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Voiceless labial-velar fricative

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Title: Voiceless labial-velar fricative  
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Voiceless labial-velar fricative

The voiceless labiovelar (labialized velar) approximant (traditionally called a voiceless labiovelar fricative) is a type of consonantal sound, used in some languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʍ⟩ (a rotated lowercase letter ⟨w⟩) or ⟨⟩.

[ʍ] is generally called a "fricative" for historical reasons, but in English, the language that the letter ⟨ʍ⟩ is primarily used for, it is a voiceless approximant, equivalent to [w̥] or [hw̥]. On rare occasions the symbol is appropriated for a labialized voiceless velar fricative, [xʷ], in other languages.


Features of the voiceless labial-velar approximant:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Cornish whath, hwath [ʍæːθ] 'still', 'yet' Is spelled ⟨wh⟩ and ⟨hw⟩ in the Standard Written Form, as ⟨wh⟩ in Kernowek Standard, Unified Cornish, Unified Cornish Revised and Modern Cornish, and ⟨hw⟩ in Kernewek Kemmyn.
English Hiberno-English[1] whine [ʍʌɪn] 'whine' Phonemically /hw/. Contrasts with /w/. See English phonology and phonological history of wh
Scottish English[2]
Southern American dialects[3] [ʍäːn]
Canadian Maritime
Cultivated SAE
Older speakers. Most people have merged it into /w/.
New Zealand
Hupa tł'iwh [t͡ɬʼiʍ] 'snake', 'rattlesnake' Contrasts with /w/.
Nahuatl Cuauhtēmallān [kʷaʍteːmalːaːn] 'Guatemala' Allophone of /w/ before voiceless consonants.

See also



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