Uvular

Places of articulation
Labial
Bilabial
Labial-velar
Labial-alveolar
Labiodental
Coronal
Linguolabial
Bidental
Interdental
Dental
Alveolar
Apical
Laminal
Postalveolar
Alveolo-palatal
Retroflex
Dorsal
Palatal
Labial-palatal
Velar
Uvular
Uvular-epiglottal
Radical
Pharyngeal
Epiglotto-pharyngeal
Epiglottal
Glottal
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Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. Uvulars may be plosives, fricatives, nasal stops, trills, or approximants, though the IPA does not provide a separate symbol for the approximant, and the symbol for the voiced fricative is used instead. Uvular affricates can certainly be made but are very rare: they may occur in a few African and Native American languages.

The uvular consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:

IPA Description Example
LanguageOrthographyIPAMeaning
uvular nasalJapanese日本 Nihon[ni.hoɴ]Japan
voiceless uvular plosiveKazakhҚазақ Qazaq[qɑzɑq]Kazakh
voiced uvular plosiveInuktitututirama[ʔutiɢama]because I return
voiceless uvular fricativeCastilian Spanishhijo[ˈiχo]son
voiced uvular fricativeLakhota (LLC orthography)aǧúyapi[ˌʔaˈʁʊjab̥ˑi]bread
uvular trillFrench (Standard Paris Dialect)Paris[paˈʀi]Paris
uvular ejectiveCusco Quechuaq'allu[ˈaʎu]tomato sauce
voiced uvular implosiveMam[ʛa]fire


English has no uvular consonants, and they are unknown in the indigenous languages of Australia and the Pacific. Uvular consonants are however found in many African and Middle-Eastern languages, most notably Arabic, and in Native American languages. In parts of the Caucasus mountains and northwestern North America, nearly every language has uvular stops and fricatives. Two uvular Rs are found in north-western Europe, where they spread from northern French.

The voiceless uvular plosive is transcribed as [q] in both the IPA and SAMPA. It is pronounced somewhat like the voiceless velar plosive [k], but with the middle of the tongue further back, against the uvula rather than the velum. The most familiar use will doubtless be in the transliteration of Arabic place names such as Qatar and Iraq into English, though, since English lacks this sound, this is generally pronounced as the most similar sound that occurs in English, [k].

[ɢ], the voiced equivalent of [q], is much rarer. It is like the voiced velar plosive [g], but articulated in the same uvular position as [q]. Few languages use this sound, but it is found in some varieties of Persian and in several Northeast Caucasian languages, notably Tabasaran.

The voiceless uvular fricative [χ] is similar to the voiceless velar fricative [x], except that it is articulated on the uvula. It is found instead of [x] in some dialects of German and Arabic.

The Tlingit language of the Alaskan Panhandle has ten uvular consonants:

tenuis plosiveqákʷtree spine
aspirated plosiveákʷbasket
ejective stopakʷscreech owl
labialized tenuis plosivenáaoctopus
labialized aspirated plosiveqʷʰáanpeople, tribe
labialized ejective stopqʷʼátɬcooking pot
voiceless fricativeχaakʷfingernail
ejective fricativeχʼáakʷfreshwater sockeye salmon
labialized voiceless fricativeχʷastáacanvas, denim
labialized ejective fricativeχʷʼáaɬʼdown (feathers)


and the Ubykh language of Turkey has 20.

Uvular Rhotics

The uvular trill [ʀ] is used in certain dialects (especially those associated with European capitals) of French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish and Norwegian, as well as Hebrew, for the rhotic phoneme. In many of these it has a uvular fricative (either voiced [ʁ] or voiceless [χ]) as an allophone when it follows one of the voiceless stops /p/, /t/, or /k/ at the end of a word, as in maître [mɛtχ].

As with most trills, uvular trills are often reduced to a single contact, especially between vowels.

Unlike other uvular consonants, the uvular trill is articulated without a retraction of the tongue, and therefore doesn't lower neighboring high vowels the way uvular stops commonly do.

Several other languages, including Inuktitut, Abkhaz and some varieties of Arabic, have a voiced uvular fricative but do not treat it as a rhotic consonant.

In Lakhota the uvular trill is an allophone of the voiced uvular fricative before /i/.

See also

  Consonants (List, table)See also: IPA, Vowels  
PulmonicsBilabialLab'den.DentalAlveolarPostalv.RetroflexPalatalVelarUvularPharyn.EpiglottalGlottalNon-pulmonics and other symbols
NasalsmɱnɳɲŋɴClicks ʘǀǃǂǁ
PlosivespbtdʈɖcɟkɡqɢʡʔImplo­sives ɓɗʄɠʛ
Fricatives ɸβfvθszʃʒʂʐʝxɣχʁħʕʜʢhɦEjec­tives 
Approximants β̞ʋ̞ɹɻjɰOther laterals ɺɫ
TrillsʙrʀCo-articulated approximantsʍwɥ
Flaps & TapsѵɾɽCo-articulated fricativesɕʑɧ
Lat. FricativesɬɮAffricates ʦʣʧʤ
Lat. Appr'mantslɭʎʟCo-articulated stops k͡pɡ͡bŋ͡m
This page contains phonetic information in IPA, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]
Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a voiced consonant. Shaded areas denote pulmonic articulations judged impossible.
place of articulation (also point of articulation) of a consonant is the point of contact, where an obstruction occurs in the vocal tract between an active (moving) articulator (typically some part of the tongue) and a passive (stationary) articulator (typically some part of
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Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips (bilabial articulation) or with the lower lip and the upper teeth (labiodental articulation). English [m]
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In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are:

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
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Labial-velar consonants are doubly articulated at the velum and the lips. They are sometimes called "labiovelar consonants", a term which can also refer to labialized velars, such as the approximant [w].
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A labial-alveolar consonant is a consonant produced with two simultaneous places of articulation: At the lips ('labial'; a p, b, or m sound), and at the gums ('alveolar'; a t, d, or n sound).
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In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth. The labiodental consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning

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Coronal consonants are articulated with the flexible front part of the tongue. Only the coronal consonants can be divided into apical (using the tongue tip), laminal (using the tongue blade), domed (with the tongue bunched up), or sub-apical (with the tongue curled back), as well
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Linguolabials or apicolabials are consonants articulated by placing the tongue tip or blade against the upper lip, which is drawn downward to meet the tongue.
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Bidental consonants, pronounced with both the lower and upper teeth, are normally found only in speech pathology. The Extended IPA symbol is both a superscript and a subscript bridge, [  ̪͆].
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Interdental consonants are produced by placing the blade of the tongue against the upper incisors. This differs from a dental consonant in that the tip of the tongue is placed between
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In linguistics, a dental consonant or dental is a consonant that is articulated with the tongue against the upper teeth, such as /t/, /d/
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Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth.
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An apical consonant is a phone (speech sound) produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue (i.e. the tip of the tongue). This contrasts with laminal consonants, which are produced by creating an obstruction with the blade of the tongue (which is just behind
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A laminal consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the blade of the tongue, which is the flat top front surface just behind the tip of the tongue.
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Postalveolar consonants are consonants articulated with the tongue near or touching the back of the alveolar ridge, placing them a bit further back in the mouth than the alveolar consonants, which are at the ridge itself, but not as far back as the hard palate (the place
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alveolo-palatal (or alveopalatal) consonants are palatalized postalveolar fricatives, articulated with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the body of the tongue raised toward the palate.
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In phonetics, retroflex consonants are consonant sounds used in some languages. (They are sometimes referred to as cerebral consonants, especially in indology.
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Dorsal consonants are articulated with the mid body of the tongue (the dorsum). They contrast with coronal consonants articulated with the flexible front of the tongue, and radical consonants articulated with the root of the tongue.
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Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). Consonants with the tip of the tongue curled back against the palate are called retroflex.
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In phonetics, the labialised palatal approximant is a consonant with two constrictions in the vocal tract: with the tongue on the palate, and rounded at the lips.
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Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum).
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A uvular-epiglottal consonant is a doubly articulated consonant pronounced by making a simultaneous uvular consonant and epiglottal consonant. An example is the Somali "uvular" plosive /q/, which is actually a voiceless uvular-epiglottal plosive
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Radical consonants are articulated with the root (base) of the tongue in the throat. They include the pharyngeal and epiglottal places of articulation. Glottal consonants are also sometimes considered radicals, but they are more accurately described as having no place of
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A pharyngeal consonant is a type of consonant which is articulated with the root of the tongue against the pharynx.

Pharyngeal consonants in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):

IPA Description Example (Mishnaic Hebrew)
Orthography IPA Meaning
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An epiglotto-pharyngeal consonant is a newly reported type of consonant, articulated with the epiglottis against the back wall of the pharynx. This contrasts with the pharyngeal consonants, where the root of the tongue contacts the back wall of the pharynx, and prototypical
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An epiglottal consonant is a consonant that is articulated with the aryepiglottic folds (see larynx) against the epiglottis. They are occasionally called aryepiglottal consonants.
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Glottal consonants are consonants articulated with the glottis. Many phoneticians consider them, or at least the so-called fricatives, to be transitional states of the glottis without a point of articulation as other consonants have; in fact, some do not consider them to be
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Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning 'sound, voice') is the study of the sounds of human speech. It is concerned with the actual properties of speech sounds (phones), and their production, audition and perception, while phonology, which
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International Phonetic Alphabet

Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

The International
Phonetic Alphabet
History
Nonstandard symbols
Extended IPA
Naming conventions
IPA for English The
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consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. The word consonant
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