Bilabial nasal

The bilabial nasal is a type of consonantal sound used in almost all spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is m, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is m. The bilabial nasal occurs in English, and it is the sound represented by "m" in map and rum.

Bilabial nasal
m
IPA Number114
Encoding
Entity (decimal)m
Unicode (hex)U+006D
X-SAMPAm
Braille
Audio sample
source · help

It occurs nearly universally, and few languages (e.g. Mohawk) are known to lack this sound.

Features

Features of the bilabial nasal:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Because the consonant is also nasal, the blocked airflow is redirected through the nose.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • It is a nasal consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the nose, either exclusively (nasal stops) or in addition to through the mouth.
  • Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.

Occurrence

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Adygheмазэ[maːza]'moon'
ArabicStandard[1]مطابخ[maˈtˤaːbɪχ]'kitchens'See Arabic phonology
ArmenianEastern[2]մայր[mɑjɾ] 'mother'
Assyrian Neo-Aramaicmara[maːra]'owner'
Basquemaitatu[majt̪at̪u]'to love'
Bengaliমা[ma]'mother'See Bengali phonology
Bulgarianмъгла[mɐɡla]'fog'
Catalan[3]mare[ˈmaɾə]'mother'See Catalan phonology
Cherokee[ama˦]'water'
ChineseCantonese / māau[maːu̯˥]'cat'See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin / māo[mɑʊ̯˥]See Mandarin phonology
Czechm[mʊʃ]'man'See Czech phonology
Dutch[4]mond[mɔnt]'mouth'See Dutch phonology
Englishhim[hɪm]'him'See English phonology
Esperantotempo[ˈtempo]'time'See Esperanto phonology
Filipinomanok[maˈnok]'rooster'See Filipino phonology
Finnishminä[ˈminæ]'I'See Finnish phonology
French[5]manger[mɑ̃ʒe]'to eat'See French phonology
Georgian[6]სა[ˈsɑmi]'three'
GermanMaus[maʊ̯s]'mouse'See Standard German phonology
Greek[7]μάζα / maza[ˈmaza]'clump'See Modern Greek phonology
Gujaratiમો / mōr[moːɾ]'male peacock'See Gujarati phonology
Hawaiian[8]maka[maka]'eye'See Hawaiian phonology
Hindiधु[məd̪ʱuː]'honey'See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Hebrewאמא[ˈʔimäʔ]'mother'See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hungarianma[mɒ]'today'See Hungarian phonology
Indonesian[9]masuk[ˈmäsʊʔ]'enter'
Italian[10]mamma[ˈmamma]'mommy'See Italian phonology
Japanese[11]乾杯 / kampai[kampai]'cheers'See Japanese phonology
Kabardianмазэ[maːza]'moon'
Kagayanen[12]manang[manaŋ]'older sister'
Korean마을 / maeul[mɐɯl]'village'See Korean phonology
Macedonianмајка[ˈmajka]'mother'See Macedonian phonology
Malaymalam[mäläm]'night'
Malayalam[13]കമ്മി[kəmmi]'shortage'
Malteseilma[ilma]'water'
Marathi[mən]'mind'See Marathi phonology
Mutsunmuruṭ[muɾuʈ]'night'
Norwegianmamma[ˈmɑmːɑ]'mom'See Norwegian phonology
Ojibwe[ənaːˈmɪm]'accuse'See Ojibwe phonology
Oriyaମା[maː]'mother'
Persianمادر[mɒdær]'mother'See Persian phonology
Pirahãbaíxi[ˈmàí̯ʔì]'parent'allophone of /b/
Polish[14]masa[ˈmäsä] 'mass'See Polish phonology
Portuguese[15]mato[ˈmatu]'bush'See Portuguese phonology
Punjabiਮੈਂ[mɛ̃ː]'I'
Russian[16]муж[muʂ] 'husband'Contrasts with palatalized version. See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[17]мој / moj[mȏːj]'my'See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovakm[mu̞ʃ]'man'
Slovenem[míʃ]'mouse'
Spanish[18]grumete[ɡɾuˈme̞te̞]'cabin boy'See Spanish phonology
Swahilimiti[ˈmiti]'trees'
Swedishmask[mask]'worm'See Swedish phonology
Toki Pona mani [mani] 'money'
Tsezмец[mɛ̝t͡s]'tongue'
Turkishbenim[be̞nim]'mine'See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[19]молоко[mɔɫɔˈkɔ]'milk'See Ukrainian phonology
Urduمکان[məkaːn]'house'See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Uyghurمهن[mæn]'I'
Vietnamese[20]muối[mwoj˧ˀ˥]'salt'See Vietnamese phonology
Welshmam[mam]'mother'See Welsh phonology
West Frisianmar[mar]'lake'See West Frisian phonology
Yi / ma[ma˧]'bamboo'
ZapotecTilquiapan[21]man[maŋ]'animal'

See also

Notes

References

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