When you try to stop yourself from laughing and fail, you make a "chuckle" sound: a stop-like release when the air from your laughter-compressed lungs, prevented from escaping through your mouth, finds a way out through your nose.

These sounds (unvoiced and voiced) could theoretically be used in speech. They would impose severe constraints on adjacent sounds, but so do clicks, and clicks exist. Do chuckles exist?

EDIT: Non-phonemic realizations? Whatcha toQXng'mbout?

  • 2
    The fact that I am not using a standard language term should hint you that I don't know the standard language term for what I am asking about. Coincidentally, not knowing the name of the thing I am wondering about hinders my ability to do "my research" on it. I am asking a question on a site that was built for people to ask questions. That's research. Commented Feb 11 at 21:34
  • I cannot tell what it is that you mean exactly. Sorry. There might be more than one way to suppress a laugh/laughing. Key word: laugh suppression + physiology
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 11 at 21:38
  • The sound I have in mind is when you try hard to physically block laughter but you fail, and it bursts through your nose. It's all about that particular bit of anatomy where that obstruction happens and then gets overcome by pressure. A <that bit of anatomy>al stop. I don't know the name for it, but there is a physical and anatomical possibility to execute a stop sound this way. Are there any languages that make use of this possibility in their sound systems? Commented Feb 11 at 21:48
  • That is what I said with the term: laugh suppression. Anyway, I found this: science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/….
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 11 at 21:54
  • 2
    A voiceless velopharyngeal stop is probably what it is.
    – Nardog
    Commented Feb 11 at 22:27


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