Tenuis consonant

Tenuis consonant

Voice onset time
+ Aspirated
0 Tenuis
Voiced
A tenuis consonant is a stop or affricate which is unvoiced, unaspirated, and unglottalized. That is, it has a "plain" phonation like , with a voice onset time close to zero, as in Spanish p, t, ch, k, or English p, t, k after s (spy, sty, sky).

The term tenuis comes from Latin translations of Ancient Greek grammar, which differentiated three series of consonants, voiced β δ γ, aspirate φ θ χ, and tenuis π τ κ; these series have close parallels in other Indo-European languages.

In Ancient Greek, when an aspirate consonant came before a tenuis or aspirate consonant, it lost its aspiration and became tenuis, for example φ + τπτ, φ + φπφ.

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