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5

It means that the phonetics of voicing, as observed in human languages, goes beyond just a two-way distinction between "vocal folds vibrating" vs. "vocal folds not vibrating". Voicing can maintained throughout a consonant constriction, or it can either die out or start up at some point within the consonant, and the non-voiced portions can ...


4

This is just a subjective feeling that really depends on your native language or the languages you are used to speaking. Other languages are fine with this particular combination. For example, in my native Czech it is quite fine to have non-voiced + non-voiced st- or voiced + voiced zd-. But you cannot have zt-. You can write it, but due to voicing ...


3

I don't have an explanation from a synchronic phonetic perspective. From a diachronic and phonological perspective, /v/ in many languages, including Danish and Russian, developed from earlier /w/. This is relevant to voicing because /w/ is not a fricative, but an approximant, and other approximants such as /l/, /r/, or nasals like /m, n/ tend to likewise be ...


2

The broadest generalization is that, whatever is systematically lacking in your language, that thing is hard to do. If your language has no [ʁ], it is hard for you to produce [ʁ]. If words do not begin with [nd, mb, ŋg], it is hard for you to product such clusters. Hence English speakers would have problems pronouncing [ŋgata], [ŋko], but most Bantu-language ...


2

Melchert claims that "voicing" was not distinguished word-initially or word-finally, with word-initial stops ending up fortis (PIE *geis- > kiš- "become" > reduplicated kikkiš- with a fortis consonant) and word-final stops ending up lenis (PIE *h₁poi-h₁ei-ti > pait "went" > paid=aš "he came" with a lenis ...


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