(401 words)


Stops made with velar articulation and lip rounding.

Mycenaean inscriptions show that the three labiovelars kʷ, gʷ, and gʷʰ inherited from Proto-Indo-European were still distinct from other velars and from labials in most environments during the second millennium BCE. They were represented with the letter qoppa, written Ϙ. A notable exception was when adjacent to [u]; in such instances, the labiovelar unrounded, as it also did before [j]. Both of these developments took place in Proto-Greek (Proto-Greek and Common Greek) ( St…

Cite this page
Bridget Samuels, “Labiovelars”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 18 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2013

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