Voiced/voiceless (was:Re: Chinese Dialect Question)
|From:||Estel Telcontar <estel_telcontar@...>|
|Date:||Friday, October 10, 2003, 20:10|
Paul Bennett ha tera a:
> Voiceless sounds in English include p, t, k, ch, f, h.
Also s, sh, and th as in "thing"
> Voiced sounds in English include b, d, g, j, v, m, n, ng and most of
> the other letters.
> The "simple" definition of the difference between voiced and
> voiceless is that in voiced sounds, the vocal chords are vibrating
> while the mouth makes the shapes it makes and the person breathes
> out, whereas in voiceless sounds, they are not.
> Touch your throat when you say a voiced letter (e.g. "ba ga da ma").
> You will be able to feel a vibration that is not there when you say a
> voicelss letter (e.g. "pa ka ta ha"). Try alternating voiced and
> voiceless letters (e.g. "ba pa ba pa ba pa"). All the vowels in
> English are normally voiced. When you whisper, all the sounds you
> make are voiceless.
This works especially well if you use sounds like "s" and "z" that can
be held for a while... if you say ssssssszzzzzzzzsssssszzzzzz, and feel
your throat, you can feel the difference.
> Also, voiceless sounds in English are usually followed by a small
> puff of nearly-silent air, before the vowel. Purists will tell you
> that this makes the English voiceless sounds actually Aspirated, and
> I would tend to agree, but it's largely an irrelevant distinction
> unless a language has all three of Voiceless, Voiced and Aspirated
> To hear the difference between a true Voiceless sound and an
> Aspirated sound, try saying the following pairs of words. The first
> has an Aspirated stop, the second has a Voiceless stop (after the
> kip / skip
> top / stop
> pat / spat
> Hear the difference? Probably not, at first, but it's there. I
> suspect that in different regional accents, the difference might be
> greater or smaller.
Even if you can't hear the difference, you can probably feel it by
putting your hand in front of your mouth as you say the words. You
should feel a slight puff of air when you say the aspirated sounds, but
not when you say the unaspirated ones.
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