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LABIALIZATION

Definition:

Replacing tongue tip consonants with labial consonants.

Comment:

Labialization occurs when a tongue tip consonant /t d n s z θ ð/ is substituted by a labial consonant /p b m w f v/ made at the same place of articulation.

 

NB: Substitution of the liquid /l/ is excluded from this definition (because substitution by /w/ would be an example of gliding).

Examples:

dog /dɒg/ → /bɒg/            (syllable-initial labialization)

moth /mɒθ/ → /mɒf/       (syllable-final labialization)

 

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Tongue tip consonant → labial consonant

Table 12 illustrates those consonants made with the tongue tip (tongue tip consonants) and those involving the lips (labial consonants).

Table 12. Distribution of labial and tongue tip consonants

Table 12. Distribution of labial and tongue tip consonants.

Labialization occurs when a tongue tip consonant /t d n s z θ ð/ is substituted by a labial consonant /p b m w f v/. The substituting labial typically mirrors the manner of production of the target consonant, i.e.

  • alveolar plosives /t d/ are typically substituted by bilabial plosives /p b/
  • the alveolar nasal /n/ is substituted by the bilabial nasal /m/
  • alveolar and dental fricatives /s z θ ð/ are substituted by labio-dental fricatives /f v/

Note that the substitution of the liquid /l/ with a labial consonant is excluded from this definition, because if /l/ were substituted by /w/ this would be an example of gliding (and, specifically, gliding of liquids).

Examples of syllable-initial labialization include the following.

 

tea

/ti/

/pi/

dog

/dɒg/

/bɒg/

now

/naʊ/

/maʊ/

sew

/səʊ/

/fəʊ/

zoo

/zu/

/vu/

think

/θɪŋk/

/fɪŋk/

the

/ðə/

/və/

 

The following are examples of syllable-final labialization.

 

hat

/hæt/

/hæp/

bad

/bæd/

/bæb/

can

/kæn/

/kæm/

kiss

/kɪs/

/kɪf/

nose

/nəʊz/

/nəʊv/

moth

/mɒθ/

/mɒf/

bathe

/beɪð/

/beɪv/

 

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