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Voicing and Aspiration (was Re: "Transferral" verb form in LC-01)

From:JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Thursday, June 27, 2002, 18:42
Nik Taylor sikyal:

> Christophe Grandsire wrote: > > Well, I don't see how adding a puff of air or vibrating vocal chords can be > > compared at all. > > The "puff of air" is merely the continuation of voicelessness. [p_ha] > is really [p] followed by [a_0] and then [a]. Aspirated, unaspirated, > partially voiced, and fully voiced is merely a matter of how much time > is spent with the vocal cords not vibrating,
Yes. The proper linguistic term for this is "Voice Onset Time," or VOT for short. VOT is always reckoned from the moment of the release of a stop, and so broadly may be negative (voiced), zero (unvoiced), or positive (aspirated). I believe that these categories are respected across all languages, and no language distinguishes more than three VOT's without bringing in other features. There might *appear* to be a stronger puff of air on an aspirated stop, but that's because more air always escapes during voicelessness than during voiced sounds. Jesse S. Bangs "If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in frightful danger of seeing it for the first time." --G.K. Chesterton