Obstruent

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An obstruent is a speech sound such as [k], [d͡ʒ], or [f] that is formed by obstructing airflow. Obstruents contrast with sonorants, which have no such obstruction and so resonate [1]. All obstruents are consonants, but sonorants include both vowels and consonants.

Subclasses[edit]

Obstruents are subdivided into plosives (oral stops), such as [p, t, k, b, d, ɡ], with complete occlusion of the vocal tract, often followed by a release burst; fricatives, such as [f, s, ʃ, x, v, z, ʒ, ɣ], with limited closure, not stopping airflow but making it turbulent; and affricates, which begin with complete occlusion but then release into a fricative-like release, such as [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʒ].[2]

Voicing[edit]

Obstruents are prototypically voiceless, but voiced obstruents are common. This contrasts with sonorants, which are prototypically voiced and only rarely voiceless[citation needed].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gussenhoven, Carlos; Haike, Jacobs. Understanding Phonology, Fourth Edition, Routledge, 2017
  2. ^ Zsiga, Elizabeth. The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  • Ian Maddieson (1984). Patterns of Sounds. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-26536-3.
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4.