Oral (definition)

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An oral sound is one in which the air passes through the oral cavity with the velum raised and closed against the back of the throat. These contrast with nasal sounds, produced with a lowered velum, allowing air to pass through the nasal cavity. In summary, air only passes through the mouth in oral sounds while air can escape through the nose during nasal ones.

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  • Crystal, David. (1997) A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
  • Ladefoged, Peter (1993) A Course in Phonetics Third Edition. London: Harcourt Press.
  • Matthews, P. H. (1997) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.