Sonorant (definition)

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Sonorant is a term used to describe liquids, nasals, and glides. These sounds are all produced with a free airflow that lacks turbulence and has voicing. Sonorant sounds are singable sounds- they can carry a tone. These sounds contrast with obstruents which are characterized by an obstructed vocal tract.

In English [l, n, ɹ, m, ŋ, j, w] are all sonorant sounds.

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  • Crystal, David. (1997) A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
  • Crystal, David, (1999). The Penguin Dictionary of Language. London: Penguin.