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I’m reminded of the once-popular theory that communities where people wear lip-plates tend to develop languages without bilabial stops: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=lV2DVLaPMBkC&lpg=PP1&dq=bilabial%20lip%20plate%20campbell&pg=PA324#v=onepage&q&f=false.

Languages without bilabial stops are almost exclusively found in the Americas, but with a handful in New Guinea and Vanuatu. To see this, go here: http://phonotactics.anu.edu.au/qtp/?db=wphon-latest, and in the “Features” dropdown, scroll to the “Segments: consonants: plosives” section, and find the feature “Bilabial plosives”. Click the blue refresh button, then go to “Options” and deselect “Show numbers when zoomed out”, and go to “Legend” and deselect the red dots.

I’m not sure how a lack of bilabials evolves, but this should be a good starting point.

Siva

> On 9 May 2016, at 1:06 PM, Daniel Bowman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Greetings all,
> 
> I'm writing up a description of the phonetics of my conlang Angosey, and I was struck by its lack of bilabial stops.  Perhaps it's my L1 bias, but that seems unusual.  Wikipedia appears to agree, but I would like to have some more erudite opinions.  I was wondering if this lack will require some extensive diachronic investigation.  Perhaps Angosey lost /b/ via betacism, particularly since it does have /v/.
> 
> Thoughts?
> 
> Danny