AskDefine | Define obstruent

User Contributed Dictionary



obstruent (plural: obstruents)
  1. a consonant sound formed by obstructing the airway, causing turbulence; the generic term of plosive, fricative and affricate


Extensive Definition

In phonetics, articulation may be divided into two large classes, obstruents and sonorants. An obstruent is a consonant sound formed by obstructing outward airflow, causing increased air pressure in the vocal tract.
Obstruents are those articulations in which there is a total closure or a stricture causing friction, both groups being associated with a noise component; in this class there is a distinctive opposition between voiceless and voiced types.
Obstruents are subdivided into stops, fricatives, and affricates. Obstruents are prototypically voiceless, though voiced obstruents are common. This contrasts with sonorants, which are rarely voiceless.


  • Patterns of Sounds
obstruent in German: Obstruent
obstruent in French: Consonne constrictive
obstruent in Hebrew: עיצורים סותמים
obstruent in Indonesian: Konsonan hambat
obstruent in Japanese: 阻害音
obstruent in Latvian: Troksnenis
obstruent in Dutch: Obstruent
obstruent in Norwegian: Obstruenter
obstruent in Swedish: Obstruent
obstruent in Chinese: 阻礙音
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