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Ingressive speech

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Ingressive speech (IS) is when sounds are articulated with the flow of air in opposition to the flow that would be experienced during normal speech. The air used to voice the speech will be drawn in rather than pushed out. Ingressive speech can be either glottal, veleric or pulmonic.


IS occurs in many languages, being frequently associated with the Scandinavian languages, despite it being a common phenomenon. The majority of words that are subject to IS are feedback words (yes, no) or very short or primal (a cry of pain, sobbing). It also sometimes occurs in rapid counting, in order to maintain a steady air flow throughout a long series of unbroken sounds. It is also very common in the animal kingdom, frogs, dogs and cats (purring).

In Speech

Tsou and Damin have both been claimed to possess an ingressive phoneme, neither of these claims have been validated to date, and the Tsou claim has been nearly disproved. There are claims of some Tohono O'odham women speaking entirely ingressively.

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Published - November 2008

Information from Wikipedia is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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