> Daniel Seriff wrote:
> > First the question: Are there any natlangs that do not have sounds in
> > the bilabial and labiodental zones? I'm trying to make my language's
> > phonology less English-like (and more interesting in the process).
> Actually, yes, there are a few around.  When we were discussing
> Atkan Aleut phonology in class the other day, one of the interesting
> things about its grammar is that the *only* labial sounds that exist
> in native vocabulary are nasal ones (Atkan Aleut has both voiceless
> and voiced bilabial nasal stops, but no [p], [b], [P], or [B]!).  Just
> by coincidence, the other language we will be studying this semester,
> Onandaga, from New York State, also lacks bilabial consonants
> except for the nasals.  (I believe in both languages there are actually
> examples of other bilabial consonants, but these are always from Russian
> or English for the former, or from French or English for the latter).

Iroquoian languages (Onandaga, Cayuga, Mohawk, Cherokee etc.) are known for
not having bilabial sounds. Mohawk lacks even a bilabial nasal, although
the sequence /Vu~/ sounds like [Vm]. I once heared that missionaries wrote
that they encountered people that could speak without moving their mouth.
Must have been an Iroquoian language.

a good site to see an iroquian language is

other sites can be found at

> But our professor noted that this is indeed an extremely rare
> phenomenon.  As for labiodentals, there are plenty of languages
> that lack those:  Hawaiian, for example.
> =======================================================
> Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
> ICQ#: 4315704   AIM: Deuterotom
> Website: <>
> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."
> Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and
> oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil
> spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson
> ========================================================