Glottal Consonants

Glottal Consonants

 

consonantal sounds formed in the larynx. Glottal consonants are produced when the stream of air passing through the glottis is obstructed by the closed or narrowed (but not taut) vocal cords and then released. Glottalized consonants, called glottal plosives—for example, [p], [t], and [k] in Georgian—are formed when there is an occlusion. When there is an opening, a weak friction noise occurs, producing a glottal fricative consonant such as the pharyngeal fricative [h] at the beginning of a word in German. The term “glottal consonants” is sometimes also used to designate uvular, postdorsal (velar, or postpalatal), and even dorsal (mediopalatal) consonants.

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