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:: oral plosives ::

The Basque oral plosives are four pairs in four different places of articulation:


Bilabial Dental Palatal Velar
Oral plosives
Graphics


Each pair is distinguished by the feature of voiced or voiceless (although not in initial or in final position). On the other hand, the voiced /b/, /d/ and /g/ have approximant variants [β], [ð] and [ɣ], preferably in intervocalic position.

It is relevant to point out that the palatal pair is in a different situation from the rest: the phonemic character of the voiced sound is dubious; its phonetic realisation has unequal appearance and in some dialects its presence is sporadic. On the other hand, the voiceless sound has a growing and generalised tendency towards affrication. Thus, there can be said to be a phonemic reduction of the plosives.

In the Iparralde dialects (Labourdin, Low Western and Eastern Navarrese and Souletin), there was until recently also a voiceless aspirated plosive:
bilabial /pʰ/
dental /tʰ/
velar /kʰ/

Nowadays, they only appear with a certain regularity in the Souletin dialect.
 
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