Encyclopedia > Breathy voice

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Breathy voice

Breathy voice is a special kind of phonation in which the vocal folds are vibrating as in normal voicing, but the glottal closure is incomplete, so that the voicing is somewhat inefficient and air continues to leak between the vocal folds throughout the vibration cycle with audible friction noise. A breathy voiced glottal approximant can be heard as an allophone of English [h] between vowels, e.g. in behind. A breathy voiced stop (symbolised [bh], [dh], [gh] etc.) is often followed by an h-like offglide that delays the onset of full voicing –- this is the normal pronunciation of "voiced aspirated stops" such as Hindi bh, dh etc.

See: slack voice, creaky voice, aspiration



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