In phonetics, a continuant is a speech sound produced without a complete closure in the oral cavity, namely fricatives, approximants and vowels.[1] Approximants and vowels are sometimes called "frictionless continuants".[2] Continuants contrast with occlusives, such as stops, affricates and nasals.

Compare sonorant (resonant), which includes vowels, approximants and nasals but not fricatives, and contrasts with obstruent.

Whether laterals, taps/flaps, or trills are continuant is not conclusive.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "continuant" in Bussamann, Routledge dictionary of language and linguistics, 1996
  2. ^ "approximant" in Crystal, A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics, 6th ed, 2008
  3. ^ Hayes, Bruce (2009). Introductory Phonology. Blackwell. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4051-8411-3.
Approximant consonant

Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough nor with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no turbulence. This class of sounds includes lateral approximants like [l] (as in less), non-lateral approximants like [ɹ] (as in rest), and semivowels like [j] and [w] (as in yes and west, respectively).Before Peter Ladefoged coined the term "approximant" in the 1960s, the term "frictionless continuant" referred to non-lateral approximants.

Atong language (Sino-Tibetan)

Atong is a Sino-Tibetan language related to Koch, Rabha, Bodo and Garo. It is spoken in the South Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills districts of Meghalaya state in Northeast India, southern Kamrup district in Assam, and adjacent areas in Bangladesh. The correct spelling "Atong" is based on the way the speakers themselves pronounce the name of their language. There is no glottal stop in the name and it is not a tonal language.

A reference grammar of the language has been published by Seino van Breugel. An Atong–English dictionary and a book of stories in Atong are published by and available at the Tura Book Room.

Basic formal ontology

Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) is a top level ontology developed by Bahoum Sourour and his associates for the purposes of promoting interoperability among domain ontologies that are built in its terms through a process of downward population. The structure of BFO is based on a division of entities into two disjoint categories of continuant and occurrent, the former comprehending for example objects and spatial regions, the latter comprehending processes conceived as extended through (or as spanning) time. BFO thereby seeks to incorporate both three-dimensionalist and four-dimensionalist perspectives on reality within a single framework.

Chilcotin language

Chilcotin (also Tsilhqot’in, Tsilhqut’in, Tzilkotin) is a Northern Athabaskan language spoken in British Columbia by the Tsilhqot’in people.

The name Chilcotin is derived from the Chilcotin name for themselves: Tŝilhqot’in [ts̠ˤʰᵊĩɬqʰotʼin], literally "people of the red ochre river".

Continuant (mathematics)

In algebra, the continuant is a multivariate polynomial representing the determinant of a tridiagonal matrix and having applications in generalized continued fractions.

Delayed release (linguistics)

In feature-based phonology, delayed release is a distinctive feature representing how quickly the closure in a non-continuant consonant is released. It separates stops, which are [−delayed release], from affricates, which are [+delayed release], both of which are [−sonorant, −continuant].


Dyēus or Dyēus Phter (Proto-Indo-European: *dyḗws ph₂tḗr, also *Dyḗus Ph2tḗr or Dyēus Pətḗr, alternatively spelled dyēws) is believed to have been the chief deity in Proto-Indo-European mythology. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylit sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in Proto-Indo-European society.

This deity is not directly attested; rather, scholars have reconstructed this deity from the languages and cultures of later Indo-European peoples such as the Greeks, Latins, and Indo-Aryans. According to this scholarly reconstruction, Dyeus was known as Dyḗus Ph2tḗr, literally "sky father" or "shining father", as reflected in Latin Iūpiter, Diēspiter, possibly Dis Pater and deus pater, Greek Zeu Pater, Vedic Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́. As the pantheons of the individual mythologies related to Proto-Indo-European religion evolved, attributes of Dyeus seem to have been redistributed to other deities. In Greek and Roman mythology, Dyeus remained the chief god; however, in Vedic mythology, the etymological continuant of Dyeus became a very abstract god, and his original attributes and dominance over other gods appear to have been transferred to gods such as Agni or Indra.

Liquid consonant

In phonetics, liquids or liquid consonants are a class of consonants consisting of lateral approximants like 'l' together with rhotics like 'r'.

Nasal consonant

In phonetics, a nasal, also called a nasal occlusive, nasal stop in contrast with a nasal fricative, or nasal continuant, is an occlusive consonant produced with a lowered velum, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. The vast majority of consonants are oral consonants. Examples of nasals in English are [n], [ŋ] and [m], in words such as nose, bring and mouth. Nasal occlusives are nearly universal in human languages. There are also other kinds of nasal consonants in some languages.

Natural class

In phonology, a natural class is a set of phonemes in a language that share certain distinctive features. A natural class is determined by participation in shared phonological processes, described using the minimum number of features necessary for descriptive adequacy.

Navajo phonology

This article is about the sound system of the Navajo language. The phonology of Navajo is intimately connected to its morphology. For example, the entire range of contrastive consonants is found only at the beginning of word stems. In stem-final position and in prefixes, the number of contrasts is drastically reduced. Similarly, vowel contrasts (including their prosodic combinatory possibilities) found outside of the stem are significantly neutralized. For details about the morphology of Navajo, see Navajo grammar.

Like most Athabascan languages, Navajo is coronal heavy, having many phonological contrasts at coronal places of articulation and less at other places. Also typical of the family, Navajo has a limited number of labial sounds, both in terms of its phonemic inventory and in their occurrence in actual lexical items and displays of consonant harmony.


An obstruent is a speech sound such as [k], [d͡ʒ], or [f] that is formed by obstructing airflow. Obstruents contrast with sonorants, which have no such obstruction and so resonate. All obstruents are consonants, but sonorants include both vowels and consonants.


Segen is a German word translating to "blessing, benediction; charm; prayer; spell, incantation".

It is in origin a loan from Latin signum sīgnāre "to make a sign", viz. the Sign of the Cross used to confer a Christian blessing,

The term is attested as Old High German seganōn from as early as c. AD 800, resulting in a modern segnen "to bless". The noun Segen "blessing" was derived from the verb at an early time, attested in the 9th century as segan.

Old English hat the corresponding sægnan, which survives as the dialectal (esp. Scottish) sain (popularized by Scott, Heart of Mid-Lothian "God sain us").

The concept of Segen, understood magically, was very productive in the folklore, folk religion and superstition of German-speaking Europe, studied in great detail by the German philologists and folklorists of the 19th century.

The medieval church used the Segen (the sign of the cross with a spoken formula) liberally, intended as an act with protective effect, putting the person or thing blessed under the protection of God. Nor was the action reserved for priests or clerics, but any Christian was permitted to make the sign of the cross and invoke the protection of God. Thus the Segen came to be seen as the inverse of the curse (Fluch), magical acts with the power to either protect or harm.

The concept of Segen thus became the continuant of the incantation formulas of the pre-Christian period (the only surviving samples of which are the Merseburg Incantations).

Use of such formulas was partly encouraged by the Church, as they did superficially involve an expression of piety by the invocation of God, Christ or the Virgin Mary, but at the same time their magical use was viewed with scepticism and was sometimes repressed.By the time of the Early Modern witch-hunts, the term segen had become ambiguous, and depending on context could refer to a harmless farewell, to a pious invocation of God, or to a Satanic or superstitious spell (pro incantamento et adjuratione magica Stieler 1669; e.g. Wolfssegen "contra lupos").

This early modern usage survives in dialectal variation throughout the rural parts of German-speaking Europe.

For German-speaking Switzerland, the Schweizerisches Idiotikon 7,444 "Sëgeⁿ"

records some two dozen compounds in -sëgeⁿ, in some of which Segen takes the meaning "prayer" and in others "spell, charm".

A notable concept in Swiss folklore is the Alpsegen (Alpe(n)sëgeⁿ, Alpsëgeⁿ 7,451), a folk religious custom in Alpine Switzerland where every night

a prayer must be sung over each Alpine pasture. This combined the function of an apotropaic charm with a practical aspect of communicating between remote pastures; if the Alpsegen was not heard from a neighbouring site, it would be a sign that a misfortune or accident had befallen and the neighbours would come to aid.


In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant or resonant is a speech sound that is produced with continuous, non-turbulent airflow in the vocal tract; these are the manners of articulation that are most often voiced in the world's languages. Vowels are sonorants, as are consonants like /m/ and /l/: approximants, nasals, flaps or taps, and most trills.

In older usage, only the term resonant was used with this meaning, and sonorant was a narrower term, referring to all resonants except vowels and semivowels.

Sonority hierarchy

A sonority hierarchy or sonority scale is a ranking of speech sounds (or phones) by amplitude. For example, pronouncing the vowel [a], will produce a much louder sound than the stop [t]. Sonority hierarchies are especially important when analyzing syllable structure; rules about what segments may appear in onsets or codas together, such as SSP, are formulated in terms of the difference of their sonority values. Some languages also have assimilation rules based on sonority hierarchy, for example, the Finnish potential mood, in which a less sonorous segment changes to copy a more sonorous adjacent segment (e.g. -tne- → -nne-).

Tridiagonal matrix

In linear algebra, a tridiagonal matrix is a band matrix that has nonzero elements only on the main diagonal, the first diagonal below this, and the first diagonal above the main diagonal.

For example, the following matrix is tridiagonal:

The determinant of a tridiagonal matrix is given by the continuant of its elements.

An orthogonal transformation of a symmetric (or Hermitian) matrix to tridiagonal form can be done with the Lanczos algorithm.

Tunica language

The Tunica (or Tonica, or less common form Yuron) language is a language isolate that was spoken in the Central and Lower Mississippi Valley in the United States by Native American Tunica peoples. There are no native speakers of the Tunica language, but as of 2017, there are 32 second language speakers.Tunica-Biloxi tribal member William Ely Johnson worked with Swiss ethnologist Albert Gatschet to help him document the language in 1886. This initial documentation was further developed by linguist John R. Swanton in the early 1900s.The last known native speaker, Sesostrie Youchigant, died in 1948. In the 1930s, linguist Mary Haas worked with him to describe what Youchigant remembered of the language, and the description was published in A Grammar of the Tunica Language in 1941. That was followed by Tunica Texts in 1950 and Tunica Dictionary in 1953.

By the 17th century, the people had suffered a high rate of fatalities from Eurasian infectious diseases, warfare, and social disruption. The reduced Tunica tribe lived close to the Ofo and Avoyelles tribes, in present-day Louisiana. They communicated by Mobilian Jargon or French. The small population and the use of a jargon made Haas note that the eventual deterioration of the Tunica language was inevitable.

Tuyuca language

Tuyuca (also Dochkafuara, Tejuca, Tuyuka, Dojkapuara, Doxká-Poárá, Doka-Poara, or Tuiuca) is an Eastern Tucanoan language (similar to Tucano). Tuyuca is spoken by the Tuyuca, an indigenous ethnic group of some 500-1000 people, who inhabit the watershed of the Papuri River, the Inambú River, and the Tiquié River, in Vaupés Department, Colombia, and Amazonas State, Brazil.

Vibrant consonant

In phonetics, a vibrant is a class of consonant including taps and trills (a trill is, "sometimes referred to as a vibrant consonant."). Spanish has two vibrants, /r/ and /ɾ/.

The term is sometimes used when it is not clear whether the rhotic (r-sound) in a language is a tap or a trill.

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