ⓘ Occlusive


ⓘ Occlusive

In phonetics, an occlusive, sometimes known as a stop, is a consonant sound produced by blocking airflow in the vocal tract, but not necessarily in the nasal tract. The duration of the block is the occlusion of the consonant. An occlusive may refer to one or more of the following, depending on the author:

  • Stops, also known as plosives, are oral occlusives, where the occlusion of the vocal tract stops all airflow, oral and nasal.
Examples in English are voiced /b, /d, /ɡ/ and voiceless /p, /t, /k /.
  • Nasals, also known as nasal stops, are nasal occlusives, where occlusion of the vocal tract shifts the airflow to the nasal tract.
Examples in English are /m, /n, and /ŋ/.
  • Implosives, in which the airstream differs from typical stops and affricates. no examples in English.
  • Ejectives, with yet another airstream. no examples in English.
  • Click consonants, such as the exclamation tsk! tsk! made when expressing reproach often humorously or pity, are double occlusives with yet a fourth airstream mechanism. They may be oral occlusives, nasals, affricates, or ejective.
  • Affricates such as English / tʃ, / dʒ / are partial occlusives. Typically stops and affricates are contrasted, but affricates are also described as stops with fricative release, contrasting with simple stops = plosives.

Oral occlusion may mean any of the above, in addition to nasal occlusives, but typically means stop / explosive. Nasal occlusive can be used to distinguish simple nasal sounds from the nasal other.

Stop conditions and occlusion contradictory uses in the literature. They can be synonyms, or they can distinguish the nasality here. However, some authors use them in opposite senses, and cease to be a General term oral stop, nasal stop, an occlusive and limited oral consonants. Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996 prefer to distinguish the stop from the nose. They say

Note that what we call simply nasals are called nasal stops by some linguists. We avoid this phrase, preferring to reserve the term stop for sounds in which there is a complete interruption of airflow.