Shubi is a Bantu language spoken in by the Shubi people in north-western Tanzania. It is may use labiodental plosives /p̪/, /b̪/ (sometimes written ȹ, ȸ) as phonemes, rather than as allophones of /p, b/. Peter Ladefoged wrote:
- We have heard labiodental stops made by a Shubi speaker whose teeth were sufficiently close together to allow him to make an airtight labiodental closure. For this speaker this sound was clearly in contrast with a bilabial stop; but we suspect that the majority of Shubi speakers make the contrast one of bilabial stop versus labial-labiodental affricate (i.e. bilabial stop closure followed by a labiodental fricative), rather than bilabial versus labiodental stop.
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“A language does not become fixed. The human intellect is always on the march, or, if you prefer, in movement, and languages with it.”
—Victor Hugo (18021885)