I have decided to include an apico-labial nasal in my latest conlang. The sound is produced by voicing while simultaneously extending the tip of the tongue to touch the upper lip and thus prevent airflow out of the mouth while allowing airflow out of the nostrils.

I first encountered an apico-labial consonant in a playful speculative article by a scientist named I.J. Goode, who thought that the "pt" in ancient Egyptian might have been used to transcribe a voiceless apico-labial stop. However, I'm guessing that apico-labial consonants are found in natural languages, even if they are rare across languages.

I'm afraid that consulting this page, my usual go-to page for phonemic transcription, has only left me scratching my head, so any help here would be appreciated. http://westonruter.github.io/ipa-chart/keyboard/

1 Answer 1


IPA take no position on this, but there is a diacritic combined with t etc for "linguolabial" ([t̼]: t plus seagull). This is how the IPA chart deals with it, and it is what Ladefoged and Maddieson say in Sounds of the world's languages. IPA say nothing about an apico-labial. The term "apico-labial" is mentioned Sounds, but they note that they have no example of such a thing (that is, examples are not actually apical). Theoretically you might write [p̺], p plus inverted bridge, since the inverted bridge is the diacritic for "apical", but this would be trying to set a standard, rather than following a standard.

  • Presumably apico-labials are rather dangerous. One sharp knock to the chin ... Probably why dental fricatives aren't actually interdental in natural speech! Mar 2, 2022 at 0:12

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