Voiced bilabial nasal
m
IPA Number114
Audio sample
Encoding
Entity (decimal)m
Unicode (hex)U+006D
X-SAMPAm
Braille
⠍ (braille pattern dots-134)

The voiced bilabial nasal is a type of consonantal sound which has been observed to occur in about 96% of spoken languages.[1] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨m⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is m. The bilabial nasal occurs in English, and it is the sound represented by "m" in map and rum. Very few languages (e.g. Wyandot) are known to lack this sound. A small number of languages have been observed to lack independent nasal phonemes altogether, such as Quileute, Makah, and Central Rotokas.[2]

Features

Voiced bilabial nasal.svg

Features of the voiced bilabial nasal:

Varieties

IPA Description
m plain m
palatalised
velarised
pharyngealized

Occurrence

Occurrence of /m/ in several languages.
Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
!Kung m [m] 'eat'
Adyghe мазэ/māză [maːza] 'moon'
Arabic Standard[3] مطابخ/maṭābiḫ [maˈtˤɑːbɪχ] 'kitchens' See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[4] մայր/mayr [mɑjɾ]  'mother'
Assyrian ܡܪܐ/mara [maːra] 'owner'
Basque maitatu [majt̪at̪u] 'to love'
Bengali মা/ma [ma] 'mother' See Bengali phonology
Bulgarian мъгла/măgla [mɐɡla] 'fog'
Catalan[5] meu [ˈmeʊ̯] 'mine' See Catalan phonology
Cherokee /ama [ama˦] 'water'
Chinese Cantonese / māau [maːu̯˥] 'cat' See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin / māo [mɑʊ̯˥] See Mandarin phonology
Chukchi Mанэгран [maneɣɻan] 'tent'
Chuvash манăн/manăn 'my'
Czech m [mʊʃ] 'man' See Czech phonology
Dutch[6] mond [mɔnt] 'mouth' See Dutch phonology
Dhivehi mas [mas̪] 'fish' See Dhivehi phonology
English him [hɪm] 'him' See English phonology
Esperanto tempo [ˈtempo] 'time' See Esperanto phonology
Filipino manok [maˈnok] 'chicken' See Filipino phonology
Finnish minä [ˈminæ] 'I' See Finnish phonology
French[7] manger [mɑ̃ʒe] 'to eat' See French phonology
Georgian[8] სა/sami [ˈsɑmi] 'three'
German Maus [maʊ̯s] 'mouse' See Standard German phonology
Greek[9] μάζα / maza [ˈmaza] 'clump' See Modern Greek phonology
Gujarati મો / mōr [moːɾ] 'male peacock' See Gujarati phonology
Hawaiian[10] maka [maka] 'eye' See Hawaiian phonology
Hindi धु/madhū [məd̪ʱuː] 'honey' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Hebrew אמא/ima [ˈʔimäʔ] 'mother' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Hungarian ma [mɒ] 'today' See Hungarian phonology
Indonesian[11] masuk [ˈmäsʊʔ] 'enter'
Italian[12] mamma [ˈmamma] 'mommy' See Italian phonology
Japanese[13] / mame [mäme̞] 'bean' See Japanese phonology
Kabardian мазэ/mazè [maːza] 'moon'
Kagayanen[14] manang [manaŋ] 'older sister'
Kazakh кеме / keme [keme] 'ship' See Kazakh phonology
Khmer ខ្មែរ / khmêr [kʰmae] 'Khmer' See Khmer phonology
Korean 마을 / maeul [mɐɯl] 'village' See Korean phonology
Limburgish moer [muːʁ] 'carrot' Common. Example from the Weert dialect.
Lithuanian mama [ˈmɐmɐ] 'mom'
Macedonian мајка/majka [ˈmajka] 'mother' See Macedonian phonology
Malay malam [mäläm] 'night'
Malayalam[15] കമ്മി/kammi [kəmmi] 'shortage'
Maltese ilma [ilma] 'water'
Marathi /man [mən] 'mind' See Marathi phonology
Mutsun muruṭ [muɾuʈ] 'night'
Nepali मा/āmā [ämä] 'mother' See Nepali phonology
Norwegian mamma [ˈmɑmːɑ] 'mom' See Norwegian phonology
Ojibwe /anaamim [ənaːˈmɪm] 'accuse' See Ojibwe phonology
Odia ମା/ [mä] 'mother'
Persian مادر/mâdar [mɒdær] 'mother' See Persian phonology
Pirahã baíxi [ˈmàí̯ʔì] 'parent' allophone of /b/
Polish[16] masa [ˈmäsä] 'mass' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[17] mato [ˈmatu] 'bush' See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi ਮੈਂ/mēm̐ [mɛ̃ː] 'I'
Russian[18] муж/muzh [muʂ] 'husband' Contrasts with palatalized version. See Russian phonology
Sanskrit अहम् /aham [əhəm] 'I' See Sanskrit phonology
Serbo-Croatian[19] мој / moj [mȏːj] 'my' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak m [mu̞ʂ] 'man'
Slovene m [míʃ] 'mouse'
Spanish[20] grumete [ɡɾuˈme̞te̞] 'cabin boy' See Spanish phonology
Swahili miti [ˈmiti] 'trees'
Swedish mask [mask] 'worm' See Swedish phonology
Telugu బ్బు [mabːu] 'cloud' Occurs as allophone of anuswara when followed by retroflex stops
Thai มม / mommaem [mɔːm.mɛːm] 'shabby' See Thai phonology
Toki Pona mani [mani] 'money'
Tsez мец/mec [mɛ̝t͡s] 'tongue'
Turkish benim [be̞nim] 'mine' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[21] молоко/moloko [mɔɫɔˈkɔ] 'milk' See Ukrainian phonology
Urdu مکان/makān [məkaːn] 'house' See Hindi-Urdu phonology
Uyghur مەن/men [mæn] 'I'
Uzbek men [men} 'I'
Vietnamese[22] muối [mwojˀ˧˥] 'salt' See Vietnamese phonology
Welsh mam [mam] 'mother' See Welsh phonology
West Frisian mar [mar] 'lake' See West Frisian phonology
Yi / ma [ma˧] 'bamboo'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[23] man [maŋ] 'animal'

Palatalized

Occurrence of /mʲ/ in several languages.
Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bulgarian[24] мя́сто/mjásto [mʲa̟sto] 'place' Contrasts with /m/. See Bulgarian phonology.
Irish [mʲeː] 'I' Contrasts with /mˠ/. See Irish phonology.
Kildin Saami[25] ме̄рр/mʹērr [mʲerː] 'sea' Kildin Saami contrasts varieties of bilabial nasals in voicedness, length and palatalization.[25]
Latgalian[26] miļti [mʲilʲtʲi][27] 'flour' Contrasts with /m/.[26] See Latgalian phonology.
Lithuanian[28] miglà [mʲɪɡˈɫa] 'mist' Contrasts with /m/. See Lithuanian phonology
Marshallese[29] emān [ɛmʲænʲ] 'four' Contrasts with /mˠ/.[29]
Nenets Tundra Nenets[30] мяˮ/ḿaq [mʲɑ][31] 'tent' Contrasts with /m/.[30]
Forest Nenets[30]
Russian медь/medʹ [mʲetʲ] 'copper' Contrasts with /m/. See Russian phonology.
Veps[32] nem' [nemʲ] 'peninsula' Contrasts with /m/.[32]

Velarized

Occurrence of /mˠ/ in several languages.
Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Gilbertese mwe[33] [mˠe] 'sleep' Contrasts with /m/ and /mː/.
Irish [mˠɑː] 'if' Contrasts with /mʲ/. See Irish phonology.
Marshallese[29] m̧winam̧ōn [mˠinʲɑmˠʌnʲ] 'caterpillar' Contrasts with /mʲ/.[29]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Segments - m". PHOIBLE. Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  2. ^ Ian Maddieson (2009). "Nasals and Nasalization: Revisiting universals". Nasal 2009. Wikidata Q115902630.
  3. ^ Thelwall (1990:37)
  4. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009:19)
  5. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992:53)
  6. ^ Gussenhoven (1992:45)
  7. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993:73)
  8. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006:255)
  9. ^ Newton (1972:10)
  10. ^ Ladefoged (2005:139)
  11. ^ Soderberg & Olson (2008:210)
  12. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004:117)
  13. ^ Okada (1999:117)
  14. ^ Olson et al. (2010:206–207)
  15. ^ Ladefoged (2005:165)
  16. ^ Jassem (2003:103)
  17. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:91)
  18. ^ Padgett (2003:42)
  19. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 67.
  20. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:255)
  21. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 4.
  22. ^ Thompson (1959:458–461)
  23. ^ Merrill (2008:108)
  24. ^ Klagstad (1958:48)
  25. ^ a b Rießler (2022:222)
  26. ^ a b Nau (2011:12)
  27. ^ Nau (2011:14)
  28. ^ Pakerys (1995:?)
  29. ^ a b c d Choi (1992:14)
  30. ^ a b c Burkova (2022:680)
  31. ^ Burkova (2022:681)
  32. ^ a b Grünthal (2022:294)
  33. ^ Stephen & Groves (1978)

References