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Voiced labiodental fricative
IPA number 129
Entity (decimal) v
Unicode (hex) U+0076
Kirshenbaum v
[[File:Template:IPA audio filename| center| 150px]]

[create] Documentation

The voiced labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨v⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is v.

Although this is a familiar sound to most European listeners, it is cross-linguistically a fairly uncommon sound, being only a quarter as frequent as [w]. The presence of [v] and absence of [w], along with the presence of otherwise unknown front rounded vowels [y, ø, œ], is a very distinctive areal feature of European languages and those of adjacent areas of Siberia and Central Asia.[citation needed] Speakers of East Asian languages which lack this sound like Mandarin tend to pronounce [v] as [p], Japanese as [b], and Cantonese as [w], thus failing to distinguish the English words "very" and "berry".


Features of the voiced labiodental fricative:



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abkhaz европа [evˈropʼa] 'Europe' See Abkhaz phonology
Afrikaans wees [veə̯s] 'to be' See IPA for Afrikaans
Albanian valixhe [validʒɛ] 'case'
Arabic Siirt[1] ذهب [vaˈhab] 'gold' See Arabic phonology
Armenian վեց [vɛtsʰ] align="center"| 'six'
Bai Dali ? [ŋv˩˧] 'fish'
Catalan Balearic[2] viu [ˈviw] 'live' See Catalan phonology
southern CataloniaWheeler|2002|p=13-3|[3]
Chechen вашa/vaṣa [vaʃa] 'brother'
Czech voda [voda] 'water' See Czech phonology
Dutch[4] vreemd [vremt] 'strange' See Dutch phonology
English valve [væɫv] 'valve' See English phonology
Ewe[5] ? [évlɔ] 'he is evil'
Faroese ða [ˈɹøːva] 'speech'
French[6] valve [valv] 'valve' See French phonology
Georgian[7] იწრო [ˈvitsʼɾo] 'narrow'
German Wächter [ˈvɛçtɐ] 'guard' See German phonology
Greek βερνίκι/verníki [ve̞rˈnici] 'varnish' See Modern Greek phonology
Hebrew גב [ɡav] 'back' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindi[8] व्र [vrət̪] 'fast' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Hungarian veszély [vɛseːj] 'danger' See Hungarian phonology
Irish bhaile [veːlə] 'home' See Irish phonology
Italian[9] avare [aˈvare] 'miserly' ( See Italian phonology
Kabardian зэвы [zævɛ] 'narrow'
Ladino mueve [ˈmwɛvɛ] 'nine'
Maltese iva [iva] 'yes'
Norwegian vann [vɑn] 'water' See Norwegian phonology
Occitan Auvergnat vol [vɔl] 'flight' See Occitan phonology
Polish[10] wór [vur] align="center"| 'bag' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[11] vinho [ˈviɲu] 'wine' See Portuguese phonology
Romanian val [val] 'wave' See Romanian phonology
Russian[12] волосы [ˈvoləsɨ] 'hair' Contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Slovak voda [voda] 'water'
Spanish[13] afgano [avˈɣano̞] 'Afghan' See Spanish phonology
Swedish vägg [ˈvɛɡ] 'wall' See Swedish phonology
Turkish cetvel [dʒetvæl] 'ruler' Allophone of /ʋ/ after voiceless consonants. See Turkish phonology
Vietnamese[14] và [vjaː˨˩] 'and' In southern dialects, is in free variation with [j]. See Vietnamese phonology
Welsh fi [vi] 'I'
West Frisian weevje [ʋeːvjə] 'to weave' Never occurs in word-initial positions.
Yi /vu [vu˧] 'intestines'

See also



  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1-2): 53–56, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618 
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223 
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (2): 45–47, doi:10.1017/S002510030000459X 
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191 
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005), Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.), Blackwell 
  • Padgett, Jaye (2003), "Contrast and Post-Velar Fronting in Russian", Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 21 (1): 39–87, doi:10.1023/A:1021879906505 
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Vakhtang, Chikovani (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002659 
  • Watson, Janet (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic, New York: Oxford University Press 
  • Wheeler, Max W (2005), The Phonology Of Catalan, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0199258147 

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