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What is a velic closure and a velaric closure?

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chinmoy | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted August 15, 2009 at 1:47 AM via web

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What is a velic closure and a velaric closure?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 15, 2009 at 10:01 PM (Answer #1)

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These terms refer to linguistics and in particular, phonetics. It refers to a sound made by the back of the tongue against the soft palate (or velum). Examples in English include k, g, and ng (as in "sing"). If the soft palate is raised to block the nasal tract, this is what is known as a "velic closure".

A "velaric closure" is different in that velaric sounds utilise the air generated by a velic closure. The back of the tongue is raised against the velum, as before, but in addition, the lips or front part of the tongue create a clicking noise. We use this in English in "tut tut" but the click is very important in some languages such as Xhosa and Zulu.

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