One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fricative or plosive speech sound.
- ‘In phonetics, articulation may be divided into two large classes, obstruents and sonorants.’
- ‘No such requirement holds if the first of the coda consonants is not an obstruent.’
- ‘The grid shows that only obstruents (STOP and fricative consonants) enter into the voiced/voiceless distinction.’
- ‘Another common feature is that the level of tone is lowered after the occurrence of certain depressor consonants, namely voiced fortis obstruents.’
- ‘She also found a sex-linked effect with initial sonorants vs. obstruents: obstruents were hotter on males, sonorants on females, though only the female effect was significant.’
Mid 17th century (denoting an obstruction): from Latin obstruent- ‘blocking up’, from the verb obstruere.
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