No audible release

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Template:Short description Template:Infobox IPA A stop with no audible release, also known as an unreleased stop or an applosive, is a stop consonant with no release burst: no audible indication of the end of its occlusion (hold). In the International Phonetic Alphabet, lack of an audible release is denoted with an upper-right corner diacritic (Template:Unichar) after the consonant letter: Template:IPA, Template:IPA, Template:IPA.[1]

Audibly released stops, on the other hand, are not normally indicated. If a final stop is aspirated, the aspiration diacritic Template:Angbr IPA is sufficient to indicate the release. Otherwise, the "unaspirated" diacritic of the Extended IPA may be employed for this: apt Template:IPA.


In most dialects of English, the first stop of a cluster has no audible release, as in apt Template:IPA, doctor Template:IPA, or logged on Template:IPA. Although such sounds are frequently described as "unreleased", the reality is that since the two consonants overlap, the release of the former takes place during the hold of the latter, masking the former's release and making it inaudible.[2] That can lead to cross-articulations that seem very much like deletions or complete assimilation.

For example, hundred pounds may sound like Template:IPA but X-ray[3] and electropalatographic[4] studies demonstrate that since inaudible and possibly-weakened contacts may still be made, the second Template:IPA in hundred pounds does not entirely assimilate a labial place of articulation but co-occurs with it.

In American English, a stop in syllable-final position is typically realized as an unreleased stop; that is especially the case for /t/,[5], but in that position, it is also analyzed as experiencing glottal reinforcement.

Such sounds may occur between vowels, as in some pronunciations of out a lot. The overlap there appears to be with a glottal stop, Template:IPA: the Template:IPA is pronounced, and since it is between vowels, it must be released. However, its release is masked by the glottal stop.[6] (See: T-glottalization, in some dialects).

The term "unreleased" is also used for a stop before a homorganic nasal, as in catnip. In such cases, however, the stop is released as a nasal in a nasal release and so it would be more precisely transcribed Template:IPA.

Other languages

In most languages in East and Southeast Asia with final stops, such as Cantonese,[7] Hokkien,[8] Korean,[9] Malay,[10] Thai,[11] and West Coast Bajau,[12] the stops are not audibly released: mak Template:IPA. That is true even between vowels. That is thought to be caused by an overlapping glottal stop[6] and is more precisely transcribed Template:IPA. A consequence of an inaudible release is that any aspirated–unaspirated distinction is neutralized. Some languages, such as Vietnamese,[citation needed] which are reported to have unreleased final stops, turn out to have short voiceless nasal releases instead. The excess pressure is released (voicelessly) through the nose and so there is no audible release to the stop.

Formosan languages

The Formosan languages of Taiwan, such as Tsou and Amis, are unusual in that all obstruents are released but not aspirated, as in Tsou Template:IPA "four" and Template:IPA "to pierce", or Amis Template:IPA "one" and Template:IPA "four".[citation needed] (The symbol for a release burst, Template:Angbr IPA, is acknowledged but not supported by the IPA.[13])

Gyalrong languages

In Gyalrongic languages, plosives and nasal stops could be unreleased after a glottal stop,[14] for example:

See also


  1. The diacritic may not display properly with some fonts, appearing above the consonant rather than after it; in such cases, Template:Unichar, Template:Angbr IPA, may be used instead.
  2. Template:Harvcoltxt
  3. Template:Harvcoltxt
  4. Template:Harvcoltxt
  5. Odden, David (2005). Introduction to Phonology. Page 32.
  6. 6.0 6.1 'no (audible) release', John Wells's phonetic blog, 2012 March 14.
  7. Template:Citation
  8. Template:CitationTemplate:Dead link
  9. Template:Harvcoltxt
  10. Clynes, Adrian; Deterding, David (2011). "Standard Malay (Brunei)". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 41 (2): 261. ISSN 1475-3502. doi:10.1017/S002510031100017XFreely accessible. 
  11. Template:Citation
  12. Template:Cite thesis
  13. Template:Cite work
  14. Page 27, A Grammar of RGyalrong, Jiǎomùzú (Kyom-kyo) Dialects: A Web of Relations Marielle Prins 2016, 9789004324565


External links