Liquid (definition)

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Liquids are sonorant sounds that are produced with a fairly open vocal tract that is largely altered by the shape of the tongue. Liquids are pronounced with lateral or rhotic articulation wherein air flows over the sides or the middle of the tongue, respectively. They can be syllabic or non-syllabic.

The liquid sounds in English are [l, ɹ]. Gaelic has many more liquid sounds than English including [l, l' L, L', r, r', R, and R'].

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