and [?] are the most frequently missing, being absent in about 10% of languages that otherwise have this pattern. Absent stop [p] is an areal feature (see also Voiceless bilabial stop). Missing [?], on the other hand, is widely scattered around the world, for example /?/ is not a native phoneme of Belarusian, Dutch, Czech, Finnish or Slovak and occurs only in borrowed words in those languages. A few languages, such as Modern Standard Arabic and part of the Levantine dialects (e.g. Lebanese and Syrian), are missing both, although most Modern Arabic dialects have /?/ in their native phonemic systems as a reflex of ⟨?⟩ or less commonly of ⟨?⟩.

It seems that [?] is somewhat more difficult to articulate than the other basic stops. Ian Maddieson speculates that this may be due to a physical difficulty in voicing velars: Voicing requires that air flow into the mouth cavity, and the relatively small space allowed by the position of velar consonants means that it will fill up with air quickly, making voicing difficult to maintain in [?] for as long as it is in [d] or [b]. This could have two effects: [?] and [k] might become confused, and the distinction is lost, or perhaps a [?] never develops when a language first starts making voicing distinctions. With uvulars, where there is even less space between the glottis and tongue for airflow, the imbalance is more extreme: Voiced [?] is much rarer than voiceless [q].[3]

Many Indo-Aryan languages, such as Hindustani, have a two-way contrast between aspirated and plain [?].


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz ??/a?yga [a'a] 'shovel' See Abkhaz phonology
Adyghe Shapsug ?/g'ègwal"è 'toy' Dialectal. Corresponds to [d] in other dialects.
Temirgoy ??/ ?"ygy 'tree' Dialectal. Corresponds to [?] in other dialects.
Albanian gomar ['?oma?] 'donkey'
Arabic[4] Moroccan /'agaadiir [?a?a:di:r] 'Agadir'
Tunisian /gafs'a 'Gafsa' ?⟩ is also used in Algeria
Hejazi ‎/gamar [?amar] 'moon' Corresponds to in Classical and Modern Standard Arabic.
Najdi [mar]
Sa'idi [m?r]
Yemeni ‎/gaal [gæ:l] '(he) said' Pronunciation of ⟨?⟩ in San'ani dialect in the North and Center and Hadhrami in the East
‎/gamal [gæmæl] 'camel' Pronunciation of ⟨?⟩ in Ta'izzi-Adeni dialects in the South and Tihami in the West
Egyptian ?‎/raagel [':?el] 'man' Standard pronunciation of ⟨?⟩ in Egypt and corresponds to , or in other pronunciations.
Armenian Eastern[5] ?/ganç 'treasure'
Assyrian ?ana [?a:na] 'self' Used predominantly in Urban Koine. Corresponds to [d?] in Urmia, some Tyari and Jilu dialects.
Azerbaijani qara [?] 'black'
Basque galdu [?aldu] 'lose'
Bengali /gan [?an] 'song' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Bengali phonology
Bulgarian ?/gora [?ora] 'wood' See Bulgarian phonology
Catalan[6] gros [s] 'large' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Southern Min ?/ góa [?ua] 'I' Only in colloquial speech.
Wu ?/ woã [?u] 'crazy'
Xiang ?/ wong [?o?] 'together'
Chechen ?/govr [?ovr] 'horse'
Czech gram [?ram] 'gram' See Czech phonology
Dutch All dialects zakdoek 'tissue' Allophone of /k/, occurring only before voiced consonants in native words. See Dutch phonology
Many speakers goal 'goal' Only in loanwords. Some speakers may realize it as ~ ~ ~ (like a normal Dutch ⟨g⟩), or as .
Amelands goëd [?ut] 'good'
English gaggle 'gaggle' See English phonology
Esperanto bongusta [bon'gusta] 'tasty' See Esperanto phonology
Filipino gulo [?ul?] 'commotion'
French[8] gain [] 'earnings' See French phonology
Georgian[9] ?/guli ['?uli] 'heart'
German ge ['ly:] 'lie' See Standard German phonology
Greek / gkárisma ['izm?] 'donkey's bray' See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati /g?vu [ga:] 'to sing' See Gujarati phonology
Hebrew /gav [?av] 'back' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindustani ? / ? [:n?:] 'song' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian engedély [?de:j] 'permission' See Hungarian phonology
Irish gaineamh ['?anw] 'sand' See Irish phonology
Italian[10] gare ['?ä:re] 'competitions' [g] is represented by letter G when followed by vowels [a], [o] [u], while when in front of vowels [i], [e] and [?], the pronunciation changes to d, for the phoneme [g] to appear on the vowels [i], [e] and [?], the GH digraph is used.
Japanese[11] / gait? [?aito:] 'overcoat' See Japanese phonology
Kabardian Baslaney / k'an? 'shirt' Dialectal. Corresponds to [d?] in other dialects.
Kagayanen[12] kalag [kað?a?] 'spirit'
Korean / megi [me?i] 'catfish' See Korean phonology
Lithuanian garai [r?] 'steam' See Lithuanian phonology
Luxembourgish[13] agepack ['pa:k] [translation
More often voiceless .[13] See Luxembourgish phonology
Macedonian ?/grom [?r?m] 'thunder' See Macedonian phonology
Malay guni [?uni] 'sack'
Marathi ? [?t] 'grass' See Marathi phonology
Nepali [?ä] 'village' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Nepali phonology
Norwegian gull [l] 'gold' See Norwegian phonology
Odia /gacha [t] 'tree' Contrasts with aspirated form.
Persian ?/gu?t [gu?t] 'meat'
Polish[14] gmin 'plebs' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[15] língua ['w?] 'tongue' See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi /gaa [:] 'cow'
Romanian[16] gând [nd] 'thought' See Romanian phonology
Russian[17] ?/golova 'head' See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[18] ? / gost [g:s?t?] 'guest' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak miazga ['mjäz?ä] 'lymph' See Slovak phonology
Somali gaabi [?a:bi] 'to shorten' See Somali phonology
Spanish[19] gato ['?ät?o?] 'cat' See Spanish phonology
Swahili giza ['z?] 'darkness' See Swahili phonology
Swedish god [?u:d?] 'tasty' May be an approximant in casual speech. See Swedish phonology
Turkish salg?n [sä?'n] 'epidemic' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[20] ??/g?anok ['n?ok] 'porch' See Ukrainian phonology
Welsh gwyn [?w?n] or [?wn] 'white' See Welsh phonology
West Frisian gasp [sp] 'buckle' (n.) See West Frisian phonology
Yi ? / gge [] 'hear'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[21] gan [?a?] 'will be able' Depending on speaker and carefulness of speech, [?] may be lenited to [?]

See also


  1. ^ Instead of "pre-velar", it can be called "advanced velar", "fronted velar", "front-velar", "palato-velar", "post-palatal", "retracted palatal" or "backed palatal".
  2. ^ Instead of "post-velar", it can be called "retracted velar", "backed velar", "pre-uvular", "advanced uvular" or "fronted uvular".
  3. ^ WALS Online : Chapter 5 - Voicing and Gaps in Plosive Systems Archived 2012-04-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Watson (2002), pp. 16-17.
  5. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009), p. 13.
  6. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992), p. 53.
  7. ^ Gussenhoven (1992), p. 45.
  8. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  9. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006), p. 255.
  10. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 117.
  11. ^ Okada (1999), p. 117.
  12. ^ Olson et al. (2010), pp. 206-207.
  13. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013), pp. 67-68.
  14. ^ Jassem (2003), p. 103.
  15. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  16. ^ DEX Online : [1]
  17. ^ Padgett (2003), p. 42.
  18. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 66.
  19. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003), p. 255.
  20. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 4.
  21. ^ Merrill (2008), p. 108.


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External links

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