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sonorant
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{{Manner of articulation}}In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant or resonant is a speech sound that is produced with continuous, non-turbulent airflow in the vocal tract; these are the manners of articulation that are most often voiced in the world's languages. Vowels are sonorants, as are consonants like {{IPA|/m/}} and {{IPA|/l/}}: approximants, nasals, flaps or taps, and most{{clarify|date=August 2019}} trills.In older usage, only the term resonant was used with this meaning, and sonorant was a narrower term, referring to all resonants except vowels and semivowels.

Types

Whereas obstruents are frequently voiceless, sonorants are almost always voiced. A typical sonorant consonant inventory found in many languages comprises the following: two nasals {{IPA|/m/, /n/}}, two semivowels {{IPA|/w/, /j/}}, and two liquids {{IPA|/l/, /r/}}.{{citation needed|date=July 2012}}In the sonority hierarchy, all sounds higher than fricatives are sonorants. They can therefore form the nucleus of a syllable in languages that place that distinction at that level of sonority; see Syllable for details.Sonorants contrast with obstruents, which do stop or cause turbulence in the airflow. The latter group includes fricatives and stops (for example, {{IPA|/s/}} and {{IPA|/t/}}).Among consonants pronounced in the back of the mouth or in the throat, the distinction between an approximant and a voiced fricative is so blurred that no language is known to contrast them.{{citation needed|date=May 2018}} Thus, uvular, pharyngeal, and glottal fricatives never contrast with approximants.

Voiceless

Voiceless resonants are rare; they occur as phonemes in only about 5% of the world's languages.Ian Maddieson (with a chapter contributed by Sandra Ferrari Disner); Patterns of sounds; Cambridge University Press, 1984. {{ISBN|0-521-26536-3}} Voiceless sonorants tend to be extremely quiet and difficult to recognise, even for those people whose language has them.In every case of a voiceless sonorant occurring, there is a contrasting voiced sonorant. In other words, whenever a language contains a phoneme such as {{IPA|/r̥/}}, it also contains a corresponding voiced phoneme such as {{IPA|/r/}}).{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}Voiceless sonorants are most common around the Pacific Ocean (in Oceania, East Asia, and North and South America) and in certain language families (such as Austronesian, Sino-Tibetan, Na-Dene and Eskimo–Aleut).One European language with voiceless sonorants is Welsh. Its phonology contains a phonemic voiceless alveolar trill {{IPA|/r̥/}} along with three voiceless nasals: velar, alveolar and labial.Another European language with voiceless sonorants is Icelandic, with [l̥ r̥ n̥ m̥ ɲ̊ ŋ̊] for the corresponding voiced sonorants [l r n m ɲ ŋ].Voiceless {{IPA|[r̥ l̥ ʍ]}} and possibly {{IPA|[m̥ n̥]}} are hypothesized to have occurred in various dialects of Ancient Greek. The Attic dialect of the Classical period likely had {{IPA|[r̥]}} as the regular allophone of {{IPA|/r/}} at the beginning of words and possibly when it was doubled inside words. Hence, many English words from Ancient Greek roots have rh initially and rrh medially: rhetoric, diarrhea.

Examples

English has the following sonorant consonantal phonemes: {{IPA|/l/, /m/, /n/, /Å‹/, /ɹ/, /w/, /j/}}.WEB, Consonants, UCL DEPT OF PHONETICS & LINGUISTICS, September 19, 1995,weblink July 30, 2012, Old Irish had one of the most complex sonorant systems recorded in linguistics, with 12 coronal sonorants alone. Coronal laterals, nasals, and rhotics had a fortis–lenis and a palatalization contrast: {{IPA|/N, n, Nʲ, nʲ, R, r, Rʲ, rʲ, L, l, Lʲ, lʲ/}}. There were also {{IPA|/Å‹, ŋʲ, m/}} and {{IPA|/mʲ/}}, making 16 sonorant phonemes in total.JOURNAL, 10.1111/j.1467-968X.1973.tb01017.x, The Growth of Palatalization in Irish, Transactions of the Philological Society, 72, 127–136, 1973, Greene, David,

Sound changes

Voiceless resonants have a strong tendency to either revoice or undergo fortition, for example to form a fricative like {{IPA|/ç/}} or {{IPA|/ɬ/}}.{{examples|date=February 2015}}In connected, continuous speech in North American English, {{IPA|/t/}} and {{IPA|/d/}} are usually flapped to {{IPAblink|ɾ}} following sonorants, including vowels, when followed by a vowel or syllabic {{IPA|/l/}}.WEB,weblink North American English: General Accents, Universität Stuttgart - Institut für Linguistik,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140421051053weblink">weblink 21 April 2014, 26 April 2019, 6,

See also

References

{{reflist}}

Bibliography

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