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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Georgia
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      • Georgia

    • Join Date: Nov 2018
    • Posts: 2,835
    #1

    Voiced and voiceless consonants

    Hello.

    In one of my English textbooks I read that "b" "d" and "g" are voiced consonants, while "p", "t", "k" and "f" are voiceless.
    Aren't there other voiced and voiceless consonants?
    What about other consonants? Aren't "L", "m" and "n" also voiced? What kind of consonants are "w" and "y"?
    It's from English Grammar by Gakhokidze. It's a Georgian-English textbook.

  2. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • British English
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      • Europe
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    • Join Date: Jul 2015
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    #2

    Re: Voiced and voiceless consonants

    All consonants are voiced or voiceless.

    Her are some pairs. The first in each pair is voiceless, the second voiced:

    /f/ /v//θ/,//
    /t͡ʃ/, /d͡ʒ/
    /s/, /z/
    /ʃ/, /ʒ/
    /k/, /g/


    /l,/m/ and /n/ are voiced. They have no unvoiced equivalents in the English of England, though they may be partially devoiced when next to some voiceless consonants.
    Last edited by Piscean; 04-Nov-2020 at 09:04.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  3. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 18,392
    #3

    Re: Voiced and voiceless consonants

    Most native speakers are blissfully unaware that their are voiced and voiceless consonants. Learners need to be aware of the difference in sound (though they don't need to worry about the terminology) because failure to produce the right degree of voicing and aspiration is one of the things that can add to the 'foreign accent' of non-native speakers.

    A crude, but fairly effective, way of discovering whether the consonant sound you are producing is voiced or not is to block your ears and say the consonant between two vowels. You don't need real words - for example, if you say happy habby happy habby happy habby correctly with your ears blocked, you should be able to detect the break in the voicing in happy and not in habby. If you can't detect this, you are not saying them correctly. Get a native speaker to say the words for you and try to detect the voicing difference.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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