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Linguolabials or apicolabials are consonants articulated by placing the tongue tip or blade against the upper lip, which is drawn downward to meet the tongue. They represent one extreme of a coronal articulatory continuum which extends from linguolabial to subapical palatal places of articulation. Cross-linguistically, linguolabial consonants are very rare, though they do not represent a particularly exotic combination of articulatory configurations, unlike click consonants or ejectives. They are found in a cluster of languages in Vanuatu, in the Kajoko dialect of Bijago in Guinea-Bissau, as well as in Umotína, a recently extinct Bororoan language of Brazil, and as extraphonotactic sounds worldwide.
The linguolabial consonants are transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet by adding the "seagull" diacritic, Template:IPA diacritic description to the corresponding alveolar consonant, or with the apical diacritic, Template:IPA diacritic description on the corresponding bilabial consonant instead.
List of consonants
|t̼||p̺||voiceless linguolabial plosive||Tangoa||[t̼et̼e]||"butterfly"|
|d̼||b̺||voiced linguolabial plosive||Kajoko dialect of Bijago||[nɔ̀-d̼ɔ́ːɡ]||"stone"|
|n̼d̼||m̺b̺||prenasalized voiced linguolabial plosive||Vao||[nan̼d̼ak]||"bow"|
|θ̼||ɸ̺||voiceless linguolabial fricative||Big Nambas||[ˈinɛθ̼]||"he is asthmatic"|
|ð̼||β̺||voiced linguolabial fricative||Tangoa||[ð̼atu]||"stone"|
(uses lower lip)
|Coatlán Zapotec||r̼ʔ||mimesis for a child's fart|
(blowing a raspberry)
|ǀ̼ or ʇ̼||ʘ̺||linguolabial click||Coatlán Zapotec||ǀ̼ʔ||mimesis for a pig drinking water|
In Vanuatu, some of the Santo–Malekula languages have shifted historically from labial to dental consonants via an intermediate linguolabial stage, which remains in other Santo and Malekula languages. In Nese, for example, labials have become linguolabial before nonrounded vowels; in Tolomako, this has gone further, so that *bebe 'butterfly' (/t̼et̼e/ in Tangoa, above) has become /tete/ in Tolomako, and *tama 'father' (Tangoa /tan̼a/) has become /tana/.
- The term apicolabial is older, but Ladefoged and Maddieson point out that often these sounds are not apical.
- Pullum & Ladusaw, Phonetic symbol guide, 1996:256. They note that the apical diacritic was added to the IPA after the linguolabial diacritic, and would have made the latter unnecessary.
- Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996, p. 19.
- Olson et al. in press, p. 7.
- Rosemary Beam de Azcona, Sound Symbolism. Available at http://www.linguistics.berkeley.edu/~rosemary/55-fall2003-onomatopoeia.pdf
- Ladefoged, Peter (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages, Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8.
- Maddieson, Ian. 1989. Linguo-labials. In VICAL 1: Oceanic Languages, Part II: Papers from the Fifth International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, Auckland, New Zealand, January 1988, ed. by R. Harlow & R. Hooper, 349–375. Auckland: Linguistic Society of New Zealand.
- Olson, Kenneth S., D. William Reiman, Fernando Sabio & Filipe Alberto da Silva. In press. The voiced linguolabial plosive in Kajoko. Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS) 45(1).
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