The bilabial trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the sound is ⟨ʙ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
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In many of the languages in which the bilabial trill occurs, it occurs only as part of a prenasalized bilabial stop with trilled release, [mbʙ]. That developed historically from a prenasalized stop before a relatively high back vowel like [mbu]. In such instances, the sounds are usually still limited to the environment of a following [u]. However, the trills in Mangbetu may precede any vowel and are sometimes preceded by only a nasal.
There is also a very rare voiceless alveolar bilabially trilled affricate, [t̪͡ʙ̥] (written ⟨tᵖ̃⟩ in Everett & Kern) reported from Pirahã and from a few words in the Chapacuran languages Wari’ and Oro Win. The sound also appears as an allophone of the labialized voiceless alveolar stop /tʷ/ of Abkhaz and Ubykh, but in those languages it is more often realised by a doubly articulated stop [t͡p]. In the Chapacuran languages, [tʙ̥] is reported almost exclusively before rounded vowels such as [o] and [y].
Features of the bilabial trill:
- Its manner of articulation is trill, which means it is produced by directing air over an articulator so that it vibrates. In most instances, it is only found as the trilled release of a prenasalized stop.
- 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 central–lateral dichotomy does not apply.
|Komi-Permyak||[ʙuɲgag]||'dung beetle'||Generally paralinguistic. This is the only true word it is found in.|
|Lizu||[tʙ̩˥˩]||'bean'||Syllabic; allophone of /u/ after initial /pʰ, p, b, tʰ, t, d/.|
|Ngwe||Lebang dialect||[àʙɨ́ ́]||'ash'|
|Pirahã||kaoáíbogi||[kàò̯áí̯ʙòˈɡì]||'evil spirit'||Allophone of /b/ before /o/|
|Pumi||[pʙ̩˥]||'to dig'||Syllabic; allophone of /ə/ after /pʰ, p, b, tʰ, t, d/.|
|Sangtam||[t ͡ʙʰʌ ̀]||'plate'||Phonemic, as /t ͡ʙ/, found in /t ͡ʙaŋ/ 'needle'|
The Knorkator song "[Buchstabe]" (the actual title is a glyph) on the 1999 album Hasenchartbreaker uses a similar sound to replace "br" in a number of German words (e.g. [ˈʙaːtkaʁtɔfəln] for Bratkartoffeln).
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