Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Aspirated stops vs. fricatives (was Re: Tit'xka (Pretty Long Post))

From:Eric Christopherson <eric@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 29, 1998, 23:08
Sheets, Jeff wrote:
> Okay. I mean /x/. I also am not familiar with any difference between your > /k_h/ and /k/. If they are allophones in English, I'm incapable of hearing > the difference. E.G. I see no difference between the k in kill and ck in > pack.
Aspiration is simply a puff of air after a sound. Usually in English, unvoiced stops are aspirated except when they come after /s/; thus "speak" is [spik], whereas "peak" is [p_hik]. It's hard at first to hear the difference, but you can feel the puff of air by putting your hand in front of your mouth while saying the words. You can feel air hitting it when you say "peak" but not "speak." /p/, /t/, and /k/ are generally aspirated in English except after /s/, so (AFAIK) the k in "kill" and the ck in "pack" are the same: [kIl] [p&k]. But notice that "skill" is [sk_hIl]. In French, Spanish, and Italian, among other languages, stops are never aspirated. In languages descended from Sanskrit, among others, the difference between aspirated and unaspirated stops is phonemic; the meaning of a word depends on it.