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Implosives (was Re: Relative frequency of ejectives)

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Friday, May 26, 2006, 18:40
>How the heck do you form implosives, anyways? Are they >just pulmonic ingressives (= sucking in air, rather >than blowing it out), or what? I tried making them a >while ago, but couldn't manage to switch the direction >of airflow quickly enough to make it a reasonable >speech segment; I just figured I got the mechanism wrong. > >
Try to "swallow" a b. The important thing to understand is that you're not trying to breath in while pronouncing a b... that's a pulmonic ingressive, and no known language has those as a distinctive segment. What you do if, you form the closure (in this case, press your lips together) as usual, and then constrict your glottis and lower it. For a normal implosive, you shouldn't have complete glottal closure... merely enough so that as you lower your glottis, the pressure in your mouth becomes significantly lower. Then you release the closure (move your lips apart) and because the pressure in your mouth is lower than the pressure outside it, air is sucked in. Because the glottis isn't completely closed you get creaky voicing during the production of the segment... a sign that you may be doing it right is if the voicing is clearly creaky and (in my case) the fact that I tend to carry the creakiness onto the start of the following vowel. It is possible to produce voiceless implosives also. To do that, you just close your glottis complete while lowering it... only a few languages have voiceless implosives though.


Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>