Voiced labiodental fricative

The voiced labiodental fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is v, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is v.

Voiced labiodental fricative
v
IPA Number129
Encoding
Entity (decimal)v
Unicode (hex)U+0076
X-SAMPAv
Braille
Audio sample
noicon

The sound is similar to voiced alveolar fricative /z/ in that it is familiar to most European speakers, but cross-linguistically it is a fairly uncommon sound, being only a quarter as frequent as [w]. Moreover, Most languages that have /z/ also have /v/ and similarly to /z/, the overwhelming majority of languages with [v] are languages of Europe, Africa, or Western Asia, although the similar labiodental approximant /ʋ/ is also common in India. The presence of [v] and absence of [w], is a very distinctive areal feature of European languages and those of adjacent areas of Siberia and Central Asia.[citation needed] Speakers of East Asian languages that lack this sound may pronounce it as [b] (Korean and Japanese), or [f]/[w] (Cantonese and Mandarin), and thus be unable to distinguish between a number of English minimal pairs.[citation needed]

In certain languages, such as Danish,[1] Faroese,[2] Icelandic or Norwegian[3] the voiced labiodental fricative is in a free variation with the labiodental approximant.