Labial (definition)

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A labial consonant is one whose articulation necessitates the involvement of the lips. How exactly the lips move further distinguishes the class of labial sounds: the lips can be brought together to make bilabial sounds or they can interact with the upper teeth to make labiodental sounds. The labial sounds of English are [w, p, b, m, f, v]. There are similar labial sounds in Gaelic; these include [w, p, pʰ, m, f, v] represented by the spellings <bh/mh, b, p, m, f/ph, bh/mh>, respectively.

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  • Crystal, David. (1997) A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
  • Ladefoged, Peter (1993) A Course in Phonetics Third Edition. London: Harcourt Press.