Voiced bilabial implosive

Voiced bilabial implosive
IPA Number160
Entity (decimal)ɓ
Unicode (hex)U+0253
Braille⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)⠃ (braille pattern dots-12)
Audio sample

A voiced bilabial implosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɓ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is b_<.


Features of the voiced bilabial implosive:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a stop.
  • Its place of articulation is bilabial, which means it is articulated with both lips.
  • 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.
  • Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.
  • The airstream mechanism is implosive (glottalic ingressive), which means it is produced by pulling air in by pumping the glottis downward. Since it is voiced, the glottis is not completely closed, but allows a pulmonic airstream to escape through it.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Ega[1] [ɓá] 'send away'
Fula[2] fulɓe [fulɓe] 'Fulbe person' (g.)
Goemai as [ɓas] 'to fetch'
Hausa ɓaɓewa [ɓaɓɛua] 'quarreling'
Jamaican Patois[3] beat [ɓiːt] 'beat' Allophone of /b/ in the onset of prominent syllables.
Kalabari[4] á [ɓá] 'kill'
Khmer បី [ɓəj] 'three'
Mayan Yucatec balam [ɓalam] 'jaguar'
Mono[5] ‘balœ [ɓálə́] 'at'
Paumarí[6] 'bo'da [ɓoɗa] 'old'
Seereer-Siin[7] ɓood [ɓoːd] 'to crawl' Contrasts phonemically with voiceless implosive
Sindhi ٻر [ɓaˑrʊ] 'child'
Tera[8] ɓala [ɓala] 'to talk' Contrasts phonemically with palatalized implosive, /ɓʲ/
Tukang Besi [aɓa] 'previous'
Vietnamese[9] bạn [ɓan̪˧ˀ˨ʔ] 'you' In free variation with [ʔb]. See Vietnamese phonology
Zulu ubaba [úˈɓàːɓá] 'my father'

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