Velar consonant

From Academic Kids

Places of articulation
Labial
Bilabial
Labiodental
Linguolabial
Labial-velar
Coronal
Interdental
Dental
Retroflex
Alveolar
Postalveolar
Alveolo-palatal
Dorsal
Palatal
Labial-palatal
Velar
Uvular
Pharyngeal
Epiglottal
Glottal
Apical
Laminal
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Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum).

Since the velar region of the roof of the mouth is relatively extensive and the movements of the dorsum are not very precise, velars easily undergo assimilation, shifting their articulation back or to the front depending on the quality of adjacent vowels. They often become automatically fronted, that is partly or completely palatal before a following front vowel, and retracted before back vowels.

Palatalised velars (like English /k/ in keen or cube) are sometimes referred to as palatovelars. Many languages also have labialized velars, such as , in which the articulation is accompanied by rounding of the lips. There are also labial-velar consonants, which are doubly articulated at the velum and at the lips, such as . This distinction disappears with the approximant [w], since labialization involves adding of a labial approximant articulation to a sound, and this ambiguous situation is often called labiovelar.

The velar consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
Image:Xsampa-N2.png velar nasal English Template:Bold dark red Template:IPA bold dark red ring
Image:Xsampa-k.png voiceless velar plosive English sTemplate:Bold dark redip Template:IPA bold dark red skip
Missing image
Xsampa-g.png
Image:Xsampa-g.png

voiced velar plosive English Template:Bold dark redet Template:IPA bold dark red get
Missing image
Xsampa-x.png
Image:Xsampa-x.png

voiceless velar fricative Hebrew מיTemplate:Bold dark redאל Template:IPA bold dark red Michael
Image:Xsampa-G2.png voiced velar fricative Margi Template:Bold dark redàfə́ Template:IPA bold dark red arrow
Image:Xsampa-X.png voiceless labial-velar approximant English Template:Bold dark redichTemplate:Footnote Template:IPA bold dark red which
Image:Xsampa-Mslash.png velar approximant Spanish paTemplate:Bold dark redarTemplate:Footnote Template:IPA bold dark red to pay
Image:Xsampa-Lslash.png velar lateral approximant Mid-Waghi aTemplate:Bold dark redaTemplate:Bold dark rede Template:IPA bold dark redTemplate:IPA bold dark red dizzy
Image:Xsampa-w2.png labial-velar approximant English Template:Bold dark reditch Template:IPA bold dark red witch

1Intervocalic g in Spanish often described instead as a very lightly articulated voiced velar fricative.

2In dialects that distinguish between which and witch.

See also

de:Velar fr:Consonne vlaire ja:軟口蓋音 ko:연구개음 sv:Velar zh:舌根音

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