The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are:
|voiceless bilabial plosive||English||spin||[spɪn]|
|voiced bilabial plosive||English||bed||[bɛd]|
|voiceless bilabial fricative||Japanese||富士山 (fujisan)||[ɸuʑisaɴ]||Mount Fuji|
|voiced bilabial fricative||Ewe||ɛʋɛ||[ɛ̀βɛ̀]||Ewe|
|bilabial trill||Nias||simbi||[siʙi]||lower jaw|
|bilabial click release (many distinct consonants)||Nǁng||ʘoe||[k͡ʘoe]||meat|
Owere Igbo has a six-way contrast among bilabial stops: [p pʰ ɓ̥ b b̤ ɓ]. Approximately 0.7% of the world's languages lack bilabial consonants altogether, including Tlingit, Chipewyan, Oneida, and Wichita.
The extensions to the IPA also define a bilabial percussive ([ʬ]) for striking the lips together (smacking the lips – see percussive consonant). A lip-smack in the non-percussive sense of the lips noisily parting would be [ʬ↓].
The IPA chart shades out bilabial lateral consonants, which is sometimes read as indicating that such sounds are not possible. The fricatives [ɸ] and [β] are often lateral, but since no language makes a distinction for centrality, the allophony is not noticeable.
- Maddieson, Ian. 2008. Absence of Common Consonants. In: Haspelmath, Martin & Dryer, Matthew S. & Gil, David & Comrie, Bernard (eds.) The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Munich: Max Planck Digital Library, chapter 18. Available online at http://wals.info/feature/18 Archived 2009-06-01 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed on 2008-09-15.
- Heselwood (2013: 121)[citation not found]
- General references