Voiced uvular stop

For technical reasons, "g (IPA)" redirects here. For the consonant written as [ɡ], see Voiced velar stop.

Voiced uvular stop
IPA number 112
Entity (decimal) ɢ
Unicode (hex) U+0262
Kirshenbaum G
Braille ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35)⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245)
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The voiced uvular stop or voiced uvular plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɢ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is G\.

[ɢ] is a rare sound, even compared to other uvulars. Vaux (1999)[1] proposes a phonological explanation: uvular consonants normally involve a neutral or a retracted tongue root, whereas voiced stops often involve advanced tongue root: two articulations that cannot physically co-occur. This leads many languages of the world to have a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ] instead as the voiced counterpart of the voiceless uvular stop. Examples are Inuit; several Turkic languages such as Uyghur and Yakut; several Northwest Caucasian languages such as Abkhaz; and several Northeast Caucasian languages such as Ingush.

There is also the voiced pre-uvular stop[2] in some languages, which is articulated slightly more front compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical voiced uvular stop, though not as front as the prototypical voiced velar stop. The International Phonetic Alphabet does not have a separate symbol for that sound, though it can be transcribed as ɢ̟ (advanced ɢ), ɡ̠ or ɡ˗ (both symbols denote a retracted ɡ). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are G\_+ and g_-, respectively.


Features of the voiced uvular stop:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Arabic Sudanese بقرة [bɑɢɑrɑ] 'cow' Corresponds to /q/ in Standard Arabic. See Arabic phonology
Yemeni[3] قات  [ɢɑːt]  'Khat' Some dialects.[3] Corresponds to /q/ in Standard Arabic. See Arabic phonology
English Australian[4] gaudy [ˈɡ̠oːdɪi̯] 'gaudy' Pre-uvular; allophone of /ɡ/ before /ʊ oː ɔ oɪ ʊə/.[4] See Australian English phonology
Ket[5] báŋquk [baŋ˩˧ɢuk˧˩] 'cave in the ground'

Allophone of /q/ after /ŋ/.[5]

Kwak'wala ǥilakas'la [ɢilakasʔla] 'thank you'
Mongolian Монгол [mɔŋɢɔ̆ɮ] 'Mongolian'
Nivkh ньыӈ ӷан [ɲɤŋ ɢæn] 'our dog' Allophone of /q/.
Persian غذا  [ɢæˈzɒː]  'food'
Shor қарға [qɑrˈɢɑ] 'crow' Allophone of /g/.
Somali Muqdisho [muɢdiʃɔ] 'Mogadishu' Allophone of /q/. See Somali phonology
Tabasaran дугу [d̪uɢu] 'he' (ergative)
Tsakhur ? [ɢajɛ] 'stone'
!Xóõ ? [nǀɢɑɑ̃] 'to be spread out'
Xumi Lower[6] [Rɢʶo] 'to stew' Somewhat affricated; occurs only in a few words.[7] Corresponds to the cluster /Nɡ/ in Upper Xumi.[8]
Yanyuwa[9] [ɡ̠uɟ̠uɭu] 'sacred' Pre-uvular.[9] Contrasts plain and prenasalized versions

See also


  1. Vaux, Bert (1999). "A Note on Pharyngeal Features". Harvard Working Papers in Linguistics.
  2. Instead of "pre-uvular", it can be called "advanced uvular", "fronted uvular", "post-velar", "retracted velar" or "backed velar". For simplicity, this article uses only the term "pre-uvular".
  3. 1 2 Watson (2002), p. 13.
  4. 1 2 Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009).
  5. 1 2 Georg (2007), pp. 49, 67 and 77.
  6. Chirkova & Chen (2013), p. 365.
  7. Chirkova & Chen (2013), pp. 365–366.
  8. Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013), pp. 383, 387.
  9. 1 2 Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), pp. 34-35.


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