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Sonority

It has long been recognized that sonority indices of sounds play an important role in the organization of segments within the syllable. In general, in any syllable, there is a segment constituting a sonority peak, which is preceded and/or followed by a sequence of sounds with progressively decreasing sonority values. This is known as the Sonority Sequencing Principle (SSP), as described by Nick Clements.

A plethora of characteristics of human language is claimed to correspond to sonority. Among these are openness of the vocal tract, propensity for spontaneous voicing, resonance, acoustic energy, loudness, continuity of the spectrum amplitude, and tonality, to name a few. While the exact phonetic correlates of sonority are open to dispute, its global function—influencing how segments are arranged into syllable—is, as stated ...

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