Voiceless velar plosive

The voiceless velar plosive or stop is a type of consonantal sound used in almost all spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is k, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is k.

Voiceless velar plosive
k
IPA Number109
Encoding
Entity (decimal)k
Unicode (hex)U+006B
X-SAMPAk
Braille
Audio sample
noicon

The [k] sound is a very common sound cross-linguistically. Most languages have at least a plain [k], and some distinguish more than one variety. Most Indo-Aryan languages, such as Hindi and Bengali, have a two-way contrast between aspirated and plain [k]. Only a few languages lack a voiceless velar plosive, e.g. Tahitian.

Some languages have the voiceless pre-velar plosive,[1] which is articulated slightly more front compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical velar plosive, though not as front as the prototypical palatal plosive.

Conversely, some languages have the voiceless post-velar plosive,[2] which is articulated slightly behind the place of articulation of the prototypical velar plosive, though not as back as the prototypical uvular plosive.