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Individual differences |
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A labio-palatalized sound is one that is simultaneously labialized and palatalized. Typically the roundedness is compressed, like [y], rather than protruded like [u]. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for this secondary articulation is ⟨ᶣ⟩, a superscript ⟨ɥ⟩, the symbol for the labio-palatal approximant. If such sounds pattern with other, labialized, consonants, they may instead be transcribed as palatalized consonants plus labialization, ⟨ʷ⟩, as with the [ɕʷ] = [ɕᶣ] of Abkhaz or the [ɲʷ] = [ɲᶣ] of Akan.
The labial-palatal approximant [ɥ] occurs in Mandarin Chinese and French, but is uncommon, as it is generally dependent upon the presence of front rounded vowels such as Template:IPAblink and Template:IPAblink, which are themselves not common. However, the labial-palatal approximant and labio-palatalized consonants also appear in languages without front rounded vowels in the Caucasus and West Africa, such as Abkhaz, and as allophones of labialized consonants before /i/, including the [tɕᶣ] at the beginning of the language name Twi. In Russian, /o/ and /u/ trigger labialization of any preceding consonant, including palatalized consonants, so that нёс 'he carried' is pronounced [nᶣos].
Truly co-articulated labial–palatal consonants such as [c͡p, ɟ͡b, ɲ͡m] are theoretically possible. However, the closest sounds attested from the world's languages are the labial–postalveolar consonants of Yélî Dnye in New Guinea, which are sometimes transcribed as labial–palatals.
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