Lax (definition)

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Sounds with Lax articulation are in contrast to tense sounds. Lax sounds are produced with either less tongue tenseness or with less advanced tongue root than tense sounds. English [i] (beet) is a tense sound, English [ɪ] (bit) is the equivalent. Gaelic also has the tense/lax distinction, but in the sonorant sounds -- this is sometimes also called lenis.

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References

  • Ladefoged, D. (2010) A Course in Phonetics. 6th Edition. Wadsworth Publishing.