Encyclopedia > Stop consonant

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Stop consonant

A stop is a consonant sound produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract by the lips or tongue.

In the case of oral stops (also called plosives), the airflow is blocked completely, causing pressure to build up. The obstruction in the mouth is then suddenly opened; the released airflow produces a sudden impulse in pressure causing an audible sound.

The oral cavity can also be completely obstructed while allowing air to escape through the nose; this is called a nasal stop. Often, the term "stop" is used to refer to oral stops only, with nasal stops called simply nasals.

Here are some of the oral stops. (The figures in square brackets are from the IPA.)

  • [p] voiceless bilabial stop
  • [b] voiced
  • [t] voiceless alveolar stop
  • [d] voiced
  • [ʈ] voiceless retroflex[?] stop
  • [ɖ] voiced
  • [c] voiceless palatal stop
  • [ɟ] voiced
  • [k] voiceless velar stop
  • [g] voiced
  • [q] voiceless uvular stop
  • [ɢ] voiced
  • [ʔ] glottal stop

English has the following stops:

[p], [t], [k] (voiceless)

[b], [d], [g] (voiced)

[m], [n], [ŋ] (nasal)

[ʔ] (glottal stop)

See phonetics, fricative, affricate, nasal consonant, approximant, click, phonation, airstream mechanism[?]



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