Obstruant (definition)

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An obstruent is a sound that is made with complete or considerable obstruction the the vocal tract. This term is used to describe stops (e.g. [t]), affricates (e.g. [tʃ]), and fricatives (e.g. [ʃ]). Obstruents stand in opposition to sonorants. Although they are sometimes considered 'nasal stops,' the continuous flow through the nose means that nasals qualify as sonorants.

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  • Matthews, P. H. (1997) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Crystal, David. (1997) A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. The language library. Oxford, UK: Blackwell,