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Voiceless uvular stop

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Title: Voiceless uvular stop  
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Voiceless uvular stop

Voiceless uvular stop
IPA number 111
Entity (decimal) q
Unicode (hex) U+0071
Kirshenbaum q
Braille ⠟ (braille pattern dots-12345)

The voiceless uvular stop or voiceless uvular plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. It is pronounced like [k], except that the tongue makes contact not on the soft palate but on the uvula. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is q, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is q.

For a voiceless pre-uvular stop (also called post-velar), see voiceless velar stop.


  • Features 1
  • Occurrence 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5


Features of the voiceless uvular stop:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a stop.
  • Its place of articulation is uvular, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the uvula.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abaza хъацIа [qat͡sʼa] 'man'
Adyghe атакъэ About this sound [ataːqa]   'rooster'
Aleut[1] ҟи́гаҟъ / qiighax̂ [qiːɣaχ] 'grass'
Arabic Gulf[2] غداً [qədæn] 'tomorrow' Many dialects. Corresponds to /ɣ/ in other dialects.
Standard[3] قط     'cat' See Arabic phonology
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic [qa] 'for' Corresponds to /k/ in the Urmian and Jilu varieties,.
Archi хъал [qaːl] 'human skin'
Bashkir ҡайын     'birch tree'
Chechen кхоъ / qo’ [qɔʔ] 'three'
Dawsahak [qoq] 'dry'
English [4][5] cut [qʌt] 'cut' Allophone of /k/ before back vowels.[5]
Non-local Dublin[6] back [bɑq] 'back' Allophone of /k/ after /æ/ for some speakers.[6]
Eyak u.jih [quːtʃih] 'wolf'
German Chemnitz dialect[7] Rock [qɔkʰ] 'skirt' In free variation with [ʁ̞], [ʁ], [χ] and [ʀ̥].[7] Doesn't occur in the coda.[7] See Chemnitz dialect phonology
Greenlandic illoqarpoq [iɬːoqɑʁpɔq] 'he has a house'
Hebrew Iraqi קול [qol] 'voice' See Biblical Hebrew phonology
Hindustani بَرق / बर्क़ [bərq] 'lightning' Mostly in loanwords from Arabic. Hindi speakers tend to use [k] instead. See Hindustani phonology
Inuktitut ᐃ"ᐃᑉᕆᐅᖅᑐᖅ /ihipqiuqtuq [ihipɢiuqtuq] 'explore' Represented by a . See Inuit phonology
Iraqw [qeːt] 'break'
Kabardian къэбэрдей     'Kabardian'
Kabyle ⵜⴰⴲⴰⵢⵍⵉⵜ
    'Kabyle language' May be voiced [ɢ].
Kavalan qaqa [qaqa] 'elder brother'
Kazakh Қазақстан [qɑzɑqˈstɑn] 'Kazakhstan' An allophone of /k/ before back vowels
Ket қан [qan] 'begin'
Klallam qəmtəm [qəmtəm] 'iron'
Kutenai qaykiťwu [qajkitʼwu] 'nine'
Nivkh тяқр̆ [tʲaqr̥] 'three'
Persian Kermani dialect قورباغه [quːrbɒɣe] 'frog' See Persian phonology
Quechua[8] qallu [qaʎu] 'tongue'
Sahaptin qu [qu] 'heavy'
Seediq Seediq [ˈsəːdʑɪq] 'Seediq'
Somali qaab [qaːb] 'shape' See Somali phonology
St’át’imcets teq [təq] 'to touch'
Tajik қошуқ [qoʃuq] 'spoon'
Tlingit ghagw [qɐ́kʷ] 'tree spine' Tlingit contrasts six different uvular stops
Tsimshian gwildma̱p'a [ɡʷildmqɑpʼa] 'tobacco'
Ubykh [qʰɜ] 'grave' One of ten distinct uvular stop phonemes. See Ubykh phonology
Uyghur ئاق/aq [ɑq] 'white'
Uzbek quloq [qulɒq] 'ear'
Yukaghir Northern маарх [maːrq] 'one'
Southern атахл [ataql] 'two'
!Xóõ !qhàà [ǃ͡qʰɑ̀ː] 'water'

See also


  1. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 165.
  2. ^ McCarus (1977), p. 266.
  3. ^ Watson (2002), p. 13.
  4. ^ Torgersen, Kerswill & Fox (2007).
  5. ^ a b "John Wells's phonetic blog: k-backing". 27 July 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Glossary". Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Khan & Weise (2013), p. 235.
  8. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 149.
  9. ^ Mc Laughlin (2005), p. 203.


  • Khan, Sameer ud Dowla; Weise, Constanze (2013), "Upper Saxon (Chemnitz dialect)" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association 43 (2): 231–241,  
  • McCarus, Hamdi A. Qafisheh (1977), A short reference grammar of Gulf Arabic, Tucson, Ariz.: University of Arizona Press,  
  • Mc Laughlin, Fiona (2005), "Voiceless implosives in Seereer-Siin", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (2): 201–214,  
  • Torgersen, Eivind; Kerswill, Paul; Fox, Susan (2007), "Phonological innovation in London teenage speech", 4th Conference on Language Variation in Europe (PDF) 
  • Watson, Janet (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic, New York: Oxford University Press 
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