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Open Access The Phonetic Cause of Sound Change from Voiceless Stops to Implosives

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The Phonetic Cause of Sound Change from Voiceless Stops to Implosives

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image of Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

Currently, no relevant study provides a proper phonetic explanation regarding the origin of implosives in Chinese dialects. The present study proposes that the active lowering of the larynx is used as a strategy to initiate voicing when pronouncing the fortis voiceless stop1, which possibly results in the sound change from fortis voiceless stops to implosives. This phenomenon is observed in the Chaozhou dialect, in which a phonetic variant of the voiceless stop occurs with pre-voicing, and the transient drop of the intra-oral pressure (Po) occurs before oral release. It was found that the use of the ingressive glottalic airstream occurs more often when the voiceless stops are pronounced with either extremely long oral closure or with very high intra-oral pressure.


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