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Glottal stop

In phonetics, the glottal stop is a guttural sound that is made when the glottal folds are pressed together.

In most languages it precedes an initial vowel and usually is not rendered in writing in such cases. Sometimes it occurs in the middle of a word between two vowels. In English it is used in several accents (eg. Cockney) as a replacement for the phoneme /t/.

In many other languages, it is a full phoneme by itself. In these cases, it is sometimes written as an opening single quote , as in Hawai‘ian, where it is called ‘okina. Other examples of language using phonemic glottal stop are Nahuatl and many other Native American languages, Samoan[?], Hebrew, and Arabic.

A German language example of the glottal stop is "Beamter". A fairly universal English language example would be "uh-uh". English speakers often have difficulty perceiving this sound, since is is either "invisible" or an allophone of another phoneme.

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