AskDefine | Define velar

Dictionary Definition

velar adj
1 of or relating to the velum
2 produced with the back of the tongue touching or near the soft palate (as `k' in `cat' and `g' in `gun' and `ng' in `sing')

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. articulated at the velum or soft palate
  2. referring to a veil


  1. a sound articulated at the soft palate




  1. a velar



Latin vigilare


  1. to watch, to guard
  2. to be vigilant


es-conj-ar vel





  1. sv-verb-form-pre vela

Extensive Definition

Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum).
Since the velar region of the roof of the mouth is relatively extensive and the movements of the dorsum are not very precise, velars easily undergo assimilation, shifting their articulation back or to the front depending on the quality of adjacent vowels. They often become automatically fronted, that is partly or completely palatal before a following front vowel, and retracted before back vowels.
Palatalised velars (like English /k/ in keen or cube) are sometimes referred to as palatovelars. Many languages also have labialized velars, such as [kʷ], in which the articulation is accompanied by rounding of the lips. There are also labial-velar consonants, which are doubly articulated at the velum and at the lips, such as [k͡p]. This distinction disappears with the approximant [w], since labialization involves adding of a labial approximant articulation to a sound, and this ambiguous situation is often called labiovelar.
The velar consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:
It is important to note at this point that a velar trill or tap is not possible - see the shaded boxes on the consonant table at the bottom. In the velar position the tongue has an extremely restricted ability to carry out the type of motion associated with trills or taps. Nor does the body of the tongue have the freedom to move quickly enough to produce a velar trill or flap.


See also

velar in Afrikaans: Velaar
velar in Arabic: طبقي
velar in Bengali: পশ্চাত্তালব্য ব্যঞ্জনধ্বনি
velar in Breton: Kensonenn drekstaon
velar in Czech: Velární souhláska
velar in German: Velar
velar in Spanish: Consonante velar
velar in Esperanto: Velaro (fonetiko)
velar in French: Consonne vélaire
velar in Korean: 연구개음
velar in Italian: Consonante velare
velar in Hebrew: עיצורים וילוניים
velar in Latvian: Velārs līdzskanis
velar in Dutch: Velaar
velar in Japanese: 軟口蓋音
velar in Norwegian: Velarer
velar in Polish: Spółgłoska miękkopodniebienna
velar in Portuguese: Consoante velar
velar in Russian: Заднеязычные согласные
velar in Swedish: Velar konsonant
velar in Tamil: மெல்லண்ண மெய்
velar in Chinese: 软腭音
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