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
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|Voiced labiodental fricative|
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. 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.