Voicing and aspiration
Voicing and aspiration of stop consonants in English depend on dialect and context, but a few general rules can be given:
- Voiceless plosives and affricates (/p/, /t/, /k/, and //) are aspirated when they are word-initial or begin a stressed syllable—compare pin and spin , crap and scrap .
- In some dialects, aspiration extends to unstressed syllables as well.
- In other dialects, such as Indian English, most or all voiceless stops may remain unaspirated.
- Word-initial voiced plosives may be devoiced in some dialects.
- Word-terminal voiceless plosives may be unreleased or accompanied by a glottal stop in some dialects (e.g. many varieties of American English)—examples: tap , sack .
- Word-terminal voiced plosives may be devoiced in some dialects (e.g. some varieties of American English)—examples: sad , bag . In other dialects they are fully voiced in final position, but only partially voiced in initial position.
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