Voiced bilabial implosive

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_<.

Voiced bilabial implosive
IPA Number160
Entity (decimal)&#595;
Unicode (hex)U+0253
Audio sample
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Features of the voiced bilabial implosive:

  • 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.


Ega[1][ɓá]'send away'
Fula[2]fulɓe[fulɓe]'Fulbe person' (g.)
Goemaias [ɓas]'to fetch'
Hausaɓaɓewa [ɓaɓɛua]'quarreling'
Jamaican Patois[3]beat[ɓiːt]'beat'Allophone of /b/ in the onset of prominent syllables.
Kalabari[4]á [ɓá]'kill'
Mono[5]‘balœ [ɓálə́]'at'
Mayan Yucatec balam [ɓalam] 'jaguar'
Seereer-Siin[6]ɓood[ɓoːd]'to crawl'Contrasts phonemically with voiceless implosive
Tera[7]ɓala[ɓala]'to talk'Contrasts phonemically with palatalized implosive, /ɓʲ/
Tukang Besi[aɓa]'previous'
Vietnamese[8]bạn[ɓan̪˧ˀ˨ʔ]'you'In free variation with [ʔb]. See Vietnamese phonology
Zuluubaba[úˈɓàːɓá]'my father'

See also



  • Connell, Bruce; Ahoua, Firmin; Gibbon, Dafydd (2002), "Ega", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 32 (1): 99–104, doi:10.1017/S002510030200018X
  • Devonish, H.; Harry, Otelamate G. (2004), "Jamaican phonology", in Kortman, B; Shneider E. W. (eds.), A Handbook of Varieties of English, phonology, 1, Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, pp. 441–471
  • Harry, Otelamate G. (2003), "Kalaḅarị-Ịjo", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 113–120, doi:10.1017/S002510030300121X
  • Keer, Edward (1999), Geminates, The OCP and The Nature of CON, Rutgers University
  • Mc Laughlin, Fiona (2005), "Voiceless implosives in Seereer-Siin", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 35 (2): 201–214, doi:10.1017/S0025100305002215
  • Olson, Kenneth S. (2004), "Mono" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (2): 233–238, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001744
  • Tench, Paul (2007), "Tera", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (1): 228–234, doi:10.1017/s0025100307002952
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language, 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English, 3: Beyond the British Isles, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-24225-8
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